Jimi Hendrix’s former London home is to be turned into a permanent museum.
A £1.2 million grant has allowed The Heritage Lottery Fund to recreate the interior of the flat, where Hendrix lived intermittently from the summer of 1968 onwards. He lived in the attic of the Georgian townhouse, located at 23 Brook Street, with then girlfriend Kathy Etchingham. They paid £30 a week to live in the flat, which Hendrix later described as “the only home he ever had”.
Fans of the musician have been desperate to access the residence for many years, and a few have, on rare occasions, been allowed into the space but with no artefacts to look at. When complete, the new museum will display pieces of Hendrix’s life, work and musical legacy, not to mention historically accurate furnishings.
The flat has for the past 13 years been occupied by the staff of the Handel House Museum, who use it as their offices. Composer George Frideric Handel lived next door at No 25, although he died in the mid-18th century. The museum, Handel House, opened in 2001 and cut off Hendrix’s former flat. A blue plaque commemorating Handel’s residence was installed in 1952, while another recognising his neighbour was put up in 1997.
When Hendrix learned of his musical neighbour, he sought out music that Handel had written while living in Brook Street, including Water Music and The Messiah. As well as the Hendrix displays, the new museum will also provide an education space and a learning programme about music between the baroque and rock genres.