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New museum takes visitors inside Jimi Hendrix’s 1960s London pad

February 13, 2016 at 7:47 PM EST
Considered one of the greatest guitarists in rock 'n' roll history, Jimi Hendrix, who was from Seattle, amassed a following in London before he became famous in the U.S. Now, London officials have turned his last residence into a museum. NewsHour's Phil Hirschkorn reports.
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PHIL HIRSCHKORN: Before releasing his third and final studio album, “Electric Ladyland,” Jimi Hendrix was living in London, playing at Royal Albert Hall.

In the summer of 1968, Hendrix rented this top floor apartment at this building in London.

Girlfriend Kathy Etchingham moved in with him.

KATHY ETCHINGHAM: Well, it’s quite strange as you can imagine 45 years on to be sitting in the same room you were sitting in when you were 22 years old.

PHIL HIRSCHKORN: The apartment is now restored as it looked then: colorful cushions, Persian rugs, a Victorian shawl hanging over the bed, Hendrix’s turntable and vinyl record collection. He wrote songs on his epiphone acoustic guitar.

Etchingham says, Hendrix told her: This was the first real home of his own.

KATHY ETCHINGHAM: It’s a job well done, and it’s something that people wouldn’t normally have got to see, they can now see it.

PHIL HIRSCHKORN: The building, in London’s Mayfair neighborhood, had good musical karma.

Classical composer George Frderic Handel lived next door, in the 1700s.

Magazine photographer Barrie Wentzell visited Hendrix in the apartment.

BARRY WENTZELL, PHOTOGRAPHER: He said that Handel lived in the flat next door of the whole house, and I said, “Oh wow, yeah, really.’ And he said. “Yeah, I went out and got Handel’s Messiah the other day, and it was really interesting. I wonder what it would be like to jam with him.

PHIL HIRSCHKORN: Hendrix moved back to New York in 1969 and returned to England for concerts. He died in London in 1970 at age 27.

The Handel House Trust spent $3.5 billion dollars renovating Hendrix’s home and is making “Handel & Hendrix in London” open to the public permanently.

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