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The reason why Ringo Starr evicted Jimi Hendrix from his apartment


If you were to think up some of the ways that Jimi Hendrix is connected to The Beatles, being flatmates and housing buddies might not be the first detail that comes to mind. However, Hendrix actually rented a room from Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, but things weren’t entirely smooth sailing. In fact, there were some serious bumps along the road.

Ringo Starr began renting an apartment to Jimi Hendrix in 1966 as he had an available basement flat in the home that he owned on 34 Montagu Square, Marylebone, London. He was subletting the apartment, which was shared between Hendrix himself, his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham, his manager Chas Chandler, and Chandler’s girlfriend, Lotta Null. Their rent for the entire place was only £30. Could you imagine? Even if it is equivalent to £479.43 in today’s money, that’s still a steal by all accounts.

Seeing as Hendrix was already enjoying some major career successes by this point, his eventual eviction didn’t come from an inability to pay rent. So, it begs the question, what exactly happened to get Jimi Hendrix evicted from the apartment in which he wrote ‘The Wind Cries Mary’? Well, he failed to stick to other parts of his renter’s agreement.

During a particularly bad acid trip, Hendrix had a bit of an episode, and by “episode”, I mean he made a relatively permanent mess by throwing whitewash all over the walls. After this, Ringo Starr had to put his foot down and evict the musician for ruining his apartment.

However, The Beatles didn’t hold too much bad blood following these events, continuing to support Hendrix as a musician and even remaining friendly with him—support that didn’t go unnoticed during some of the hostility he experienced when touring the UK for the first time. His manager even said: “We got a tremendous amount of help from people like Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, and John Lennon.”

Even after the apartment saw its fair share of destruction, it wasn’t finished hosting some great stars. In 1968, John Lennon and Yoko Ono rented the apartment for three months together, and this was where Lennon and Ono shot their cover for the album Two Virgins. 

It seems that Ringo Starr, in addition to being one of the greatest musicians of all time, was also an incredible host extraordinaire to plenty of his peers.

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