Jimi Hendrix

Groovy SFO Airport celebrates 50th anniversary of the ‘Summer of Love’


Pretty much all of San Francisco is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ‘Summer of Love’ with exhibits, festivals, tours and happenings.

And San Francisco International Airport – groovy as always – is no exception.

On Saturday, May 13, the city will be celebrating Flowers in your Hair Day” to honor the pop song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” that became a “flower-power anthem” for the hippie movement.

On that day, local radio stations will play the song at noon and flowers will be distributed at various spots throughout the city – including in Terminal 3 East at SFO.

At 11 a.m. United Airlines’ specially-numbered flight 1967 will arrive from Los Angeles – at Gate 67 – and  a path of flower decals will lead passengers to Madame Tussaud’s selfie-friendly figures of Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia, and Jimi Hendrix.

The pups from the airport’s Wag Brigade will be on hand (wearing tie-dyed outfits) and, at 11:30 a.m., the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus will perform the song of the day.

SFO’s Summer of Love celebration kicks off earlier, however, with the May 4 opening of SFO Museum’s exhibition of a dozen photographs taken by Elaine Mayes at the Monterey Pop Music Festival June 16-18, 1967. That festival helped launch the ‘Summer of Love’ and featured early performances by The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and others.

The exhibit “Elaine Mayes: It Happened in Monterey” is located post-security, near Gate 76 in Terminal 3, Boarding Area F through August 10, 2017.


Jimi Hendrix at the Monterey International Pop Festival, June 18, 1967. Photo: Elaine Mayes. Courtesy SFO Museum


Janis Joplin at Monterey Pop Festival. Photo by Elaine Mayes, Courtesy SFO Museum

Jimi Hendrix exhibit at Sea-Tac Airport

SEA Hendrix Display

Jimi Hendrix exhibit at SeaTac airport.

The music program at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) just keeps getting better.

In addition to live music performances in the terminal and a robust service featuring the music of Northwest artists such as The Ventures, Nirvana, Soundgarden, The Posies, Quincy Jones and Heart in overhead music, videos, safety and public information announcements and on a multi-channel web radio player accessible in the airport and on-line, the airport now has an exhibit about one of Seattle’s most iconic musicians: Jimi Hendrix.

The exhibit – Jimi Hendrix: West Coast Seattle Boy – comes courtesy of the EMP Museum (which has loads more Jimi Hendrix material on display) and includes reproductions of family pictures, rare concert photos, posters and illustrations hand-drawn by Hendrix. Look for the Hendrix exhibit by Gate A1.

Souvenir Sunday: Jimi Hendrix and Orca Poop

Each Sunday at StuckatTheAirport.com is Souvenir Sunday: a day to celebrate the inexpensive, offbeat and locally-linked items you can buy in airport gift shops.

This week’s finds are from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where, back around Valentine’s Day, I was surprised to find these Jimi Hendrix lunch boxes on sale for just $4.99.

SEA-TAC Jimi Hendrix purses

At first I thought the tins were on sale because they’re red, because Jimi Hendrix was from Seattle and because they had a romantic saying on them: “I only have one burning desire.”

I passed them by, but only later realized exactly why the price was so low: I’m pretty sure the line in the song is actually “I have only one burning desire.”

Even better! Now I’m hoping there are still some of these offbeat – wrong – Jimi Hendrix souvenirs at Sea-Tac next time I pass through.

In the meantime, I’ll present to you another candidate for the “Chocolate Souvenir Poop Hall of Fame.”  Seems like every airport has its own localized version of this sweet.

SEA-TAC airport souvenir

Have you found a great souvenir at an airport gift shop? If it’s inexpensive (around $10), “of” the city or region and, ideally, a bit offbeat, please snap a photo and send it along.  If your souvenir is featured on Souvenir Sunday, I’ll send you a special airport or airline souvenir.

Souvenir Sunday at London Heathrow Airport

London Airport souvenirs

There’s never enough time to do everything I want to do in London, but on my most recent visit I managed to squeeze in quite a lot in just three days.

Activities were wedged in between a meal seasoned with performances by contortionists and flame-embellished dancers at a West End cabaret bar named Circus, Afternoon Tea at The Langham’s Palm Court and whiskey tasting (before and after dinner) with the whiskey sommelier at The Athenaeum Hotel.

Whiskey tasting at The Athenaeum in London

Forks-down highlights included a visit to the funky top floor apartment Jimi Hendrix lived in from 1968-1970 (more about honoring Hendrix here); a Fat Tire Bike Tour past iconic monuments, memorials and palaces (more about that here), and walking tours of upscale, low-key Primrose Hill and East London, which is brimming with hip art galleries and stores chock-full of clothing by up-and-coming designers.

Hendrix fan waiting for tour of Hendrix's flat

Hendrix fan waiting to tour Jimi Hendrix's London flat

I couldn’t afford to buy anything in any in-city shops, so that left souvenir shopping at Heathrow Airport.

London souvenirs

Souvenir Sunday was coming up – the day Stuck at the Airport looks at fun, inexpensive items for sale at airports – so I focused on items selling for under £10, which right now equals about $16.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Souvenir at Heathrow - Princess Di Postcard

Giant Princess Diana postcard

London Souvenir - post box banks

Heathrow Airport Souvenir - post box banks

And of course:

 Beatles tote bag

Meet the (scary-looking) Beatles. That's not really Ringo is it?

If you find a great souvenir while Stuck at the Airport, please take a photo and send it along. Your souvenir may be featured on a future edition of Souvenir Sunday.

[Note, my trip to London was part of a research trip for several articles in progress unrelated to whiskey, cabarets and shopping and was hosted by Air New Zealand, Visit London and The Athanaeum.  Thank-you.]

Love the layover: Where to honor Jimi Hendrix

Today, Saturday, September 18th, 2010 marks the 40th anniversary of the death of rock & roll icon Jimi Hendrix, the Seattle-born songwriter and musician Rolling Stone Magazine and many others have crowned the greatest guitarist in rock history.

[My original version of this story is on msnbc.com: Museums honor guitar legend Jimi Hendrix]

Jimi Hendrix at London apartment, 1969.; ©Barrie Wentzell Photography, courtesy Handel House Museum

Hendrix died in London on September 18th, 1970 when he was just 27 years old. To mark the anniversary of his death and to honor his memory, museums in London and several cities in the United States are displaying Hendrix-related artifacts and holding special events.

Here are some of the places you can join fans in honoring Jimi Hendrix.

Through November 10th, London’s Handel House Museum (where George Frideric Handel once lived) is hosting Hendrix in Britain, an exhibition celebrating Hendrix’s life and musical legacy.

Items from Hendrix in Britian exhibition at Handel House Museum

What’s the connection between Hendrix and the famed Baroque composer? The Handel House Museum has its administrative offices in the London apartment where Hendrix lived from 1968 until his death in 1970. Tickets are sold-out for tours of the former apartment, but next door the museum is displaying a wide range of Hendrix-related artifacts, many on loan from museums and collectors around the world.

The exhibit includes the custom Gibson guitar Hendrix played at the Isle of Wight Festival in August 1970, handwritten song lyrics for Stepping Stone and Love or Confusion, his British work permit and the black Westerner hat and Dandie Fashion-designed orange velvet jacket with floral print Hendrix made famous on stage and in filmed footage. The Handel House Museum is also sponsoring Hendrix-themed walking tours, concerts and panel discussions.

Jimi Hendrix iconic black hat

The infamous fuzz and feedback-filled version of the Star Spangled Banner Jimi Hendrix played during his set at the 1969 Woodstock Festival is considered one of the greatest guitar performances ever.  Hendrix images, audio and video clips are featured year-round at the Woodstock-focused Museum of Bethel Woods in Bethel, NY. But on Saturday, September 18th museum spokesperson Shannon McSweeney-LeMay says Hendrix will be honored with “a simple wreath at the monument that marks the original Woodstock festival field” so that guests have a place to honor his memory.

Poster shop Woodstock photo by Doug Lenier, courtesy Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Photo by Doug Lenier, courtesy Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Jimi Hendrix claimed Black, Mexican and a bit of Cherokee heritage, so he’s included in an exhibition running through January 2, 2011 at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Hendrix-related artifacts included in Up Where We belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture range from a leather necklace and a leather pouch to a colorful, full-length, patchwork leather coat on display for the first time.

In Cleveland, Ohio, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (which inducted the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1992) has a permanent Jimi Hendrix exhibit featuring more than 50 artifacts. On display are guitars, concert posters, photographs, handbills, drawings and a couch from Hendrix’s childhood home.

Couch from Jimi Hendrix's childhood home

Among the articles of Hendrix’s clothing on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the outfit he wore at the Love and Peace Festival in Germany for what turned out to be his final concert performance on September 6, 1970.

Outfit worn by Jimi Hendrix in last concert

Here’s a short video from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum about Hendrix and this particular outfit.

In Hendrix’s hometown of Seattle, the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum (EMP) also has a permanent Hendrix gallery. Items from the museum’s extensive Hendrix collection are cycled in and out, but right now visitors can see the white Fender Stratocaster Hendrix played at Woodstock, guitar shards from the Monterey Pop Festival and the Saville Theater, Hendrix’s diary, his address book and other artifacts.

Courtesy EMP – Hendrix’s handwritten lyrics to Black Gold

To mark the 40th anniversary of Hendrix’s death, the EMP is also displaying the handwritten lyrics for Black Gold (one of the songs the musician was working on before he died), black and white photos from his funeral, including a shot of Miles Davis, and several other items.

And as they do year-round, on the 40th anniversary of the Hendrix’s death, you can be sure many fans will make a special visit to Greenwood Memorial Park in Renton, Washington. There, a tasteful but hard-to-miss, memorial marks Jimi Hendrix’s gravesite.