Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Jimi Hendrix Scholar to Speak on a Panel Commemorating the Late Music Legend


Humanities & Arts

With the 50th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s death approaching, experts on the guitar legend will come together to commemorate his life, music, and legacy. Joel J. Brattin, a professor of English at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an academic expert on Jimi Hendrix, will participate in a live, interactive panel discussion on the rock legend on Friday, Sept. 18. Brattin will appear with Peter Neal, who produced the first ever Hendrix film in 1967, Experiences/See My Music Talking, and who wrote the book Starting at Zero: Jimi’s Own Story, alongside others who were close to Hendrix.

Brattin’s expertise on Hendrix is internationally recognized. He has written, reviewed, and edited more than 300 Hendrix articles, books, reviews, and notes, and still writes regularly for European journals UniVibes and Jimpress, publications dedicated to Hendrix. About seven years ago, Brattin came into possession of the most important Hendrix concert tape to surface in decades: a stereo soundboard of a Hendrix concert at London's Royal Albert Hall held Feb. 18, 1969. His discovery was later featured in media outlets worldwide discussing the soundboard. He is also known for his insight on Hendrix’s famous performance at Woodstock in 1969.

Even though Hendrix died five decades ago, Brattin says there is always something new to hear in his music, and that the beauty of his music will shine for decades to come.

“Jimi’s music is wonderful and inexhaustibly rich,” says Brattin. “One of the things he’s great at is the creation of beauty. Beauty in music is important, and it’s not always something people think of when they think of Jimi.”

The Regent Theatre, Arlington, Mass., in collaboration with Starting at Zero, a book and film project about Jimi Hendrix, will host a live streamed event called “Jimi Hendrix Returns,” which will commemorate the legacy of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, as well as the 50th anniversary of his untimely death.

The event will be broken into three sections:

  • An exclusive presentation from England hosted by filmmaker and author Peter Neal, who will show 35 minutes of clips from his new film, Starting at Zero, a feature-length film about Hendrix.
  • A live panel discussion about the life and music of Hendrix.
    • Questions can be submitted in advance or during the live event. Go to the Regent Theatre website for updates on how to submit questions.
  • A live Jimi Hendrix tribute concert from the Regent Theatre by new band The Earth Blues Revue.

The event is open to the public. Information about tickets for digital entry to the event can be found on the Regent Theatre website.

The panel discussion will feature international Hendrix experts, including:

  • Joel J. Brattin, Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Hendrix scholar
  • Kathy Etchingham, Hendrix’s longtime girlfriend
  • John Masouri, music journalist
  • Greg Roselli, managing director of Rights Incorporated, a rights management and channel distribution company  

Note: Peter Neal, who produced the first-ever Hendrix film in 1967, Experiences/See My Music Talking, and who wrote the book Starting at Zero: Jimi’s Own Story, will also be on hand during the panel discussion.

Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, the 50th anniversary of Hendrix’s death, beginning at 6:30 p.m. EST. The tribute concert will begin at 8:00 p.m. EST

Access to the live stream will be made available on the Regent Theatre website.