Park on, Jimi.
Seattle has finally cut the ribbon on its new Jimi Hendrix Park — the culmination of decades of effort to honor the city’s native son and one of the all-time greatest rockers, who died in 1970.
The 2.5-acre park formally opened Saturday and features Hendrix-inspired sculptures, an amphitheater, a butterfly garden and a purple walkway embedded with lyrics — purple haze, all around, if you will.
The late musician’s sister, Janie Hendrix, founder of the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation, helped bring Hendrix’s legacy to life. The park was designated in 2006, but construction did not begin until late 2015.
The delays are something of a metaphor for Hendrix’s career. As a teenager, he was basically run out of his hometown on a trumped up theft charge and joined the Army before returning and finally turning to music.
But early reception to Hendrix’s style of electric guitar was muted. One critic said Hendrix had taken “the blues out of the Mississippi Delta and sent it to Mars.”
But his breakout performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 cemented his place in rock and roll. He was inducted into the genre’s Hall of Fame in 1992.
The park is next to Seattle’s Northwest African American Museum and walking distance from Hendrix’s childhood home, which was torn down in 2009.
Hendrix died in 1970 at age 27 from a drug overdose. Fans said the park is nice, but not necessary as a lingering tribute because Hendrix’s music is eternal.
“He’s not dead; all you have to do is drop the needle,” Jerome Whitaker told The New York Times.
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