UK show explores Hendrix's links to Handel

Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:27pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - The Handel House Museum in London is a permanent celebration of the 18th century German-born composer's life and times, but this week honors another legendary musician linked to the site -- Jimi Hendrix.

From August 25 to November 7, period instruments and manuscripts of George Handel's works will be displayed alongside an electric guitar, velvet jacket and handwritten lyrics by Hendrix, who died in London 40 years ago.

The U.S. guitar legend moved into the top floor flat of 23 Brook Street with his English girlfriend Kathy Etchingham, and it became his home in 1968 and 1969 while he played venues across town and enhanced his international reputation.

Handel moved into what is now 25 Brook Street in 1723, lived there for 36 years and died in the property in 1759.

According to Etchingham in her book "Through Gypsy Eyes," Hendrix was well aware that Handel had lived next door.

"Not only were they both musicians, they had both come to England from their own countries in order to find recognition and build international careers," she wrote.

Sarah Bardwell, director of Handel House Museum, said she had always wanted to put on an exhibition dedicated to Hendrix, and the 40th anniversary of his death, which falls on September 18, was a good reason to try.

"Obviously we mustn't upset either the Handel or the Hendrix fans, but there are brilliant people who love both," she said at a press preview of the show.   Continued...

<p>Martin Wyatt, Deputy Director of the Handel House Museum poses for photographers with a hat which belonged to Jimi Hendrix, during an exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of his death, held in the flat the musician shared with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham in London August 24, 2010. REUTERS/Paul Hackett</p>