The last 230 words are always the toughest* / by vanessa

*Title has nothing to do with content. I am one of those people that absolutely loves Los Angeles. It is possible to be at the ocean or nestled in the hills or hiking in the canyons or skiing on the slopes, all within the same day. Theoretically. The particular area of the city in which I live--Silver Lake-- is my favorite sliver of our fine city. It may not be the edgiest anymore, and baby strollers now outnumber high-water jeans, but it's sweet and inviting. You know how everyone jokes that no one ever walks in LA? Not here. Unless I have acupuncture on the weekends or some palm reading workshop at my friend Sachie's house, I park my car in front of my house. It stays there until Monday morning.

But this post isn't about how awesome LA is, Kirk. It's about how I saw Jimi Hendrix perform at the Silver Lake Talent Show this weekend. If you didn't know that Silver Lake even had a talent show, you wouldn't be alone. 99.999999% of Angelenos didn't either. I spend a fair amount of time walking the streets here--I mean, going on family walks--and I didn't see any advertisements leading up to it. I'm assuming their marketing budget went into the cost of a (non-existent) green room and city tap water for the talent.


So we found ourselves this past Sunday in the little triangle where they usually have the farmers market. We noticed a guy setting up a stage and a PA so we asked about it. "I don't know. Some talent show," he answered, belying the performances ahead.

As the hour wore on, contestants formed on the curb. It was Pride Day, so there were two separate cabaret singers, and another who could've been mistaken for your average busker. And that's when we saw Jimi. He walked up, queuing with the others, skin older and darker than I had seen from pictures, but with his unmistakeable headband and a guitar.


It's a big deal when you have a chance to see Jimi Hendrix. At first I was skeptical--didn't he die a really long time ago? But if Jesus could come back, then surely one of the greatest guitarists of all time could too. We have a special affinity for Hendrix in this household: my son is his namesake (middle name, tho), owing to the fact that his dad is a huge fan. Ryan proves it by wearing the most eye-rapey Jimi Hendrix Experience t-shirt that no one in their right mind would ever willingly buy, let alone wear in public. Anyway, he went third.

Jimi sound-checked and tuned up because I guess his guitar tech didn't get the message. And then he started: Foxey Lady. The electric twang of his guitar rang through the open air. Jonah, lover of all things amplified, ran towards the stage. "Whoaaaaaa," he said as he stared. A medley of hits from decades ago played on as Jonah danced in a crowd of one--Jimi's youngest groupie.