Sunday, April 11, 2010
Are You Experienced?
A Vancouver Jimi Hendrix connection? Although Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1942, his father, Al Hendrix, grew up in Vancouver, and Jimi's grandmother, Nora Hendrix, continued to live here when Al moved to Seattle in 1940. As I was bicycling from the West End to the Winter Farmers' Market in East Vancouver yesterday (a return trip of about 15 km) I passed this odd little shrine to Jimi in the Strathcona neighbourhood, which was once home to Hogan's Alley, Vancouver's black neighbourhood and entertainment district before it was razed to make way for the Georgia St Viaduct. Although I haven't found anything definitive on the web, it seems that this building (or one next door which has since been torn down, depending who you're talking to) was once where Hendrix's grandmother either owned and operated a restaurant (Vie's Chicken and Steak House) or was simply a cook who worked there. Either way, it seems that young Jimi spent a lot of time with his grandmother, living with her some of the time, and used to practice guitar on the premises.
The building is not open to the public, although apparently you can call the owner for a tour by appointment. By the looks of the encroaching "urban renewal" in the background, this odd little building may soon be facing some pressure from real estate developers.
Title for this post taken from the Jimi Hendrix song of that name. Also, leaning against the fence is my trusty bicycle.