Jimi Hendrix returns to Seattle as a superstar on February 12, 1968.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 6/14/1999
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 1365

On February 12, 1968, Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) makes his hometown superstar debut in a concert in the Seattle Arena. He had returned to Seattle the day before.

The performance was almost a sellout, even though the concert was announced only seven days before.

Born James Marshall Hendrix (1942-1970), the rock star grew up in Seattle and dropped out of Garfield High School at age 16 to work. He left Seattle to pursue his music career and did not return for seven years.

Garfield High School intended to award him an honorary high school diploma. He arrived for the ceremony and in the assembly, a student asked him how long he had been gone. He replied, "About five thousand years" and walked off the stage. He never received the diploma.

After the Army, Hendrix played in clubs in New York City until he was convinced to move to London where he made his home and became famous. He died in 1970 in London from a lethal combination of prescription drugs and alcohol.


Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 251; Chris Welch, Hendrix: A Biography (New York: Quick Fox, 1978); Tom Nolan, Jimi Hendrix: A Biography in Words and Pictures (New York: Sire Books, 1977); David Henderson, Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child of the Aquarian Age, (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1978); Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 13, 1968, p. 38.

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