Jimi Hendrix’s London
Although an American, Jimi Hendrix’s career was made here in London. He came to London, aged 24, in 1966 and took the city by storm. His first concerts in the UK sky-rocketed him to fame and when he returned home, he was already a qualified music idol. Hendrix would return to London and live here for months at a time before his final visit – and unexpected death – in 1970.
The following post lists all of the most significant places where Hendrix played and stayed in London. Interested in visiting these places during your visit? Join us on our Rock N’ Roll Tour of London, which takes you through Soho and shares the musical history of this wonderful neighborhood! Also, be sure to check out our Free Tours by Foot London page for a full list of all of the pay-what-you-like tours that we offer!
1. The Bag O’ Nails – 9 Kingley Street
The Bag o’ Nails was a popular haunt of Hendrix’s. He not only played here, but came here to relax after performances and meet with other musicians like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. The Bag also is notable as the site of Hendrix’s first official UK gig with his band – The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Stars who came to see Hendrix’s performance include John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Keven Ayers, Peter Townshend and Mick Jagger – all of whom were blown away. Ayers commented: “All the stars were there, and I heard serious comments, you know ‘shit’, ‘Jesus’, ‘damn’ and other words worse than that.
2. Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club – 47 Frith Street
On the 16th of September, 1970, legendary Ronnie Scott’s was the site of a Jimi Hendrix performance alongside Eric Burdon and his band, War. An informal jam session, nobody present was aware that this was to be Hendrix’s last public performance.
3. The Marquee Club – 90 Wardour Street
Hendrix played at the iconic Marquee Club in 1967 and many consider his gig here to be the take-off point of his astronomical popularity and success. His first gig broke all Marquee Club records and a staggering 1,400 filled the tiny venue.
4. The Cromwellian – 3 Cromwell Road
A three story club, casino, and bar, this venue hosted the first solo gig Hendrix ever played in London. Jimmy played “Hey Joe!” while jamming with Brian Auger.
5. The Troubador – 263-267 Old Brompton Road
The Troubador is one of the last 1950’s coffee houses in London. In it’s heyday it was one of the places to see and be seen by London’s literary and artistic elite. But its the underground basement where some of London’s most famous musicians met to drink and play. Hendrix played here during his first stay in London. It’s also worth noting that Elton John, Jimmy Page, and Bob Dylan were also patrons of The Troubador.
6. The Royal Albert Hall –
In 1967 and again in 1969 The Jimi Hendrix Experience played their largest London concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. The concert in the 1969 sold out in minutes and critics claimed this was one of the finest performances of Hendrix’s career.
7. Hendrix’s Flat – 23 Brook Street
This was Hendrix’s flat he shared with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham during the summer of 1968. Here he wrote new songs, gave interviews, and prepared for his headlining performances at the Royal Albert Hall. Hendrix was also fascinated by the fact that the flat previously belonged to composer Handel and Jimi bought records of Handel’s music to play at his flat. In 2016 the flat was turned into a museum and opened to the public. Find out more!
8. Hendrix’s Other Flat – 38 Montagu Square
This flat has a coloured musical history and was actually owned by Ringo Starr in the 1960’s. It was the first flat John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived in together and it’s also the location where Paul McCartney wrote Eleanor Rigby.
Hendrix rented the flat for a short time during his first stay in London but he was evicted not long after for painting all the walls black!
9. The Cumberland Hotel – Marble Arch
Hendrix was booked into the Cumberland Hotel on the 6th of September 1970. He had planned on staying here for over two weeks during his European tour. It was in his hotel room here that Hendrix would give his final interview for “Record Mirror” on the 11th of September, 1970. Although staying here, Hendrix spent little time in his room and frequently stayed with his new girlfriend, Monika Dannemann at her flat across town.
10. Hotel Smarkand – 22 Lansdowne Crescent
It was in this hotel, on September 17th/18th 1970, that Jimi Hendrix would spend his final night. Jimi’s girlfriend – the only person with him when he died – was renting an apartment at the Samarkand. According to Monika Dannemann, she brought Hendrix back to her hotel at 3:00am and they stayed up until 7:00am before both falling asleep. When she woke up around 11:00 she found Jimi unconscious. He was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead at 12:45pm, owing to the effects of an accidental overdose.
Soho, Piccadilly, and Chinatown Tour – This tour takes you through the ages as we discuss the history of the neighorhood, how it has evolved over the years, and what it’s best known for today!
Rock N’ Roll Tour of London – Learn about the music movement that took over Soho in the 60s and 70s, as well as all the entertainment superstars who got their start here!
Soho and Chinatown Food Tour – Soho and Chinatown boast some of the best restaurants in the city! Come sample some of our favorite cuisines from these eclectic neighborhoods.
Self-Guided Soho, Chinatown, and Piccadilly Food Tour – Unable to join us on our food tour? No problem! Use this self-guided tour to explore Soho’s foodie history on your own.
Other significant music sites in Soho: