As I was driving to the Jimi Hendrix Memorial in Renton,

Washington, I felt as if I were dreaming. I couldn't believe it, I was really

going to be near Jimi.
(Click on picture for a larger view)
(Click on picture for a larger view)
           Located at the Greenwood Memorial

Park Cemetery in Renton, Washington, the

Jimi Hendrix Memorial is actually a Hendrix

family burial area. Jimi's mother, father,

grandmother, sister, as well as other

relatives are also buried around Jimi's

center monument. The various headstones

around Jimi are where his family lie. And as people in the Hendrix family pass on, they will fill the

family plot.  
        According to Jimi Hendrix's website (http://www.jimihendrixmemorial.com/history.html), the

Hendrix family memorial idea first came into being from the untimely death of Jimi Hendrix. The

following long excerpt explains why. Jimi's father, Al Hendrix,

"
created a family burial site, consisting of five plots; one for Jimi, half-brother Leon,

half-sister Janie, Al Hendrix and his wife Ayako 'June'. With Jimi being the first laid to rest in the new

family plot, a modest headstone engraved 'Forever In Our Hearts -- James M. "Jimi" Hendrix --

1942-1970' was crafted. Despite Jimi's grand musical style, the simple headstone was all that Al

could provide his son at that point.

Fourteen years later, with the passing

of Nora Hendrix (Al's mother) in 1984, a

decision was made to include her in the family

plot. As the years continued to move forward,

the Hendrix family, like most families, continued

to grow in significant numbers, with more than forty new additions to both immediate and extended

families.

        As the family continued to grow, Al Hendrix always kept a small flickering flame on his mind,

believing that creating a larger family plot where everyone could be buried together. Thankfully,

through all of this, Al Hendrix successfully regained the rights to his son's musical legacy in 1995.

After a two and a half year legal battle, the legacy of Jimi Hendrix had finally come home to whom it

rightfully belonged. With the control of the Hendrix legacy firmly in the grips of his family and the elder

Hendrix, Al finally reaped some degree of financial security as a result. With the legacy firmly back in

family hands, Al Hendrix was in a position to bring past wishes to life.

        As Mr. Hendrix described in an interview in 1999,
" 'with Jimi's music now in good hands, there

is one important job left for me to take care of for my family. I have decided to create a memorial for

Jimi at Greenwood Cemetery...A resting-place for a loved one is almost always a private issue dealt

with quietly by family members. However, I have always understood that Jimi in some way belongs to

his fans and the world...Understanding this, I recently joined with Greenwood Cemetery to create

plans for a beautiful memorial on behalf of Jimi. This is something I always wished I could have done

for my son, but I was not able to do so until now. With the creation of this new memorial, I am now able

to make sure that there is a place where all my family can be buried together. This brings me great

peace.'
"


(Click on picture for a larger view)
My interest in Jimi Hendrix developed in August 1999. I was on vacation with my cousin Teri

                                         
     and her family in Orlando, Florida. When we were

                                         
     there Teri and I watched Why do fools fall in love, the

                                         
     movie about singer Frankie Lymon. In the movie I did not know

                                         
     the importance of the song to me at the time, but Jimi Hendrix's
                                         
                                         
     song "Purple Haze" was playing in the movie's

                                         
     background as an actor portrayed Jimi Hendrix. From

                                         
     watching the movie I thought "Purple Haze" was a cool

                                         
     song, and I wanted to hear it again. On our last day in

Orlando Teri and I went to the Virgin Music Store at Downtown Disney. I was walking around

the store just looking at the CDs, and all of a sudden I saw Jimi Hendrix's

Experience Hendrix: The Best Of Jimi Hendrix

album.

        I didn't know anything about Jimi Hendrix nor

his music, but something told me I had to buy his

Best of album. It seemed as if Jimi spoke to me

that day, telling me I had to buy his album. When

I first played
The Best of Jimi Hendrix album I

recognized Jimi's song "Foxey Lady" from the movie
Wayne's World. I also recognized

"All Along The Watchtower" from the movie
Forrest Gump. (On a side note, I also brought

my first Britney Spears album on this day.)

        After playing and liking a couple songs on Jimi's album for a few weeks I decided to try

to get into more songs on the album. When I played Jimi's "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" for

the first time, that was it...my life forever changed...I knew how great Jimi was.  

Ever since I played "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" I have been a fanatic Jimi Hendrix fan.

I have eleven Jimi Hendrix albums one of which being a four CD box set, and four Jimi

Hendrix dvds, my favorite being the
Band of Gypsys: Live at the Fillmore East, a  

documentary which discusses Jimi's music career from acidic hard rocking days of The Jimi

Hendrix Experience (Jimi's band with Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell), to the earthy soulful

funky days of the Band of Gypsys (Jimi's band with Buddy Miles and Billy Cox). So with all

this said, visiting Jimi Hendrix's Memorial was long overdue for me.