Jun 24 2022
By Experience Hendrix.
At 11am on Friday, June 10, 2022 Jimi Hendrix’s last official residence in the UK was formally commemorated with a prestigious Blue Plaque affixed on the side of the Hard Rock Hotel London, formally the Cumberland Hotel when Jimi resided there in 1970.
The new honor was bestowed by the Nubian Jak Community Trust [NJCT] with support from Hard Rock Hotel London and Experience Hendrix, L.L.C.. Founded in 2006, NJCT is the only commemorative plaque and sculpture scheme focused on memorializing the historic contributions of Black and minority people of various ethnic origins in Britain and beyond. The NJCT has since installed more than 70 commemorative blue and black plaques throughout the UK, including to an array of musicians from Samuel Coleridge Taylor to Bob Marley.
“The thing about this place this is it was Jimi’s most regularly visited address when he and was in London,” explains Dr. Jak Beula, Founder of NJCT. “This one was the Cumberland Hotel; but when he unfortunately died in 1970, this was his last registered address and is also where he did his last music interview as well. It’s an iconic address.”
English Heritage, the charitable organization which celebrates the links between notable figures of the past and the buildings in which they lived and worked, has similarly celebrated Jimi Hendrix in the past. Jimi’s first Blue Plaque in the UK was unveiled in 1997 at his 1968-69 Mayfair residence located at 23 Brook Street. That same location is also marked by a second Blue Plaque commemorating German-born composer George Frideric Handel who lived there from 1723 until his death in 1759.
The Hard Rock Hotel London / Cumberland Hotel connection is manifested in the fact that Hendrix wrote song lyrics on the hotel’s stationary that survive to this day and are vaulted in the archives of Experience Hendrix.
With two Blue Plaques, Jimi Hendrix is in rarified company of the few who have their name grace multiple Blue Plaques in the country. These notables include Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Ministers Lord Palmerston and William Gladstone, and author William Makepeace Thackeray.
To help celebrate the Hard Rock Hotel London’s event; legendary guitarist Jeff Beck accompanied Janie Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix’s sister and President & CEO of Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. in unveiling the new historical designation.
“I’m so proud of my brother Jimi and his being honored again in London,” said Janie Hendrix. “His mission was to spread love across the world through his music, and we continue to see that come to fruition all these years later.
“He wrote the song ‘Message To Love’ and he really wanted people to embrace each other and love each other for who they are and not try to change other people; but just accept them for who they are. I think that still is true today because there’s people that are of all different walks of life. Just love people for who they are.”
In addition to Janie Hendrix; The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Hamza Taouzzale made the proclamation of Jimi’s importance to the City, later explaining, “It’s an honor and a pleasure to be able to help unveil the plaque to celebrate Hendrix and Jimi’s life here in Westminster. I think people don’t realize that what he meant to the city and what he meant to the people of the borough.”
Leading up to the festivities, Mississippi-based Blues sensation and GRAMMY-award winner Christone “Kingfish” Ingram helped to celebrate this historic unveiling by delivering a sensational performance on the rooftop of the Hard Rock Hotel London. This exclusive performance—filmed on June 9—will make its debut soon via the Jimi Hendrix social media channels. Ingram’s participation in the Hard Rock event is his homage to the Hendrix’s legacy. He commented, “Jimi Hendrix has long been an inspiration to me as a musician. I’m excited to participate in this historic event that honors his memory.”
Beyond “Kingfish’s” electrifying performance, the Hard Rock Hotel London helped celebrate Jimi’s latest honor with a night of special events including a special presentation of Linda McCartney images of Jimi Hendrix. Over the course of her career as a freelance photographer – then Linda Eastman – photographed Hendrix on multiple occasions. Her image of The Jimi Hendrix Experience with a group of young children at the statue of “Alice In Wonderland” in New York’s Central Park was Hendrix’s own choice to be the cover of his Electric Ladyland album. Just four years ago, a reissue of the album fulfilled his wishes when her photo at last graced the cover.
The evening’s event also included an exclusive screening of the GRAMMY-nominated documentary film Music. Money. Madness… Jimi Hendrix Live In Maui; a post-show Q&A with Producers Janie Hendrix and John McDermott; plus an exclusive virtual appearance by Producer and Sound Engineer Eddie Kramer who provided an overview of the process involved in mixing some of Jimi’s music in the studio.
The Blue Plaque is now available for viewing adjacent to the main entrance at the Hard Rock Hotel London on Great Cumberland Place in Marylebone, City of Westminster at Marble Arch.
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