Jimi Hendrix at 23 Brook Street, 1969 © Barrie Wentzell
The neighbouring London homes of two musical greats, the Baroque composer George Frideric Handel and the rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix, have been merged into one museum. The Handel & Hendrix in Mayfair is due to open on 10 February after a £2.4m, two-year restoration.
Until recently, the staff of Handel House at 25 Brook Street used Hendrix’s former bedroom as office space. But the museum decided to restore it with the help of his former girlfriend Kathy Etchingham, as well as photographs of Hendrix, who “did most of his interviews from his bed”, according to Michelle Aland, the director of Handel & Hendrix. The re-creation includes his Epiphone guitar, record collection and favourite board games (Monopoly and Twister).
There will also be a new exhibition space and a performance studio for concerts pitting the music of the 1960s against the 1730s. The Heritage Lottery Fund provided half the funding, which the museum matched though donations, ticket sales and its own reserves.