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c. 1967-1968

Offstage with Jimi Hendrix: putting the kettle on, having a smoke, just waking up

Rock stars! They're just like us

Yeah, I'm up.

What was it like to live with Jimi Hendrix? There are plenty of people happy to tell you: former flatmates, bandmates, girlfriends, groupies. But why not see for yourself?

In these images, we see Jimi at ease, waking up and putting the kettle on and, well, doing nothing much really. Onstage the (arguably) definitive “wild man of rock,” offstage Jimi was—like John Lee Hooker and Prince—a shy man, and extremely polite.

The color pictures were taken in 34 Montagu Square, in London. Jimi didn’t own it, he was leasing the flat.  His landlord was Ringo Starr, and Jimi paid Ringo £30 per month—until Ringo booted him out, for throwing whitewash over the walls while high.

The monochrome images were captured a year later, at the former Drake hotel in New York. Photographer Roz Kelly simply knocked on Hendrix’s hotel door, waking him up.  Hendrix let her in, and immediately returned to bed—and fell asleep.

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Both sets seem to show a man unafraid to be who he was.  Just one crucial element is missing: his guitar.

Petra Niemeier – K&K / Redferns / Getty Images
Petra Niemeier – K&K / Redferns / Getty Images
Petra Niemeier – K&K / Redferns / Getty Images
Petra Niemeier – K&K / Redferns / Getty Images
Petra Niemeier – K&K / Redferns / Getty Images
Petra Niemeier – K&K / Redferns / Getty Images
Petra Niemeier – K&K / Redferns / Getty Images
Petra Niemeier – K&K / Redferns / Getty Images
Roz Kelly / Michael Ochs Archive / Getty Images
Roz Kelly / Michael Ochs Archive / Getty Images
Roz Kelly / Michael Ochs Archive / Getty Images
Roz Kelly / Michael Ochs Archive / Getty Images

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