Ron: Seattle fails at honoring its hometown music icons

Sep 18, 2017, 3:03 PM | Updated: 3:04 pm

Jimi Hendrix died on this day 47 years ago. Did you know that?

jimi hendrix

This image of Jimi Hendrix is featured above Ron Upshaw’s desk. (Ron Upshaw, KIRO Radio)

RELATED: Jimi Hendrix park opens in Seattle

Because I didn’t, until I received an email alert which prompted me to look up from the desk where I prepare for the Ron and Don Show. I saw the framed lithograph I have of Jimi. It makes me smile.

In my opinion, we don’t do a very good job here in Seattle of honoring our icons. Hendrix is on the Mt. Rushmore of Rock & Roll guitarists in just about every critic and rock historian’s book. You’d hardly know he’s a hometown kid.

Yes, there’s a small statue on Capitol Hill, and a park honoring Jimi finally opened up a few months ago. That only took 46 years to put together.

Jimi died 47 years ago and his music still sounds like it’s from the future. I always say that if “All Along The Watchtower” or “Purple Haze” came out today, it would sound just as mind blowing as it did in the late ’60s.

When he died, his body was found in London. He had to literally leave the country to become a star. The Beatles, The Who, and Eric Clapton would all clamor to see him play then compare notes afterwards. They had never seen anyone like him. And neither has the world since.

RELATED: Another legendary music locale booted from Seattle

When you fly into New Orleans, the airport is named after a musician. Louis Armstrong International Airport. The surviving members of the Beatles have been knighted by the Queen of England. And Seattle shrugs its shoulders when people like esteemed rock historian Charles Cross says, “Don’t you think we should honor our hometown heroes?”

We should do better. You should walk through this town and see mementos of Jimi, Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, and Chris Cornell. Maybe people around the world would be interested to know about the history of Pearl Jam or Soundgarden or arguably the greatest, most creative guitarist that ever lived.

The “Jimi Hendrix Intergalactic Airport” sounds pretty good to me.

Ron and Don


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