Blue plaque to mark Purple Haze legend

Jimi Hendrix ANL-150402-134115001
Jimi Hendrix ANL-150402-134115001
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All eyes will be on the front of the Red Lion Hotel in Spalding Market Place at 2pm on 
Friday, February 20.

Here, 48 years after the event, a blue plaque will be unveiled to commemorate the occasion that rock legend Jimi Hendrix stayed at the hotel.

Bank Holiday Monday, May 29, 1967, was the night Spalding came to life and took its place in rock and roll history.

Way before the days of Woodstock and Glastonbury, Spalding was the place where it was at – for one night only.

Four thousand rockers and hippies descended on the town amongst unfounded fears that they would tear the place apart.

They were all headed for the Bulb Auction Halls in Winfrey Avenue – now the site of Holland Market – to dance non-stop from 4pm to midnight to the sounds of six of the top bands of the day.

Most memorable of these performers was the late Jimi Hendrix.

It was not Hendrix, however, who was the headline act. Much to his annoyance this honour went to Geno Washington with his Ram Jam Band, although it was said that local band Sounds Force 5 were brought in to attract local music fans.

They had the honour of being the support act for the programme which included, along with Hendrix and Geno Washington, top names Cream, Pink Floyd, The Move and Zoot Money.

All of these had been signed up for the gig as unknowns before reaching the height of their fame. This was reflected in the fees they were paid. Incredibly Jimi Hendrix only received £128 for his 
appearance.

Even more incredible was the cost of admission. Just £1 to see all these greats!

Now, nearly half a century later, Spalding and District Civic Society, with the assistance of Nigel Wilkins of the Red Lion along with Colin Ward of Sounds Force 5 and Coun Elizabeth Sneath, are marking this eventful occasion with a permanent blue plaque.

The honour of unveiling the plaque will go to members of Sounds Force 5 to celebrate 50 years since they first got together.

Members still living 
locally will be joined by 
founder member Rob Munton who is travelling over from his home in Australia especially for this anniversary.

It is doubtful that Spalding will ever again see the likes of that memorable night in May 1967 which was at the start of the season that became known as the “Summer of Love”.