A couple of years ago, I read Room Full of Mirrors, Charles Cross’s excellent biography of Jimi Hendrix. On one of my last trips to Seattle before leaving Microsoft, I took a trip to Hendrix’s grave. It struck me as somewhat distasteful that the family which had so rejected the man during his life could use his legend to aggrandise themselves. The white stones in the picture are various members of the Hendrix family. The book notes that Jimi’s beloved mother remained in a paupers grave at the boundaries of the cemetery.
The “Experience Hendrix” organisation is renowned for its fierce defence of the Jimi Hendrix trademark legacy and the stewardship by Jimi’s step-sister Janie has long been controversial so perhaps this latest wheeze shouldn’t be a surprise. However, I can’t help feeling that it says something about Gibson’s lack of confidence in their own heritage. Hendrix was, of course, most famous for playing a Strat but he also played a particularly iconic Gibson Flying V – just witness the photographs in the latest release of his greatest album, Electric Ladyland.
It’s of little consequence, but I was disappointed that music fans, especially the beginners at which this offering is targeted will be somewhat cheated by a package that has all the branding but none of the honesty of the original.