Smitten In Seattle

Jimi Hendrix: An Evolution of Sound

Last week I attended a conference in Seattle. From the moment I landed in Seattle I could feel that I was really going to enjoy this city. And I did. In fact, I'm down right smitten with Seattle. I'd go back in a heartbeat if I could. After the conference I had some time kill before my flight home so took in two of Seattle's famous attractions: Pike Place Market and The Experience Music Project Museum.

As a Philadelphian, "The Market," as the locals say, reminds me of a Ninth Street and Redding Terminal Market mash-up. It's made up of commercial businesses, craftspeople and farmers who rent table space by the day.

One of the Market's major attractions is Pike Place Fish Market, where employees throw three-foot salmon and other fish to each other rather than passing them by hand. When a customer orders a fish, an employee at the Fish Market's ice-covered fish table picks up the fish and hurls it over the counter top, where another employee catches it and preps it for sale.

The Experience Music Project Museum (EMP) should have been called The Experience Hendrix Museum. I had contemplated renting a car and visiting Hendrix's grave but this was better. Everywhere you turned you saw Hendrix. His guitars, stage costumes, notebooks, song lyrics, album covers, pictures, and video. Even better, you heard Hendrix all over the museum. There were huge screens and televisions at every turn and each tv featured Jimi live and doing what he does best - playing the guitar like nobody before or after him. It really was great and because I was alone I didn't have to worry about boring anyone with how long I sat and watched.

Now, I'd like to point out that the EMP is located at the foot of Seattle's Space Needle. The EMP is a building like no other. The physical structure of the building was akin to The Guggenheim - in that the building is an attraction in its own right.

Seattle's Experience Music Project MuseumThe Experience Music Project Museum

One other joy associated with my trip was that my business colleague and long-time friend, Matt Henry, joined me at the conference for a few days. One particular evening we went to a vendor party at the top of the Space Needle. We ended up playing poker for charity. Matt kept saying to me,"You and me at playing poker in the Space Needle!"

Paul Altobelli and Matt HenryPaul Altobelli and Matt Henry ripping Seattle a new one.

Seattle's Space NeedleSeattle's famous Space Needle.

Listen / Download:
Jimi Hendrix - Driving South (BBC)