Today Clan Ross spent a full day in Seattle, Washington. We had a great day poring through the Pike Place market, checking out the sights, and of course I took a lot of pictures. Afterward, we headed back to our hotel in Renton, where Mme. Ross went to technical school and on the way we visited a very special place.
James Marshall Hendrix, a.k.a. “Jimi” Hendrix, has been a music icon for decades. He needs no introduction, but in order to caption some of the photos that I uploaded to Flickr, I had to do some research in the world of Wikipedia, the bane of school teachers everywhere.
Did you know that Jimi’s name was James Marshall? I bet a ton of people know that.
Did you know his original given name was Johnny Allen Hendrix? Neither did I. It turns out that his parents changed his name when he was four in honor of his father (James Allen Ross Hendrix) and Jimi’s late brother (Leon Marshall H.)
His father was drafted to serve in WWII three days after he married, and didn’t return until 1945. In the meantime, after Jimi was born his mother often left him in the care of others while she went out and partied. After his dad returned, his parents struggled with poverty and alcoholism. (Where was the VA? I have no clue.) All of Jimi’s younger siblings were given up to foster care and adoption; his parents divorced when he was nine, and the court awarded custody to his father.
So we who have ingested his message think, wow — how did he manage to still cultivate this reputation for love and brotherhood in the age of free love? You would think the man would be scarred!
But he was. According to all the biographers and their sources, Jimi Hendrix was a dick when he drank. It would drive him to “rare bursts of atypical, physical violence.” Heck, one friend said that drinking turned Jimi into a bastard, while another friend said that when Jimi drank hard liquor it would “set off . . . a destructive fury he almost never displayed otherwise.”
So . . . I just learned all of this. Just to caption some photos.
Did I mention moving in next to this guy? Oh yeah! So we noticed that in the neighborhood adjacent to that cemetery there were several properties for sale, and I thought that it would be cool to (a) live this close to Seattle, (b) live this close to the ocean, (c) live this close to Jimi Hendrix’s grave site, and maybe I can stop by every day on the way home from work with a garbage bag and clean up all the crap that all the knuckle-dragging troglodytes have decided to leave behind . . . I mean, I understand the guitar picks. Hell, I predicted the guitar picks — but the beer cans and bottles? The crayons? All the junk and tchotchkes? There’s a sign when you walk up that basically says, “don’t leave your crap here.”
What part of that don’t you understand?
At any rate, while the asking prices for those houses are out of our current range of affordability, I wonder: what causes a person to come here and pay homage to Jimi friggin’ Hendrix with an empty can of Steel City Reserve, the beer so awesome it once made me pass out before I finished the first can?
Do I want to live in that neighborhood?
Here’s a better question: after I catch a few of those punks littering up a legend’s memorial . . . will they want to come back?
Signs point to “not if they like their gonads.”
If you find yourself asking, “where does he get his information?” Check WIkipedia and their sources.
To see all the pictures I took of the memorial, check out my Flickr album here: