August 20, 1968 – Hendrix Plays The Mosque

Times Dispatch music review the next day:

He calls it the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and like it or not, that’s what it is.
Hendrix is a soft-spoken Negro. He plays his innovative style of music with two English boys, and While the sound is white, what Hendrix himself does is alternately intellectual or frenzied.
He was dressed for last night’s Mosque concert in bellbottom cerise pants. He also wore an exotically embroidered vest over a black shirt, two belts — one wide and gold — and three ornate rings. His carefully clipped hair stands high and round like a topiary tree.
Hendrix, who taught himself guitar by listening to old rhythm and blues artists, has put that style of music aside.
Instead, he has originated a music of his own, using amplifiers and electronics as a part of it.
The result is a lot of noise and harsh sound, but listen carefully and there are some startling musical effects emerging.
Such as when he uses the shrill sound of feedback as a key note in his harmony, or when the overtones that swell over and beneath his music become an intrinsic part of it.
Intricate Figures
Other than that, his musical understanding is shown in the intricate figures he weaves on the guitar, often holding the instrument tight against his chest, as if he were a human resonator. At other times he is strictly a sensational showman, as when he swings the guitar between his legs, or lifts it high and seems to chomp on it like an ear of corn. All time he keeps playing, never losing the thread holding the song together.
Between shows the 24·year-old sensation of Europe and the United States, was a warm, but shy person, tired from the hectic grind of one-night stands, on an eight-week tour, but happy to make his music and have it appreciated.
Traveling in the same musical package is a group known as The Eire Apparent, a group of terribly young and strangely dressed young men – one looked as if he had borrowed his Aunt Fanny‘s hat – who display a good deal of talent; and a three man group called The Soft Machine that features a topless drummer, a leather-jacketed organist and a guitarist, complete with Stetson hat, who looked like Cat Ballou, as he slumped over his guitar.
It was almost impossible to bear the music out front, as it was so amplified. But backstage, where the resonance wasn’t as strong, the music the two lesser—known groups made was much more palatable. Too bad they can’t give up those umbilical cords that tie them to their sound boxes, or at-least hear how they negate their own efforts with the amplification.
When the amplifiers are lowered, and the music emerges a bit more, one realizes that Hendrix is playing blues and protest songs, as much as he is fiery, possessing ones.
He dedicated “I Don‘t Live Today” to “all the self-appointed soldiers in St. Petersburg, Chicago, Vietnam and, or yes, the American Indian.” The song ends in a special effect like a catcall. His “Red House Blues” displayed his original harmonic technique around the old jazz form, but his version a squalling, wailing blues — the lament is there, but it is shriller. In fact, if the music is representative of Hendrix’ own soul, then his soul seems to be a shrieking and demanding a place in the sun.

More Than Presidents

From Hollywood Cemetery‘s FaceBook page:

Presidents Circle is known for the two United States Presidents that rest here, but there are also several other notables in this section.
Matthew Fontaine Maury (known throughout the world as the Pathfinder of the Seas), Joseph Reid Anderson (one of Richmond’s most influential citizens and founder of Tredegar Iron Works – the largest in the South), William Henry Haxall (one of the four visionary founders of Hollywood in 1847), Moses Drury Hogue (first pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Richmond), and Lawrence Waring (an influential Richmond physician) are also buried here.

New Construction For Civil War Museum

The Times Dispatch has an article on new construction beginning at the American Civil War Museum at Tredegar:

The museum marks a major milestone on that path Monday, when it will break ground on a 29,000-square-foot main exhibit hall and collections storage and preservation center to be built into the hillside at the Tredegar site, incorporating the brick ruins of the old ironworks that powered the Confederate war effort.

The new museum building, at roughly $25 million, will feature a 75-seat immersive “experience theater” that greets visitors on the first floor that aims to tell the story, from all sides, of the war that almost pulled the United States apart. Key themes will revolve around individual decisions and how they were shaped by events.

10 Years of and A Salute To John Murden

10 years ago on this date, John Murden created the first post for this website, a mention of a YouTube profile of Pine Street resident, Nathan Motley.

Murden started because he saw the potential of community news sites after doing his Church Hill People’s News site for a while and wanted to help create more sites for more neighborhoods. In turn, this also played into the aggregation of these sites for and today,

At the time, as President of the Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association, I was very interested in this because I was dealing with a very public controversy regarding VCU’s plans to encroach further into Oregon Hill. While the neighborhood had its own email discussion list (still going, by the way) and a rudimentary website for the neighborhood association, the new allowed the neighborhood to have its own voice and respond to some of VCU-slanted media coverage. My own first post on this site was August 18, 2007 about Oregon Hill Home Improvement Council volunteers.

Anyway, part of the reason to mention all this is that John Murden has announced that he is planning to step down as editor of the Church Hill People’s News site at the end of the year. Of course, we wish him the best and salute him for all he has done for Church Hill and Richmond in general.

As for the future of, we shall see. After writing over 4,000 posts, I would welcome new contributors or even assistant editors for the website. I have had a few in the past, but as Murden knows, not everyone sticks with it. More community advertising support would also be welcome.

This Saturday: History at Sunset: Tredegar in the World Wars

From the Facebook event page:

This Saturday at 7pm, there’s a history tour at Tredegar. Though the Tredegar Iron Works is most often associated with the Civil War, it was also part of the “Arsenal of Democracy” in both World Wars of the 20th Century. Join Ranger Mike Gorman for a unique look at the labor issues and production of one of Virginia’s most important industrial sites.

For more information, you can contact Ranger Gorman at this email address:

RVA Magazine Explores Hollywood Cemetery



An old piece of stone often holds more meaning than one might suspect, particularly in a city like Richmond. Although stone carved into monuments or statues may generate friction, a great deal more of it can remind us to ruminate on not only our history, but ourselves.

On a recent afternoon, a tour guide from The Valentine took RVA Mag on a little stroll to discover some history behind one of Richmond’s most cherished and popular landmarks, Hollywood Cemetery.

John Notman designed Hollywood Cemetery in 1847 and named it for its immense number of holly-wood trees. At the time, Richmond was experiencing the effects of the industrial revolution and much of the city was falling victim to industrialization–the pollution, smog, overpopulation and factory life was the reality for Richmonders.

Tredegar Hosts “Refugees From Slavery” Thursday

The American Civil War Museum at Tredegar is hosting a talk on Thursday at 6 pm entitled “Refugees From Slavery” as part of their ‘Foundry Series’.

From the FaceBook event page:

What do Dadaab, Kenya and Zatari, Jordan have in common with the U.S. Civil War? Present-day refugee camps share important similarities with Civil War contraband camps. Discover how men, women, and children who fled from slavery to contraband camps influenced emancipation, the progress of the war, and the redefinition of U.S. citizenship.


Chandra Manning, Ph.D., Georgetown University.
Dr. Manning’s most recent book, Troubled Refuge: Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War, about Civil War contraband camps, won the Museum’s 2016 Jefferson Davis Award.

Program Partners:
ReEstablish Richmond
CWS Richmond Refugee Resettlement
Artist Alfonso Perez Acosta

For more info and tickets, click here.