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In the heart of Seattle, where the Space Needle pierces the sky, lies a tribute to one of the city’s most iconic sons, Jimi Hendrix. The Museum of Pop Culture (MOPOP), originally envisioned as a Hendrix-centric institution, now stands as a testament to the broad spectrum of pop culture. Yet, within its walls, the spirit of Jimi Hendrix is more alive than ever.

Jimi Hendrix, a Seattle native, is celebrated for revolutionizing the music world with his electric guitar. His connection to Seattle runs deep, evident in the city’s tributes, including a dedicated park and the prominent display of his memorabilia at MOPOP. This connection speaks volumes about the city’s pride and admiration for its homegrown legend.


 

Inside the Jimi Hendrix Exhibit

 

Designed by the renowned architect Frank Gehry, MOPOP’s structure, with its wavy and fragmented forms, seems to echo the iconic scene of Jimi Hendrix smashing his Fender Stratocaster. Each curve and color of the building, from blue symbolizing Fender guitars to gold for Gibson Les Pauls, narrates the story of rock and roll’s evolution.

The Hendrix exhibit is a carefully curated collection that spans his life and career. From the “Izabella” guitar he masterfully played at Woodstock to a wall adorned with vibrant concert posters, each item tells a story. His actual passport, displayed among these artifacts, brings an intimate glimpse into the man behind the legend.

Beyond the exhibits, Jimi Hendrix’s influence permeates the museum’s core. The Sky Church concept, a Hendrix brainchild, embodies his belief in music’s power to unite. This central gathering place in the museum showcases how Hendrix’s vision transcends time.

 

Jimi Hendrix Park and Beyond

 

Not far from MOPOP, the Jimi Hendrix Park, adorned with a purple guitar art piece and Jimi Hendrix’s signature, offers a serene tribute. While the park’s location next to the Northwest African American Museum underscores Hendrix’s cultural impact, it also highlights his enduring connection to Seattle’s community fabric.

The narrative of Jimi Hendrix in Seattle doesn’t end with MOPOP or the park. His memorial and gravesite in Greenwood Memorial Park, a pilgrimage site for fans, showcases an impressive gravestone, reflecting the city’s ongoing homage to its star.

While Seattle may not have a dedicated Jimi Hendrix museum, MOPOP and the city itself serve as living museums to his legacy. From MOPOP’s immersive exhibits to the streets where Hendrix once walked, Seattle preserves and celebrates the memory of a musician who redefined the boundaries of his art.

 

How Many Times did Jimi Hendrix Play in Seattle?

Jimi Hendrix, after leaving Seattle to join the Us Army as a member of the 101st Airborne Division, under the threat of incarceration, returned seven years later as an acclaimed superstar. During his illustrious career, he performed four times in his hometown. Two of these concerts were held at the Seattle Center Coliseum, presently known as Key Arena.

These performances coincided with significant changes in the cityscape, including the construction of the Space Needle and Monorail. His last concert in Seattle was at Sick’s Stadium, which has since been transformed into a Lowe’s hardware store. Jimi Hendrix had a tradition of dedicating his Seattle performances to the students of Garfield High School, reflecting his enduring connection to the community.

 

Treasures of Jimi Hendrix: A Glimpse into the MOPOP Exhibit

 

The Jimi Hendrix exhibit at the Museum of Pop Culture (MOPOP) in Seattle is a vivid testament to the legendary musician’s life and career. Here’s an in-depth look at the key items showcased:

  • Handwritten Poems and Lyrics: The exhibit features personal items like the poem “And Send My Love to Kathy,” a heartfelt note to Kathy Etchingham, Jimi Hendrix’s former girlfriend. Also displayed are the original lyrics of “In from The Storm,” penned in 1970, showcasing Hendrix’s creative process and his deep connection to his music.
  • Guitars: Among the most captivating items are pieces of the Fender Stratocaster Jimi Hendrix famously smashed at The Saville Theatre in 1967, embodying his intense stage presence and passion for music. Equally significant is the Fender Stratocaster guitar he played at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair in 1969, symbolizing one of his most iconic performances.
  • Recording Equipment: The custom recording/mixing board console from Studio A of Electric Lady Studios in New York offers insight into Hendrix’s recording process. This piece of equipment, used during a pivotal time in his career, illustrates the technological aspects of his groundbreaking sound.
  • Stage Clothing: Jimi Hendrix’s fashion is represented by items like a black wool felt hat from circa 1967 and a velvet double-breasted jacket, reflecting his unique style. These pieces not only depict his flair for bold and flamboyant clothing but also his influence on the fashion trends of the era.
  • Personal Documents: The exhibit includes personal and professional documents, such as a signed contract for the publication of “Stone Free” and a British work permit. These items provide a window into the business side of his career and the challenges he faced navigating the music industry.
  • Artifacts from Performances: The collection includes posters, like the design for the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Fillmore East in 1968, and a poster for the Open Air Love + Peace Festival in 1970. These artifacts not only showcase Hendrix’s widespread influence but also the cultural context of his era.

This comprehensive collection at MOPOP offers an intimate portrayal of Jimi Hendrix’s life, highlighting his artistic genius, personal style, and the profound impact he had on music and culture.

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Is just a guy who got tired of bothering his friends talking about music, and decided to create a blog to write about what he loves the most.
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