CityMusicNever KnowRockWashington, DC

Hendrix at the Washington Hilton

I recently got an e-mail from Vince F. who is the guy I went to that and many other shows with including the Beatles.

Hey BR,
The Beatles sound was pretty primitive, but it was a blast to be there. I also remember us attending the Hendrix Concert at the Hilton. Afterwards, as we were standing on Florida Avenue, Hendrix’s limousine pulled up and the window came down. You asked if he would give you something — anything. He gave you his (still lit) cigarette. Did you save the butt? Did you have it preserved in any way?

Here is the whole story.

When we arrived at the Hilton we saw Hendrix come out a side door and get into the Limo.
There were two shows and the first had just ended. We decided that after the 2nd show we would get back to this door quick so we could get an autograph. Sure enough he came out the same door. I tried to grab his hat. ( it was the same hat you see in photos from that period with buttons and patches all over it.)

They kept moving and jumped in the Limo. It took off around the corner and we thought that was that but as we walked around the corner the Limo was waiting at the red light. I ran up to his window and knocked on it. He rolled it down and I said ” give me your hat” Hendrix said ” man-I cant give this hat up” I said well give me something. They looked around for something to give me and Mitch said “give him your cigarette”. He did, the light turned green and off they went.

Pretty cool experience for a 16 year old rock and roller. It was a Salem 100 and I kept it in a baggie for many years but alas, It got lost in the shuffle of my life.

By the way – this was the same door that Pres. Reagan came out of and was shot. He had just given a speech in the same Hilton ballroom.

(Bruce is the founder of, a website offering a great history of rock-n-rock photography, including stories like Hendrix at the Washington Hilton, facts and stuff mainly from the Washington DC area you probably want to take a look at)


  1. I was about to ask if that was the famous service entrance!

    That was an outstanding story. I work with a guy who shares all sorts of tales like this…..seeing James Brown at the Lincoln Theatre (maybe it was the Howard?), seeing the Supremes at the Wardman Park Hotel. He’s love this one! great stuff!!

    1. How Cool. I delivered Ice to Black Sabbaths dressing room at Memorial Hall. Kansas city kansas. during their paranoid promotiional tour, Fall of 1970.they just finished opening up for the J.Geils i went to the corner of the room to fill the coolers,they grew quiet. Ozzy asked me “Hey man, what nationality are you? You’re Dark Complected and huge. (I’m a 6’6” Mexican) I told Ozzy i was Mexican, “He said we’ve played in Spain and California But you’re one of the biggest F__-g. Mexicans i’ve ever seen. My Jaw dropped, so did they. then we all just started laughing our Butts off at Ozzys Boldness. I went to shake their hands telling them they just put on a heck-of a show- and i loved the wtich cover on their previous album, i asked where they were from, Ozzy said Birmingham england, Steel town” I’ll never forget The drummers ‘Bill wards hands” they were the strongest biggest hands i’ve ever seen i guess twriling drum stcks since you were a kid makes them that way. and they autographed a note pad for me.I wished them the best.that was so cool. and sometime 15-20 years after that i lost their autograph.but that sounds Ozzy’ish doesn’t it??

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