Session 3

In Session 2, we looked at the grammar and uses of relative clauses. Now we will put that knowledge into practice as we take a closer look at the Handel House Museum with its Deputy Director, Martin Wyatt, before reading about the life and death of the other famous musician who lived in that building, Jimi Hendrix.

Sessions in this unit

Session 3 score

0 / 11

  • 0 / 5
    Activity 1
  • 0 / 6
    Activity 2

Activity 2

'He spoke through his guitar'

The legendary rock star

Jimi Hendrix is a legendary name in rock music and 20th Century popular culture. Hopefully, you already know that he lived in London in the 1960s and that he lived in the same building which Handel had lived in 250 years earlier!

But what else do you know about him? Before you continue to the next activity, try to answer these questions about him:

  • He lived in London and became famous in Britain but where was he from?
  • What was his band called?
  • All Along the Watchtower was one of his most famous songs but who wrote it?
  • When and where did he die? How old was he at the time of his death?

 

In the introduction to this article, adapted from a BBC Witness On This Day report (you can see the original here), you can find the answers to the above questions. How many did you get right?

Jimi Hendrix collapsed and died suddenly during a party in London on 18 September 1970.

The Seattle-born musician, who was only 27 years old, was credited with revolutionising guitar-playing and modern music in his few short years.

He was born in the USA but Britain was where he would rise to fame with his band The Jimi Hendrix Experience. One of his most famous songs was 1968’s All Along the Watchtower, which was actually written by Bob Dylan one year earlier.

Following his death, his father, Al Hendrix, set up a company which aimed to preserve Jimi's legacy. He called it Experience Hendrix.

Now read the rest of the article. It features fans of Jimi Hendrix who talk about their memories of his music and his legacy. When you have finished, try the quiz!

Read the text and try the activity

Fans’ tributes to Jimi Hendrix:

I was only nine years old, but I was already a fan, as my older brother had bought me "Smash Hits" the year before on my birthday.

We were on the way to the airport to pick up my brother, who had a one-week pass from service in Vietnam, when I heard a news flash that Jimi had died.

By this time, I was already a fanatic, trying to convince anyone who would listen that this man was phenomenal.

I also was aware that Hendrix's music was helping my brother cope with the stress of war.

So, I was the one who broke the news to my brother, and to this day, I can still see the look on his face when I broke the news.

It was as if a family member had died.
Joe Calles, USA

Hendrix injected me with the true seeds of revolution, to look at the world and see it the way you want to.

Through his music, he taught me to look beyond the machinery (going through the motions of everyday life), and look at the processes which we use to interpret life and how we ultimately take in everything around us.
Mark Compton Bowers, USA

Jimi quite simply, reinvented modern guitar playing as we know it. Taking from the blues, his creativity and tone set the standard for rock guitar. His creations became the language with which all modern guitarists speak.

There has never been another musician in modern times that has made this type of impact in rock music. Fly on, little wing.
Tom Guerra, USA

I can remember exactly where I was when I learned that Jimi Hendrix was dead.

My band was playing at the Bag O' Nails, which was a club in London, and we were walking about outside during a break.

We saw the news billboard and were stunned.
Phil Wade, Eyes of Blond, Norwich.

To do

There were a few examples of relative clauses and some new vocabulary in the article. This quiz will test you on them!

Experience these Jimi questions

6 Questions

Read the sentences from the article and choose the best answers

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End of Session 3

That was an interesting look at the lives and legacies of two very different but very important musicians. In Session 4, we will hear from some members of the Learning English team about personal possessions that are important to them. You will also have the chance to think about items that are important to you. 

Session Vocabulary

  • rise to fame
    become famous

    preserve
    keep something in its original state

    legacy
    memories, ideas, and objects from the past that are important in the present

    phenomenal
    amazing, unbelievable, fantastic

    cope
    deal with a difficult situation

    interpret
    (here) find the meaning of

    billboard
    a large board which is usually outside and is used for advertising or announcements