They say that if you say you can remember the Swinging Sixties, you probably weren’t there.
But you’d like to think that if you’d been lucky enough to see Jimi Hendrix play Croydon or Purley, you’d remember something of the … ahem… Experience.
As a new exhibition opens in Hendrix’s former home in central London, the very excellent Great Wen blog has unearthed that as well as playing gigs at the usual venues, such as The Marquee and the Albert Hall, just over 40 years ago the man regarded as the greatest guitarist ever also played several less well-known south London venues.
Just think what it must have been like to see the Jimi Hendrix Experience play at the Bromley Court Hotel, the Ram Jam Club on Brixton Road, the Tooting Granada, or, most notably, The Star Hotel, Croydon and the Orchid Ballroom, Purley.
“Hendrix in Purley, now that’s a side of swinging London you don’t hear much about these days,” the Wen writes.
We are told that The Star Hotel – or was it The Star Tavern? – long since gone, was on London Road, at West Croydon, before the turn-off for the Mayday Hospital. “A scruffy sort of place,” apparently, but there’s also a suggestion that it was a noted music venue in the 1960s, with The Who having played there, too.
We’d like to hear from our regular reader, if you managed to see Hendrix or other great acts at The Star or Purley’s Orchid Ballroom. What do you remember of the gig? And what other great acts played at the venue? When did it close, and why?
And, for those at the other end of the age scale, what are the best live music venues in Croydon today? What have been the best music acts seen by you in Croydon?
Let us know.