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Music

Jimi Hendrix's London home turned into museum

Soon, you can discover the flat where Jimi Hendrix used to live and rock in London. The building was also shared by another musical genius: George Frideric Handel - some 200 years earlier.

Some revere Jimi Hendrix as the best rock guitarist ever. Others prefer their music a bit more Baroque: In this case, the German-born British composer George Frideric Handel remains one of the leading musical figures. Despite the differences in musical style, both of them shared more than an exceptional career: They lived in the same building in London, located at 23-25 Brook Street.

"It is hard to think of another home in the world with such a concentration of musical genius," said Alistair Starnack, chairman of the Handel House Trust.

As of February 10, 2016, visitors will be able to feel the walls which surrounded both musicians. The Handel House has been open to the public since November 2001, and Hendrix's flat was until recently used by the Handel House Trust as an office.

The foundation has restored Hendrix's bedroom to reproduce the way it looked when he was living there and developed an exhibition on the musician - a project which cost 2.4 million pounds (3.3 million euros, $3.7 million).

His only real home

Jimi Hendrix spent part of the year 1968 recording and on tour in the US, but in the summer he moved in with his then girlfriend Kathy Etchingham to the top floor of 23 Brook Street, in the district of Mayfair in London. They paid 30 pounds a week for the flat.

A view of a blue plaque outside 23 Brook Street where musician Jimi Hendrix briefly lived, Copyright: picture-alliance/dpa/F. Arrizabalaga

In 1997, 23 Brook Street obtained an English Heritage Blue Plaque commemorating Jimi Hendrix

Although the legendary musician stayed there less than a year, it is his only officially recognized residence in the world. Hendrix is said to have described it as "The only home he ever had."

According to the organizers of the exhibition, Hendrix used the apartment as his base: He would write new songs and give interviews there. When he found out that Handel used to live next door, he went out and bought some of his albums, such as his "Messiah," which was composed there.

Brook Street used to be right in the middle of London's music scene in the late 60s, just a short walk away from a series of legendary clubs, like the Marquee, the Speakeasy and The Scotch of St James, where Jimi Hendrix would show up and play.

Tickets to visit the new museum can be booked in advance as of November 2.

eg/kbm (dpa, efe, www.handelhouse.org)

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