Jimmy Hendrix, rock icon, lived in Brook Street, Mayfair in the 1960s. It served a few purposes for him at the time in that it was a fairly commercial place, there were a lot of shops. It wasn’t a particularly residential area meaning he could play music as loud as he wanted at night as he had no neighbours to disrupt.
It was all happening in swinging sixties London. Carnaby Street was really hitting its mark and Brook Street isn’t too far away from Carnaby Street at all. Brook Street was a great location for Jimi Hendrix. There were lots of music venues in the area, the venues that were around at the time; you had the Marquis, the Speakeasy and the Scotch of St. James’s.
He could nip over to Ronnie Scott’s and play an impromptu jam session or invite people back round to his afterwards as well. It worked for him. And it wasn’t expensive. He was paying £30 a week at the time which in today’s money is about £400.
Hendrix was gigging constantly and they are the gigs that he was selling tickets for and are documented. If you add on top of that, what he was doing at the Marquee Club or Scotts of St James’s and then jamming for a couple of hours with people afterwards, and then he was going back to his flat and he was playing again. He was a relentless performer. That’s the world in which he lived.
You can learn more about Jimmy Hendrix in London in Episode 63 of our London History podcast.
Hazel Baker is an award-winning London Tour Guide and qualified CIGA guide who delivers guided walks and private tours in London. View all of Hazel’s walking tours.