Handel & Hendrix Slept Here

While holiday window browsing, listening to carols heralding shoppers, humming along, I happened to come across, hidden behind a couple large stores, the Handel House, at 25 Brook Street, in London’s Mayfair district. I had time before my dinner reservation, so figured why not see what the hullabaloo was about.

Indeed, George Frideric Handel, German composer, (1685-1759) did live here from 1723 until his death. Within the walls of this five-story Georgian home, Handel wrote several operas as well as his famous oratorio Messiah, which he created in 24 days. 

Jump ahead 246 years. American rock star Jimi Hendrix  (1942-1970)  rented the same place, settling in with his then girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham. 

Beyond that coincidence, and last names ending in “H,” similarities end. However, the heritage and musical contributions to humanity of these disparate artists have been carefully curated into exhibits complete with heirlooms, furniture, ephemera, clothing, and music.

Hendrix, according to a volunteer docent, hadn’t known much about Handel, but when informed about the previous tenant, purchased a couple albums to add to his eclectic, expansive record collection. 

Handel played organ and harpsichord; the left-handed Hendrix played his guitar upside down. Still, both wrote music and lyrics by hand, and each decorated his home to reflect the times they lived. Both bedrooms are reproductions of the originals; Handel’s constructed from detailed inventories; and Hendrix’s from copious photographs.

Handel’s Organ

Handel’s Bedroom

Hendrix’s bedroom

Hendrix Accessories

I visited a few friends and cousins, ate at Nopi, saw a play and thoroughly enjoyed London, an old friend to me that always feels like home.








About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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6 Responses to Handel & Hendrix Slept Here

  1. Solveig Bang says:

    Wonderful! I must look them up 🙂

    Love M


  2. How interesting! Lisa, I think you are still a reporter at heart; who would ever think of mentioning those two musicians in the same sentence?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. M+N says:

    Fascinating. Always interesting to see the twists and turns of historical coincidence.


  4. Thanks for this suggestion – I’ve never been. The juxtaposition of two great and completely different musicians is amazing isn’t it? #WhyIloveLondon

    Liked by 1 person

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