The New European: The musical messiah next door

© Barrie Wentzell

Two centuries apart, Handel and Jimi Hendrix set up home in the same London property from which they proceeded to redefine music. Sophia Deboick reports on a common thread linking the two great pioneers

George Frideric Handel and Jimi Hendrix shared two things: musical genius and a London address. The Handel House Museum at 23-25 Brook Street, Mayfair – the home of the German master of the baroque for 36 years – rebranded as Handel and Hendrix in London last year, its third floor offices having been ‘restored’ to their bohemian shabbiness of the late 60s when Hendrix lived there. The attraction is now sold as ‘the only Hendrix home in the world’.

The London experience of these two men, 200 years apart, was very different, but both saw their careers reach maturity in the city. While both are heavily identified with their birth countries – the Seattle-born Hendrix was a superstar on a scale only the US could produce, his performance of The Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock symbolising the new American identity of the Vietnam generation, and Handel was the propagator of continental styles of opera practiced in Hamburg – they became honorary Londoners…

The New European, 16 June 2017, pp. 42-43.

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Photo: Barrie Wentzell