It’s no secret that Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is also a pretty decent guitarist who idolizes hometown hero and the best rock-and-roll guitar player ever, Jimi Hendrix. Having come into a rather large pile of cash when the little company he started with Bill Gates hit it big, Paul had been collecting Jimi’s guitars, studio equipment, and clothing for some time when he opened the Frank Gehry-designed Experience Music Project museum in 2000 to house it all.
Starting Saturday November 17th they’ll be dedicating a larger portion of the facility to Paul’s first love as they open an exhibit called Hear My Train A-Comin’: Hendrix Hits London. It celebrates what would have been Jimi’s 70th birthday (coming up November 27th), and focuses on the 9 months he lived in London and became the hottest thing in that swingin’ scene before coming home to conquer America at the Monterrey Pop Festival in 1967. On display you’ll find hand-written lyrics, personal instruments (including charred and broken Stratocasters), a fair amount of his flamboyant wardrobe, and rarely seen concert footage, and as is usual for the EMP, the exhibit opens with star-studded musical events.
The first event on Saturday November 17th at 1 PM is a round-table discussion called Mitch Is Real! A Drummer’s Summit focusing on the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Mitch Mitchell, with celebrated Seattle-based drummers Michael Shrieve (Santana), Barrett Martin (The Screaming Trees, Mad Season), Jason Finn (Rodeo, Love Battery, The Presidents of the United States of America), and Mike Musberger (The Fastbacks, The Posies, Capping Day, Love Battery, and Mitch Mitchell’s drum tech during the Experience Hendrix tours until his death in 2008). They’ll be discussing the technique and musicality of one of rock’s greatest drummers, and looking at rare archival footage of Mitch in action.
And at 7 pm Saturday November 17th it’s Hear My Train A-Comin’: The Concert, with Hendrix’s music being covered by Jimi’s Army buddy and Band of Gyspies member Billy Cox, Isley Brother (Jimi played with the Isley Brothers before going to England) Ernie Isley, Aerosmith rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford, Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready, Guns-N-Roses bass player Duff McKagen, Blues guitarist Eric Gales, Black Crowes and Govt. Mule guitarist Audley Freed, singer Brandi Carlile, and local drummers and panel-discussers Barrett Martin and Mike Musberger.
Advance Admission is $25 for EMP members, $3o for the general public, and includes admission to the exhibit. And they will be serving adult libations, so 21+ please!
More details on the EMP website here.