Living in Northern Ireland, from time to time I come across someone that was at the legendary Jimi Hendrix gig in Belfast – and they always have a story to tell. That night, 27 November 1967, was Jimi’s 25th birthday and the word on the street goes that a pretty girl from Bangor was selected by Jimi’s people to be his “companion” after the show.
Like most people, I don’t know a great deal about Jimi Hendrix beyond what everyone knows – Purple Haze & Voodoo Chile (popular tracks on the White Swan jukebox in Doncaster when I was at school), the fact that he died young and in London, that he was left-handed and that he played a famous gig at Woodstock.
A couple of years back when I was passing through Seattle, I visited the Music Hall of Fame – housed within a remarkable building created by the fabulous Frank Gehry. If truth be known, my real motive in going there was to inspect the vast collection of sci-fi memorabilia collected by “rich as Croesus” Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen. Impressive it was too – even including Captain Kirk’s Star Trek chair. But despite my science fiction interest, by far the most enjoyable hour I spent there was wandering through a collection of Jimi Hendrix articles – especially the postcards he sent to his father when he was in the army, his flamboyant 1960s clothes & psychedelic stage outfits displayed in glass cabinets, his famous guitars and most moving of all, the lyrics of some of his most famous songs scribbled on the reverse of restaurant menus or on hotel stationery.
Writing this today has got me thinking about the legacy that each of us leaves behind – what will yours be?