Play On, Electric Lady

Electric Lady Studios will celebrate its 42nd anniversary this August. Situated amid a row of down-scaled Greenwich Village shops at 52 West Eight Street, this is the famed music studio founded by Jimi Hendrix in 1970. An oddity in its day because of its (very psychedelic) originality, it’s now an oddity due to its staying power. While other big name NYC studios have long since shut down (the Hit Factory, the Record Plant, Sony Music Studios, etc) the Electric Lady is alive and well and going strong.

Eddie Kramer, Hendrix’s favored engineer and a force in the studio’s creation, has a simple explanation for its longevity.

“In a word: vibe,” he said, sitting in a small lounge by the control booth for one of Electric Lady’s three recording rooms. We wanted to create an environment where Jimi could feel really happy, and feel that he could create anything.”

And I’m sure that Jimi felt extremely happy in his Electric Lady; its ambiance was guaranteed to evoke his electrified impulses.

“Instead of following the usual studio model — a big, impersonal box tended by buttoned-down staff engineers — it was a psychedelic lair, with curved walls, groovy multicolored lights and sci-fi erotica murals to aid the creative flow.”

Unfortunately, Jimi’s gig at his beloved Electric Lady was very brief indeed: the legendary guitarist died a few weeks after the opening gala on August 26, 1970. Nevertheless, he left a considerable library of tapes from sessions at the studio. The roster of fellow music legends who have worked there (such as the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder and Led Zeppelin) have further complemented the memory of Jimi Hendrix via the Electric Lady.

Source: NY Times

Jimi Hendrix 1942-1970