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Wednesday, 27 November, 2002, 14:13 GMT
Seattle marks Hendrix's 60th
Jimi Hendrix
The guitarist died when he was only 27, in 1970
The city of Seattle is marking what would have been the 60th birthday of pioneering rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix.

Hendrix, famed for his outrageous live shows, died of asphyxiation after choking on his own vomit in 1970, aged 27.

The guitarist, who had been playing solo since 1967, had become one of the biggest artists in the rock world.


The Seattle city government has never given any due to this man's cultural legacy

Charles Cross,
biographer
Earlier he had become a sensation with the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Despite the city not having an official memorial to their famous son, various events have taken place.

They have included a party at the Experience Music Project, a $240m (£157m) music museum built by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

The party featured blues guitarist Buddy Guy.

'Criminal' oversight

But the birthday has also highlighted the lack of official commemoration Hendrix has recieved in the city of his birth.

There are no street names, no public buildings named after him nor any prominent statues.

Garfield High School, which Hendrix was a student at, has a bust and mural of him, and there is an area dedicated to him in the city's Woodland Park Zoo.

But campaigners have said the time has come for him to be properly appreciated.

Hendrix was the first major black rock musician to front a band with white backing members. And his influence on guitar playing remains to this day.

Seattle
Campaigners say Seattle has not made the most of its famous son
Hendrix biographer Charles Cross said the oversight is "almost criminal".

"The Seattle city government has never given any due to this man's cultural legacy," Mr Cross said.

'Innovation'

Mayor Greg Nickels' spokeswoman Casey Corr said the city's lack of memorials was not a deliberate snub.

"The further we get away from his death, the more we can appreciate his innovation," she said.

Campaigners said they wanted a street named after the musician - at the very least.

Meanwhile, the rock star is also being honoured in Paris, where an exhibition will show the remains of one of the guitars he burned on stage at the Californian rock festival in 1967.

It has been flown over from the US with a plethora of personal belongings.

The exhibition, at the Cité de la Musique in Paris's 19th arrondissement, has been running since October.

See also:

28 Oct 02 | Entertainment
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