Jimi Hendrix in Vancouver

Posted by Daniel on Mar 8, 2010 - 4 comments

There's a new Jimi Hendrix album out tomorrow. I know, I know, he's been gone for a long time. In fact, his fans are marking the 40th anniversary of the legendary rocker's death this year. But he is still producing from beyond the grave, thanks to unreleased recordings in the bank that he made before his death.
I mention this because Hendrix, who was born in Seattle, spent much of his youth in Vancouver. His grandmother Nora Hendrix lived here, in the downtown eastside, and when young Jimi's home life got a little complicated he would come up here and stay with her.
Nora Hendrix was one of the eastsiders interviewed for the remarkable book, Opening Doors: Vancouver's East End, compiled by Daphne Marlatt and Carole Itter for the provincial government's Sound Heritage Series in 1979. She lived around the area that came to be called Hogan's Alley, a predominantly Black neighbourhood off Main Street not far from the train station.
It is gone now, but a group that includes the writer Wayde Compton has been working for several years to commemorate Hogan's Alley. You can find out about their work here and here.