Comrades reflect on Jimi Hendrix’s Harlem history

Jimi_Hendrix_1967_uncropped_t580Friday, Nov. 27, rock & roll aficionados across the country commemorated the 73rd anniversary of the physical birth of cultural icon Jimi Hendrix with numerous festivities. Locally, the annual tribute at B.B. Kings in Times Square featured a few of his band members performing renditions of his classic material.

Most of the U.S. embraces Hendrix as one of its own, from the hippie, flower-lovechild generation, but little mention is made of his grassroots affiliations while in Black Mecca during the rebellious Black Power era of the 1960s.

“He lived in Harlem with Faye, then moved to 96th Street and Central Park West,” reflected TaharQa Aleem, who along with his twin brother, Tunde Ra, were members of one of Hendrix’s bands, The Ghetto Fighters. “… All of his New York musical career, before he became famous, was in Harlem.” 

Aleem continued down memory lane as he recalled a young, undiscovered raw talent from Seattle, Wash., playing at Harlem’s popular nightspots of that time, namely Palm’s Café on 125th Street, and Small’s Paradise at 135th Street and 7th Avenue, as well as in local parks and subway stations.

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AUTODIDACT 17 | 12/17/2015, 1:13 p.m.

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