In Mayfair, an exclusive central district of London, there is a street that was home to two extraordinary figures from the music world. It is the famous Brook Street.
The occupant of 25 Brook Street was the famous composer George Frederic Handel, which he rented from 1723 until his death in 1759.
The upper-floor flat at 23 Brook Street was inhabited by Jimi Hendrix from 1968 to 1969. Today, they are a part of the Handel & Hendrix exhibition of London Museum and are open to the public.
According to the Museum’s website, The Handel House Trust took over Hendrix’s flat in 2000. Their goal was to restore the two flats at the same time but it was deemed impractical, so they used Hendrix’s former home as their administrative offices for several years.
Kathy Etchingham, Hendrix’s girlfriend at the time, found the flat in one of London’s newspapers in June 1968. A month later he moved in and lived in the flat for a short period before returning to the United States for his tour.
When Hendrix discovered that composer Handel had lived next door, he went and bought Handel’s classical albums – including the Messiah and Water Music.
He returned to London at the beginning of 1969. A series of interviews and photo shoots were conducted at 23 Brook Street. Hendrix referred to the flat as “my first real home of my own“.
After giving two concerts at Royal Albert Hall, Hendrix left for New York. Kathy Etchingham stayed in the flat a while longer but Jimi never lived there again.
In 1997, 23 Brook Street was chosen for an English Heritage Blue Plaque as a way of paying tribute to Jimi’s life and work.
The place was beautifully restored over a period of two years and made to look almost exactly the same as it was when Hendrix lived there.
The flat at 23 Brook Street remains the only officially recognized Hendrix home in the world. The Hendrix flat was permanently opened for the public in February 2016.
It is definitely a place worth seeing, you can enter the worlds of two music geniuses from different eras.