Hello faithful blog readers!! Our last entry dealt with an upcoming post about the Baltics, Russia and Scandinavia. The entry before that featured guitar playing while on a TDY to Iceland. Since they were so popular… this entry by Tech. Sgt. Robbie Arp combines travelling (in London this time) AND a sweet guitar legend who… in case you did not know… used to be a U.S. Army paratrooper. (Your trivia fact for the day!)
We live in a pretty amazing corner of the world with so many great opportunities to get out and “experience” history. My wife and I recently had a blast in swinging London, not only taking in the typical sights and tastes, but also spreading our wings and venturing out to some not-so-known spots. Mainly, we were searching for some of the places that my greatest inspiration, Jimi Hendrix, made his mark.
Stop No. 1 was, of course, The Scotch of St. James Club, where Jimi played his first solo session in London on the evening of his arrival, Sep. 24, 1966. A month later, Jimi would return with Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell for the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s debut performance. The club is tucked away in an almost hidden alley called Mason’s Yard, and we almost didn’t find it.
This sign is easy to miss, tucked in an alleyway at one of only a few entrances to Mason’s Yard, the location of The Scotch of St. James Club.
Our next Stop was The Bag O’ Nails Club, where Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr (of The Beatles– yes, THAT Paul and Ringo) first saw Jimi play on January 11, 1967, and he totally melted their faces!
A plaque on the wall outside of the Bag O’ Nails Club highlighting the Experience’s first performance date at the club. It wouldn’t be their last.
I was very surprised to learn that Hendrix’s London flat (“apartment,” as we Yanks call it) has been made into a museum. A dual exhibit, The Handel/Hendrix Museum, also offers customers a look into the life and work of Baroque composer George Frederic Handel, who lived and died here as well.
The museum is set up in parts like it’s still being lived in, like this picture of Jimi’s bedroom.
And here’s a sampling of Jimi’s record collection. I found his blues records to be awesome! Mainly because I also own many of the same albums. Interesting fact: they said his Bob Dylan records had the most wear and use of all of them.
Lastly, here’s a little map of Hendrix’s favorite spots to hit around his flat. My wife and I got to see most of them. Bucket list…Check!
Taking the time to venture around London like this was amazing. The city has so much to offer with so much possibility and fun just around every corner. I highly suggest taking the time to familiarize yourself with “The Tube” (London’s underground subway system) It’s extremely affordable and so easy to use. Plus, there is a tube entrance only a short walk away anywhere you find yourself in the city.
It’s just a good idea, because London isn’t cheap. They operate on The British Pound (abbreviated GBP) which currently stands at $1.47 to £1. They say time flies when you’re having fun. You know what flies faster? Money! So any cost-saving corners to cut will truly save you in the long run.
So, all in all, London is amazing and one of my all-time favorite travel destinations; historical, beautiful, and delicious! Definitely something you and yours should “Experience.” :D