The Lost Image of Jimi Hendrex
Jimi Hendrix The Lost Then Found Jimi Hendrix

It was all happening in '60's London, January 1967.
I was a 22-year-old East End kid trying to make it as a photographer.

One morning I had a call from the editor of Rave magazine."Mike, have you heard 'Hey Joe' by Jimi Hendrix? It's just entered the top 40. Jimi is going to be near Covent Garden at 3 o'clock but he's only got 20 minutes. Can you do it?"

Jimi walked in, he was imposing, a vision wearing a crimson Napoleonic velvet jacket - he was 25, very shy, polite and hardly said a word. He wore an intense perfume that lingered long after he left. I felt instinctively that he needed a halo so I backlit his voluminous Afro, putting a deep red theatrical filter over the flash head to echo the outrageous hue of his jacket. At that moment I was creating an iconic photograph of the world's greatest rock guitarist.

"At that moment I was creating an iconic photograph of the world's greatest rock guitarist."

"I've been on a journey to create the perfect Cibachrome photographic print..."

I kept back one transparency for myself and handed rest to the magazine. They promised they'd give me them back, but they never did.

Only 3 years later Jimi had died. We were all devastated. I had launched headlong into a career as a sought after fashion photographer. Rave had closed and their material was lost in a basement flood and eaten by rats.

I had been kicking myself for the last 40 years since realizing I'd lost my one and only frame.

I got a call in January 2010 from a former assistant saying he'd found a box of very old and mostly decaying pictures of mine in his Santa Monica garage and did I want them? It wasn't until I got the material home and on a light box that I discovered the Hendrix original transparency.

A great moment, I couldn't believe it. Since then I've been on a journey to create the perfect Cibachrome photographic print and bring back this spectacular iconic image with its rich and intense colors... as powerful as the lost image as I had so often recreated in my dreams.

www.MikeBerkofsky.com © Michael Berkofsky 1967 and 2011