Blue plaques celebrate Forest Gate's links to Jimi Hendrix and De Underground Records
- Credit: Andrew Baker
Plaques have gone up to mark where Jimi Hendrix penned a musical "masterpiece" and an underground recording studio had its home.
Hendrix's song Purple Haze was completed in London on Boxing Day in 1966 in the dressing room of the Upper Cut Club in Forest Gate.
The once star-filled venue has since been demolished, but Neandra Etienne - who lives in the borough - campaigned to have the location memorialised with a plaque in Woodgrange Road.
Neandra said: "I am so happy the Newham heritage plaque has been installed because everyone will know Jimi Hendrix has a connection to Newham."
Hendrix’s brother Leon joined in celebrations to commemorate the plaque's unveiling, giving an online talk live from his home in the USA.
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Historian Lloyd Jeans said: "In this song, Jimi Hendrix used the chord of E7 - as is appropriate for Forest Gate - but to give it a striking dissonance he added a sharp ninth on top.
"So influential is this masterpiece of rock music that the chord is now known the world over as the Purple Haze chord."
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Cllr Winston Vaughan, who chairs Newham Council and is one of Forest Gate South ward's councillors, said: "My colleagues and I are delighted to have this plaque in our ward."
A second plaque also now marks the spot in Sebert Road, Forest Gate, which De Underground Records called home from 1991 to 1996.
Run by Mike De Underground, DJ Randall, Cool Hand Flex and Uncle 22, the shop and its labels were responsible for releases including Lennie De Ice’s jungle track We Are I.E.
Together the DJs and producers linked with the shop were influential in the development and dissemination of jungle, hardcore and drum and bass.
De Underground Records itself was born out of a drive by its owners to record and get home-grown UK talent noticed in the face of then US dominance of the dance-music scene.
On the plaque's unveiling, Uncle 22 - whose real name is Desmond Fearon - said: "I still can't believe it. It's nuts. It's amazing.
"Thank you to Newham for recognising us and what we did in that little cubby hole of a shop. It's something to show your kids and grandkids."
Both plaques were raised at the end of Newham Heritage Month, which included a project devised by Rendezvous Projects, capturing oral history interviews with key figures in De Underground Records.