Voodoo Chile


A decade ago, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah stopped by Electric Lady Studios; ten years later, she’s writing about it for The Believer:

Maybe that’s why it’s difficult not to feel sentimental, blessed even, when one gets a chance to go inside. There is something about Electric Lady that feels sacrosanct. From the moment the discreet, glass-paned door buzzes and lets you through, disbelief sets in and does not fade as you walk down the bordello-red staircase. These are the steps where a very shy Jimi Hendrix, only weeks away from his death, told a very young Patti Smith his never-to-be realized plans for a universal love orchestra, an orchestra where, as Smith wrote in her memoir, “musicians from all over the world in Woodstock… would sit in a field in a circle and play and play. It didn’t matter what key or tempo or what melody, they would keep on playing through their discordance until they found a common language. Eventually they would record this abstract universal language of music in his studio.”

Bryan Washington has written for Puerto Del Sol, Ninth Letter, and Midnight Breakfast, among others; he's also the recipient of a Houstonia Fellowship. He lives around New Orleans. More from this author →