On September 24, 1966, Jimi Hendrix arrives in London, immediately begins a romantic relationship with Kathy Etchingham, experiences racism due to the color of his skin and gender-bending clothing, and wows fans of the British “blues boom” by performing with American bluesmen in town for the American Folk Blues Festival. At another club performance he stuns attendees with his unprecedented volume and skill at playing an “upside-down” Fender Stratocaster. This draws the attention of French superstar Johnny Hallyday, who invites Hendrix, who has yet to form a band, to open for him during his upcoming tour of France. By month’s end Hendrix has recruited Noel Redding as the first member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Redding, a guitarist, agrees to learn how to play bass.
Keywords: Kathy Etchingham, British blues boom, American Folk Blues Festival, Fender Stratocaster, Swinging London, Johnny Hallyday, racism, gender-bending clothing, Noel Redding, Jimi Hendrix Experience
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