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home : out and about : out and about September 15, 2014

11/23/2012 3:53:00 PM
The Hendrix train keeps rolling
By Mike Dillon

Seattle’s love affair with all things Jimi Hendrix continues unabated.

Hendrix’s 70th birthday is coming up (Nov. 27, 1942), and the EMP Museum is on it.

“Hear My Train a Comin,’” which opens Nov. 17, traces the guitar legend’s 1966 arrival in swinging London and his rise in the British pop charts, and follows his return to this country in June 1967 for his legendary performance at the Monterey Pop Festival.

And high school sock-hops were never the same.

EMP, 325 Fifth Ave. N., has more than 100 artifacts to display — rare costumes, instruments, photos, albums — including shards from the guitar Hendrix smashed at the end of his June 4, 1967, performance at London’s Saville Theater. Shards of the Holy Grail for some.



A reading

Renowned Hendrix historian Steve Roby has a new book, “Hendrix on Hendwrix: Interviews and Encounters with Jimi Hendrix,” which he will discuss at the Seattle Public Library, Central Branch, 1000 Fourth Ave., on Nov. 26, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

“The closest to autobiography we’ll ever have of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix,” states Publishers Weekly. The event takes place on Level 1 in the Microsoft Auditorium. 

Information: (206) 386-4636



Meanwhile, after a yearlong design process, the capitol fund-raising drive to fund Jimi Hendrix Park, 2400 S. Massachusetts St., is in full swing.

Right now, the park, next to the Northwest African American Museum, is a wide-open lawn with a few trees and a parking lot. The new park promises to be in keeping the Hendrix’s life and music: It includes a Sound Wave Wall, a curved, colored, steel wall with cutouts of Hendrix in performance; as the sun passes over the wall, people can walk in his long shadows. Information:


A book

From the “you never know what might bubble up” department comes a self-published book by North Seattle and Cape Cod resident Rick Fordyce: “ I Climbed Mount Rainier with Jimi Hendrix’s High School Counselor And Other Stories of the Pacific Northwest.”

According to biographical information on the Web, Fordyce taught high school math and English in Africa in the late 1970s and is the author of a novel.

As Fordyce and his instructors and fellow novices summit the mountain, the subject of Hendrix comes up. “I actually convinced him to drop out,” Hendrix’s former counselor tells Fordyce. “Not exactly what you’d expect from a counselor.”

It’s a surreal conversation on the  mountain, to be sure. And then the subject is dropped. 

The rest of the stories, in the Hemingway-Carver-esque mode, captures the underlying angst of modern life, even in our beautiful, far corner.

Still, that brief, high-altitude conversation nags: You may never look at Mount Rainier the same way again.

There’s nowhere Jimi Hendrix doesn’t go.


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