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Jimi Hendrix: Every Picture Tells A Story

When acclaimed music photographer, Colin N Purvor first came to us in 2014 with his collection of negatives, he believed they were heading for the bin as they were so heavily water damaged. But when we discovered this classic image of Jimi Hendrix amongst his archives, we were desperate to save it and offered to try to restore it to its former glory.

This beautiful image was taken by Colin in 1967. At the time Colin took pictures for a magazine called 'Beatwave', a short-lived publication affiliated to the pirate radio station Radio Caroline. Colin went about his business carrying a heavy Mamiya twin lens reflex kit and a flashgun, because as he says with a cheeky grin, "that big camera got him into lots of places for free!". Colin recalls entering  Jimi's dressing room before a gig at the Astoria, London - no security men in those days. After the initial hello's Jimi spotted Colin's copy of Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde songbook (the deluxe version) and asked to look at it. As he became engrossed Colin spotted a photo-opportunity and took this candid image. We estimate he is reading the lyrics to 'Visions of Johanna'.

Fans will know that Blonde on Blonde pre-dates Jimi's superb recording of 'All Along The Watchtower' for Electric Ladyland; his version of the song so inspired its author, that Bob Dylan adopted Jimi's version for his own use. This wonderful picture is a seminal link between two of music's greatest icons. Click here to buy this limited edition print

© Colin N Purvor To buy this image please link the link below

© Colin N Purvor

The original water damaged negative was in terrible condition, as shown in the photo opposite, before the team at Rockarchive started working on it. It took weeks of painstaking work by Melissa Green to restore it to its original glory.

Our master printer, Stuart Nicholls, then made the final adjustments to the images and created the superb fine art prints, which are available to buy in a limited edition of just 30.

Colin N. Purvor was delighted with the results. Upon seeing the final restored image he said

"Had we not touched base, my negatives were deemed for the trash, all having water damage. It was only Rockarchive's enthusiasm to attempt salvage that the works were handed over to them. And with patience, dedication and skill, were able to successfully restore many images. The finished prints amazed me for their stunning quality. Represention by rockarchive.com has been beyond my expectations."

Rockarchive has a fantastic collection of additional music photography featuring images of Jimi Hendrix taken by renowned photographers such as Ray Stevenson, Barrie Wentzell and Stefan Wallgren. These include:

© Ray Stevenson

Jimi Hendrix performing at Christmas on Earth concert at Olympia, London on December 22nd 1967. An all day & night concert event. The superb event was described in one of the promotional posters as as an 'All Night Christmas Dream Concert '.

The lineup included : Jimi Hendrix Experience, Eric Burdon, Pink Floyd, The Move, Soft Machine, Tomorrow. The Who were supposed to play but couldn't make it and were replaced by the unbilled Traffic. 

This fantastic image by Ray Stevenson was never before printable until the advent of computer scanning. The limited edition print is available to buy here

© Ray Stevenson

The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Jimi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding) onstage during a sound check at the Marquee Club on 2nd March 1967

Jimi Hendrix played a private performance for the shooting of the German TV show Beat Club. The setlist included the performance of the songs "Hey Joe" and "Purple Haze". After this gig Hendrix started his first UK tour as supporting act for the Walker Brothers and released his first album "Are You Experienced?"

This limited edition fine art print by Ray Stevenson is available to buy here

© Barrie Wentzell

Music photographer Barrie Wentzell recalls "Jimi appeared live on Lulu’s T.V. show and caused a sensation when he stopped playing ’Hey Joe’ during the middle, announcing, ’I’ve had enough of this!’ He started instead to play ’Sunshine of my Love’, a song by my favorite band Cream!."

"I saw Jimi by the window and asked Lulu if I could take a picture of them together. Jimi was a BIG star but agreed to a snap. This picture was taken later, with Jimi in a reflective mood and a great outfit."

This great print is available to buy here

© Stefan Wallgren

Jimi Hendrix onstage at the Isle of Wight festival, 30th August 1970.

Music photographer Stefan Wallgren recalls, "due to an overrun of sets from artists performing before Hendrix, I fell asleep waiting for him to perform. I was then awoken at about 12am by the sound of Hendrix's guitar, it instantly made me wide eyed."

"I grabbed a friend and we determinedly headed as close to the front as possible."

"At the front my friends and I took it in turns to share what equipment we had, I took all the cameras and lenses and confidently strolled up to security at the front barriers pretending to be important and was able to photograph Hendrix uninterrupted at the very front."

This iconic print is available to buy here

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