Wild Blue Angel: Hendrix Abroad, 1966-1970 explores Jimi Hendrix's itinerant creativity at the height of his stardom.
Curator: Jacob McMurray
Exhibition Design: Matt Cole, Jacob McMurray
Graphic Design: Matt Cole
Collections: Katherine Hughes, Melinda Simms
Fabrication: Addy Froehlich, Mark Columbino, Nick Rempel, Nils Carlson, Josh Powers
Tech: Brian Phraner, Brad Purkey
Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle, June 19, 2015 - present
At the height of his fame, Jimi Hendrix performed more than 500 times in 15 countries and recorded 130 songs in 16 studios. He was a musical nomad, his life an endless series of venues, recording sessions, flights, and hotels.
The oldest child of a teenaged mother and a father who was stationed abroad, James Marshall Hendrix was born in Seattle on November 27, 1942, and spent much of his childhood being shuttled between different relatives and cities. His musical talent began to blossom at age 16 when his father bought him his first electric guitar, and he played with several bands in Seattle, honing his musical chops. At 18, he joined the Army and was shipped to California and then Kentucky, always dreaming of making his living playing music.
After his release from the military in 1962, Hendrix played with R&B groups in the Nashville area and was soon traveling across America, playing guitar for the Isley Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner, and Little Richard. By the summer of 1965, Hendrix landed in New York City, where he performed at clubs in Greenwich Village. There he connected with Chas Chandler, former bass player of the Animals, who in September 1966 convinced Hendrix to move to London. Within a few months Hendrix was a star.
From his arrival in London to his untimely death on September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix was rarely in one place for more than a month. Home was the roar of the crowd, the controlled chaos of the recording studio, the first class cabin of a TWA jet, the key to his hotel suite, the brief times with friends and lovers, the electric embrace of his guitar.