When I was 16 I had met Hendrix’s bass player Noel Redding after sneaking backstage at the Clapham Grand following a Hendrix tribute concert.
Having convinced the security staff with my apparently winning smile, to let my friend and I through, I found myself talking to one of Hendrix’s closest friends moments later. And as my friend sat silent and gobsmacked, I bombarded Noel Redding with a barrage of questions about Jimi Hendrix.
That night, I learnt about the man behind the rock legend. I learnt that Hendrix liked to play hide and seek on the Peckham housing estates when he was high on acid and so I Iearnt that despite all the rock and roll media glamour that defined Hendrix, he was ultimately a child at heart.
Proud Chelsea’s exhibition also manages to give us an insight into Hendrix as a playful spirit as well as the rock star.
Whilst some of the photos are iconic set pieces, the others are stolen moments that betray the mischievous glint in the man’s eye. His captured smiles are heart-warming whilst his rehearsal and performance photos show us a serious musician.
The backstage photos of Hendrix with Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger also give us a chance to see that rock and roll royalty are merely like-minded people.
Stepping out of the exhibition, I started to think about the rock and roll spirit of the King’s Road, which Hendrix was largely a part of.
Then I asked myself, where next? Of course, Vivienne Westwood.
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