Hendrix Flat – More Information page
On the Walls
- Oval Mirror
Above the ﬁreplace hangs the original mirror that was hung in this exact spot when Hendrix and Etchingham lived here. Take a moment to look into the mirror that once reﬂected the image of Jimi Hendrix himself
- Wall Hanging
On the wall behind the bed is a batik silk hanging replicating the textile that was hung there in January and February 1969. Hendrix and Etchingham often changed their wall hangings and several different textile hangings appear in different photoshoots.
- Tasselled Shawl
The tasselled shawl hanging above the bed is described as ‘Jimi’s favourite Victorian Shawl’ in Kathy Etchingham’s book, Through Gypsy Eyes. The embroidered shawl helps to re-create the ‘opulent’ look and atmosphere Etchingham and Hendrix were going for when furnishing this room.
- Fire Escape Hoist
In the corner, to the left of the bed and next to the window, is the ﬁre escape hoist that many upper storey ﬂats still make use of today. Hendrix and Etchingham had a ‘Davy Descender’ and apparently, it didn’t work.
The vibrant bedspread has been woven by textile specialist, Wallace Sewell to match the original. Guests would sit around on the bed and on the ﬂoor and every morning Hendrix would make the bed neat and presentable again, probably a result of his military background.
- Wooden ‘Captain’ Chair
This is a reproduction of the iconic chair on which Hendrix sits in the photographs from 4th January 1969, by Barrie Wentzell. You are welcome to sit on it and strike your best Hendrix pose.
- Glass Door Cupboard (with silk kimono hanging in front)
Behind the door as you come into the room, is a cupboard that held all of Hendrix’s sketches and scribbles of various different lyrics and song ideas. They were laid flat across the shelves and Hendrix would often go to the cupboard and grab one of them to work a bit more on it and then put it back. Some turned into hits, others ended up in the bin.
On the Floor
Hendrix was so into Persian rugs that he ended up buying more than could ﬁt in the ﬂat. As a solution, he and Etchingham kept spares rolled up to the left hand side of the bed and swapped them in and out when they felt like it. Various different combinations are pictured in the photographs that were taken here.
- TV and Tea Set
Hendrix, despite his ‘rock and roll’ reputation, enjoyed watching Coronation Street and was particularly enchanted by the clothing choices of Ena Sharples. He was also fond of drinking English Breakfast Tea and Etchingham recalls how funny it was watching this American ‘cool cat’ sat watching ‘Corrie’ with a strong cup of tea.
The two phone sets in front of the ﬁreplace are typical 1960s telephones and perfectly match those pictured in the background of Hendrix’s photoshoots. Hendrix had a habit of giving his phone number out to anyone that wanted it, including fans. As a result, the phone was always ringing and Hendrix and Etchingham stopped answering it. Unfortunately, this meant that if anyone important rang, they wouldn’t get through either. Realising this was an issue, the couple had a second phone line installed. Eventually Hendrix forgot which number was which and ended up giving both numbers out to anyone and everyone resulting in two phones ringing off the hook.
- BOAC Airline Bag
The navy blue bag resting to the right of the bed, replicates the bag that Hendrix used as his guitar tool kit. Spare strings and plectrums were kept within and he took it everywhere with him.
Hendrix enjoyed board games including Monopoly, Risk and Twister.
The acoustic guitar on the bed is a copy of the original Hendrix used to work out riffs and arrangements, and played at parties in the ﬂat. Check out the video of Hendrix playing Hound Dog after his gig at the Royal Albert Hall in February 1969. Etchingham remembers that this guitar was always on the bed or propped up against the bed so that Hendrix could write songs, noodle away or jam with his guests. This replica has been restrung to match Hendrix’s left-handed stringing. Hendrix kept his electric guitars and amps along with clothes in the room next door (now the Record Room) that he and Etchingham used for storage.
- Page of Lyrics
On the bedside table, there is a photocopy of Hendrix’s handwritten lyrics to Voodoo Chile and Voodoo Child (Slight Return).
- Beogram 1000 Turntable
Take a closer look and spot the ha’penny taped to the arm. Etchingham explains that they had to weigh it down to prevent it from jumping.
- Lowther (Acoustas) Speakers
Etchingham says that they were always playing music in this room. They were regularly blowing the cardboard cones inside the speakers and having to take them down to a local Bromley electrical shop to have them ﬁxed.
- Record Collection
The records displayed beside the record player are copies of the records that Hendrix had. Hendrix was interested in many genres of music from jazz and blues to classical albums of Handel, Holst and Bach. He kept them in no particular order.
- White Boxes on Shelves
To the right of the ﬁreplaces there is a pile of thin white boxes on built-in shelves. These boxes replicate the stack of ¼ inch reel-toreel tape that Hendrix kept here. Hendrix would have kept all of his recordings from studio sessions and he also had his own portable reel-to-reel recorder.
Food and Drink
- Mateus Wine Bottle
Hendrix was pictured drinking Mateus Rosé in the ﬂat several times. Wine was difﬁcult to get outside of restaurants and bars in London, in 1969. Living above Mr Love’s Café, where Mateus Rosé was being served, meant that Hendrix and Etchingham could have bottles sent up, often with dinner too as neither of them were any good at cooking. On the window ledge in the Record Room next door, you will ﬁnd a bottle of Mateus left outside to chill because the couple couldn’t be bothered to go upstairs to their fridge. They also drank Löwenbräu beer.
- Whiskey Decanter
Hendrix drank Dimple whiskey and kept a decanter full for entertaining guests. It was his drink of choice (when he wasn’t drinking Mateus Rosé or English Breakfast Tea, of course).
- Dog Bear
The original Dog Bear is featured in various photographs of Hendrix and Etchingham. A fan knitted it for Hendrix and it moved 3 ﬂats with him. This dog bear was re-created by Handel & Hendrix in London volunteer, Judy Roose and smaller versions are available in the shop.
- Books in Cabinet
Hendrix enjoyed reading science ﬁction and Etchingham remembers reading Dracula during her time here. Night of Light by Philip José Farmer contributed to Hendrix’s inspiration for Purple Haze.