When Jimi Hendrix Played In Ilkley

Jimi Hendrix is undeniably one of the most iconic musicians of the 20th century. In the 4 years before his untimely death in 1970, he acheived many great successes, becoming the highest-paid musician in the world and headlining both Woodstock and the Isle of Wight Festival. 

His music has stood the test of time for almost 50 years and his influence can still be heard in many modern genres of music today. 

But did you know that Jimi Hendrix once performed in Ilkley, just before he was catapulted into super-stardom?

In 2006, the BBC investigated rumours of his fabled performance in the West Yorkshire spa town and heard from both lucky fans who attended and the organizers.

© Jim Marshall Photography LLC

Kate, from Baildon, spoke to the BBC and described:

“My children didn’t believe me when I said I saw Jimi Hendrix at the Troutbeck!

“The police stopped the show after Jimi had played several numbers – brilliantly – because they said the room was too crowded.

There certainly wasn’t a riot. We were a well-behaved lot!

“It’s now a posh nursing home and my granny was staying there for a while to recover from a hip replacement operation.”

She says: “The Cow and Calf Disco on a Friday night and local clubs such as the Little Fat Black Pussy Cat were my favourites.

She goes on to remember Bradford’s vibrant music scene at the time:

“That was in an old sewer under Sunbridge Road, I think. I remember seeing Kiki Dee there before she was famous.

“I was a long-time fan of Julie Driscoll, too. We painted long fake eyelashes under our eyes because of her!”

As well as finding this avid Hendrix fan, the organiser of the event, Danny said “After seeing Jimi on Top of the Pops I booked him for three nights at £50 per night. The Sunday was at the Troutbeck Hotel in Ilkley.

“By the time Jimi was due to play there, he’d become the hottest act in the country.

“The atmosphere was electric as Jimi took to the stage. But it was over all too soon when the police stopped the show.

“After the gig and back at the flat we were hanging out with Jimi and the band – now there’s a story to dine on.

“My recollection of Jimi was that he was quiet, polite, friendly and funny and he enjoyed a nice cup of tea. Wish I’d had a video camera!”

Peter e-mailed us to tell us he was also there at that historic gig in Ilkley to see the great man.

He remembered: “There must have been 300 to 400 fans in a small dance hall and all I could see was the very top of Hendrix’s head.

“By this time they may well have played something but I had not heard anything recognisable so, congratulating myself on at least being there and ready for a great night, they hit an opening chord.

“Then, ‘Sorry, folks, the police are closing this event down. Everyone out!'”

“I will forever remember being at a Hendrix gig, hearing him play. But what it was, I’ll never know. Happy times!”

Were you at the gig? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch with us via the comments below or on our Facebook Page.

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