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47 Years Ago: Jimi Hendrix Arrives in London

Jimi Hendrix
George Stroud, Getty Images

Guitarists all over England were in awe when they saw Jimi Hendrix — a then 24 year old prodigy — play for the first time on their soil. Sept. 24, 1966, marks his arrival in London, an experience that would forever change rock history.

Accompanied by his manager, Chas Chandler, Hendrix entered London virtually unknown but left revered and envied by all. Having first seen the legend playing at New York’s Cheetah Club, Chandler took Hendrix on as a client and helped him form the Jimi Hendrix Experience, consisting of bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell.

While in London, Hendrix performed alongside the Eric Clapton-fronted Cream. Onstage with the trio — rounded out by drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce — Hendrix performed ‘Killing Floor.’ Clapton, who would quickly befriend Hendrix afterwards, has stated many times that he was stunned by the talents the young musician displayed on that evening.

But notoriety wasn’t all the guitarist gained on his visit overseas. His first night in London landed him a girlfriend. He began a relationship with Kathy Etchingham — one that would last until Feb. 1969.

Next: Top 10 Jimi Hendrix Songs

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