The fantastic writer Rachel Kaadzi Ghanash has a new piece in The Believer about Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios and the role it’s played in contemporary black music:
Hendrix recorded only a handful of songs at Electric Lady before his death, in 1970, including several that appeared on his posthumous album, The Cry of Love, but the list of albums produced at the studio is legend: Stevie Wonder recordedTalking Book there, Led Zeppelin mixed some of Houses of the Holy there, David Bowie did Young Americans, and Patti Smith decided early on that Horses could be made nowhere else.
Tucked into the whirl of Greenwich Village, Electric Lady could have become a priceless real-estate curio. Instead it has continued to be a place where great American music is born. Unlike many historical sites in Manhattan, Electric Lady Studios has a strict but logical door policy: no tours, no strangers. For the most part, the only people admitted are those who have come to make music–the artists and their retinues.