15 Jun Jimi Hendrix records at Electric Lady Studios for the very first time
On this day in 1970, Jimi Hendrix recorded at his newly built Electric Lady studio in New York for the very first time
The studio is widely known, largely thanks Hendrix’s final studio album, after which the facility is named. The studio was born after Hendrix and his manager Michael Jeffery purchased a newly defunct nightclub on 8th Street in Greenwich Village, New York, a venue that had played host to the legendary guitarist a number of times for impromptu shows and jam sessions. The duo’s original plan was to continue the live venue model of the club but advisors and friends convinced Hendrix to instead convert it into a professional recording studio, as the studio fees for the Electric Ladyland album were skyrocketing. From there, famed architect and acoustician John Storyk was brought in to manage all the structural details and from there Electric Lady studio, and the only artist-owned studio of the time, was born.
Construction of the studios took double the amount of time and money originally allocated, and had to be saved by a significant loan from the Warner-Brothers company. After it’s completion, Hendrix was tragically only able to record there for four weeks before his untimely death at age 27. Since then Electric Lady has played host to a number of legendary recording artists including John Lennon, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder and Led Zeppelin, as well as more modern artists like Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Lana Del Rey and Mark Ronson, who gave a tour of the studio last year.
Though the studio wasn’t opened until August 26th, today marks the anniversary of the first time Hendrix was able to record at his new studio alongside friends Steve Winwood and Chris Wood from Traffic. The group worked on a number of classic Hendrix and Traffic songs which were later included on various studio albums, including Hendrix’s classic final studio contribution, Electric Ladyland.