Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Jimi Hendrix and Jane Austen Are Friends!!!!!!.


  Johnny Allen Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942 in Seattle ,Washington  and died on September 18, 1970 in the London Borough of Kennsington in the heart of London from reputedly a drugs overdose.
 Jane Austen was born in Steventon Hampshire on the  16th December 1775 – and died in Winchester on the 18th July 1817 reputdly from a disease called Addisons disease a problem with the immune system, which causes it to attack the outer layer of the adrenal gland (the adrenal cortex), disrupting production of steroid hormones aldosterone and cortisol causing a break down of the immune system. Not an unsimilar affect to Hendrix’s overdose. In both cases their bodies stopped. . One hundred and sixty nine years separated their births. That fact would have bothered neither of these two geniuses if they had ever met.



They both spent time in London and enjoyed the metropolis and this might appear at first their only connection.  However, Hendrix  had a great respect and affinity with the 18th century especially in the person of the German Composer, who emigrated to England ,George  Frederick Handel, who also, like Hendrix,, came to London for fame and fortune. Hendrix loved The Messiah and Handels Water Music. Hendrix was a gatherer of all sorts of music which he then assimilated through his own creative mind into new and exciting compositions. He did it with the Beatles Sergeant Peppers anthem and also the sacred, Star Spangled Banner which he reinvented in his own style at the Woodstock Festival and gave it meaning to a new generation. Then of course there was all his own original compositions made about life’s many ,”Experiences.” 
In comparing Jane Austens compositons with those of Jimi Hendrix,Cross Town Traffic has connections with Austen’s Northangar Abbey, The Gods Made Love, is comparable to the love of  Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Hendrix wrote Little Miss Strange and of course Austen had a few strange ladies portrayed in her novels, Fanny Price and Emma Woodhouse for two. Hendrix was concerned  with money matters, homes and relationships just as Austen was. There are many ideas and themes shared by the two. In many cases the same sentiments have been expressed by both.

So one day, let us say,  Jimi Hendrix was walking along The Strand towards The Royal Courts of Justice. The reason,  let me reassure you, a mere matter of a minor smoking misdemeanour. Who should be advancing towards him from the other direction but Miss Jane Austen herself on the way to pay her tea bill at Twinings, also on The Strand.

JH.  Hey is that you Jane? Great to see you girl.

JA.  Hello Mr Hendrix and how are you faring? 

 J.H. I've been reading the lyrics of that amazing dude Bob Dylan, man?

J.A. Mr Dylan? I do not recall that gentleman.

J.H.  I love Dylan, man.  I only met him once, back at the Kettle of Fish  on MacDougal Street in New York.

JA Ah New York, named after that most delightful of Yorkshire cities. Such a shame it is no longer within the power of this realm.

JH.  Yeh cool,Jane. Peace to all men.I hate war. Doods die man.I met Dylan  before I came here  to England. I think both of us were pretty cosmic at the time. Our minds were with the stars. Do you dig? Hey, hows things with you? Where are you hanging out  now girl? What you doin in London Jane?

JA It is so delightful to see you again Mr Hendrix. I am here visiting my brother Henry, who live s a few hundred paces from this very spot, in Henrietta Street.  However, ordinarily,I am living with  my mother, such a nuisance but that is by the by and my sister inlaw in Southampton along with my best friend Martha. Martha is such a problem.  She chases after vicars you know. There is a Dr Mant in Southampton she just will not leave alone whatever I say to her and no matter how much I implore her. I tell her it will all end in tears.

JH. Check that sis, hee hee hee. It’s the other way with me girl. I’m the one chasin the chicks round here. You dig!! But  hey Jane  Hennrietta Street, Its so cool. I really dig street musicians. I get inspiration for my song writing in places like that. Real cool man.

JA We hope to visit the theatre while we are here. I know Kean is performing in Lear.By the way,I do like your miltary attire Mr Hendrix. I didn't know you were a military person. You quite remind me of my dear brothers . They look smart too in their Royal Naval uniforms.If I recall we met at The Marquee Club in Soho last was it not?  A gentleman most proficient on the guitar was playing, a rather strident number if I remember, called White Room. Mr Eric Clapton I think. He certainly played a virtuoso performance displaying much passion.I could feel my cheeks quite blush at all the energy he manifested in his bodily movements. His suggestion of a white room with black curtains has quite influenced us all in Castle Square as to our choice of décor. My ears didn't stop ringing  for days.

JH.   I got blacked out windows in my pad too. I need head space. Time to think. Time to create man. I live next to where that dude Handel lived. He was some musician.You, ever checked out his stuff?

JA Yes, I have heard Mr Handels Messiah performed in St Pauls Cathedral. A most exhilarating experience. I sang so heartily with the chorus. I don’t like to complain but I must say, Mr Hendrix,  our house in Southampton is such a bother. Our garden is putting in order by a man who bears a remarkably good character, has a very fine complexion, and asks something less than the first. The first man we hired was, in your parlance Mr Hendrix, not a cool cat. The shrubs which border the gravel walk, he says, are only sweetbriar and roses, and the latter of an indifferent sort; we mean to get a few of a better kind, therefore, and at my own particular desire he procures us some syringas. We talk also of a laburnum. The border under the terrace wall is clearing away to receive currants and gooseberry bushes, and a spot is found very proper for raspberries.

JH Hey Jane  that sounds cool . Gardens are pretty neat. I love the smell of flowers. I love inhaling. My idea of a garden would be to have a swimming pool. I want to get up in the morning and just roll out of bed into a swimming pool. Swimming in a cool pool followed by some chic giving me a massage. Woo! I can just see it now. 

JA A swimming pool? I don’t think I have ever heard of one of those. It sounds very interesting.Is it like the baths in Bath? As far as the inside of our house goes the alterations and improvements  advance very properly, and will be made very convenient indeed. Our dressing table is being constructed out of a large kitchen table belonging to the house. We have the permission of Mr. Husket, Lord Lansdown's painter -- domestic painter, I should call him. Domestic chaplains have given way to this more necessary office, and I suppose whenever the walls require no touching up he is employed about my lady's face.

JH. Hey Jane I love your wit. I could do with a bit of that  in my songwriting. I can just see the painter doing things to  my lady’s face.

May I ask, how is your latest musical endeavor proceeding Mr Hendrix? I must come and hear you when you next perform. I enjoyed the conflagration you started when you set your guitar alight last time I was at The Bag o Nails club, I think that was the place. All that consternation and screaming. I wish we had balls like that  in Southampton and Bath. It was all so, humerous and enlightening. Such fun.

JH I’m writng a number called Little Miss Strange.Its goin on my new album Electric Ladyland..

JA Oh Mr Hendrix I do like that title. Electric Ladyland. All my novels have ladys in them who wish to acquire lands. I am not sure I understand the term electric though. You must tell me some time over a ,"joint." That, is, what you called that stick of twisted paper with brown leaves inside, that I smoked with you? I really thought you were going to set me alight like you set your guitar alight. Ha! Ha!However, it did make me feel so good. I felt quite giddy and skittish. I went home afterwards and wrote a scene in my novel, Northangar Abbey. The heroine, Catherine Moorland,  begins to imagine all sorts of terrible things. I don’t think I could have created that scene without the profound influences that seemed to overcome my whole being smoking that ,"joint." What an unusual name, ,"joint."

JH.  I’ve just remembered. I’m looking for pretty girls to appear on the album cover of Electric Ladyland. Jane. Would you like to pose?

JA Oh Mr Hendrix, pose, I do not pose.But thank you anyway. I shall look forward to seeing the cover though.  It is a great delight to have met you once again. I do hope we shall meet again soon. Perhaps, as I said, at another of your concerts. Next time do refrain from smashing your guitar into the stage. You did look so aggressive and I know you are not at all like that.Such a sweet man.. I could almost write you into one of my novels. Now do keep the flaming guitar though. That is so jolly and of course warming to the senses and the excitement it causes is so great. What, is that you do, by the way, with your instrument sticking up from between your legs? You look so excited as you seem to polish the shaft.I really must go now.I have to get to Twinings before he closes.

JH I dig that Jane.

Oh, my mind is so mixed up, goin' round 'n' round_
Must there be all these colors without names,
without sounds?
My heart burns with feelin' but
Oh! but my mind is cold and reeling.

Is this love, baby

or is it confusion?

JA Oh Mr Hendrix, you are a one. I must go Mr Hendrix, Goodbye.

And so our two geniuses part. One to pay a fine for drugs possession and the other to pay a bill for tea,
As Jane crosses the road to Twinings door she mutters in a distracted sort of way.

JA  Born Under A Bad Sign,

Been down since I began to crawl

If it wasn't for bad luck

Wouldn't have no luck at all

Oh my goodness. Now where did that come from?  It just popped into my head.I must tell Mr Hendrix about it next time I see him.


The Official Jimi Hendrix website:

Guitar World Jimi Hendrix's Final Interview from September 11, 1970

Rolling Stone 1969 Sheila Weller interview with Jimi Hendrix  

Jane Austens letters  Collected and Edited by Deirdre Le Faye

Emma    by Jane Austen (Penguin Classics)

Northangar Abbey by Jane Austen (Penguin Classics)

Mansfield park by Jane Austen (Penguin Classics)

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Penguin Classics)

Persuasion by Jane Austen (Penguin Classics)

Sense and Sensibillity by Jane Austen (Penguin classics)


  1. LOL! I'll have to congratulate you on your creativity, Tony! If you were still teaching, perhaps this would be a great way to introduce Jane Austen to the London teens, oh yeah!

    By the way, isn't the general view nowadays that Jane Austen died of breast cancer, not of Addison's?

  2. Hi Anna. Good to hear from you. Yes you are probably right about the cause of Jane's death. Addisons disease had such a brilliant description though. Couldn't resist using it!!! ha! ha!

    Mariyln and I went to see the new Jimi Hendrix biopic the other day, "All is by my side."He was quite brilliant in his creativity. I had this wicked thought. What if Jane and Jimi met? I went from there. Hope the children are well? Good to hear from you.

  3. Johnny Allen Hendrix?
    Shurly some mishtake.

    James Marshall Hendrix.

  4. David, on his birth certificate he was named Johnny Allen Hendrix. Later he was called James Marshall Hendrix. I think Chas Chandler suggested he change the Jimmy to Jimi.

  5. Tony, that is brilliant! Jimi and Jane, two of my favourite people, but I would never have thought to put them together! We have a beautiful watercolour portrait of Jimi, painted at our request by an artist friend. Wake up to it every morning.

  6. Glad you enjoyed it Jean. Marilyn and I went to see the Hendrix biopic, "All is by my side," in Wimbledon on Monday night. The idea of putting the two of them together somehow just seemed a good idea!!!
    I thought that you and your husband would be Hendrix fans!!!!

  7. Ha! Tony - are you on something yourself here?? - but that aside, this is brilliant!- I agree with Anna that this would be a great way to introduce Jane Austen to today's London youth! I always have a good chuckle when seeing the blue plaques of both Handel and Hendrix right next to each other - the history of music and London on one street - I do think Jane would have appreciated Hendrix and all that he wrote. You need to publish this more widely - can I link to it on facebook and my blog??

  8. I've never touched the stuff, Deb. Glad you enjoyed it.(I mean the article!!! Can't cast aspersions.)