At 23/25 Brook Street in the heart of Mayfair, is the house George Frideric Handel lived in for thirty-six years, when he was at the height of his success composing Messiah, Zadok the Priest, and Music for the Royal Fireworks. The upper floors are now the Handel House Museum, a combination of historic house, art gallery, museum and small performance venue, all built around Handel’s world and music.
He died there in 1759, aged seventy four, and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Hendrix’s death, Handel House is presenting a new exhibition: Hendrix in Britain. With some rarely seen memorabilia, images and music, the exhibition covers his rapid rise to fame in London and his lasting impact on rock music. In the exhibition's visitor comment book yesterday I saw this: I hate all these loud young people making a noise. Signed G F Handel. That’s nice
Some things that stand out for me:
Hendrix was left handed, but played right handed instruments.
The flamboyance of his clothes, hair, furnishings.
The man could play guitar with his teeth, would set fire to the guitar, could sometimes appear aggressive on stage, and yet was so calm, gentle, and lucid in his interviews.
Rock musicians renting property in Mayfair: unheard of nowadays. In the last couple of decades they would be in Camden, Hackney, or further east;
How quickly Hendrix became recognised and idolized by other artists such as Eric Clapton and Pete Townsend;
His guitar version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Woodstock became famous as a statement of those times and attitudes.
The typical UK tour venues, how different from today. Hendrix’s 1967 tour included: Ricky Tick Club, Hounslow; Dorothy's Ballroom, Cambridge; Skyline Hotel, Hull; Club A Go Go, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; International Club, Leeds;At the Gyro Club, Ilkley, the show was stopped due to overcrowding.
I saw the Jimi Hendrix Experience play at the Odeon, Manchester on April 22nd 1967.
Handel is the greatest composer who ever lived. I would bare my head and kneel at his grave - Ludwig van Beethoven