The 900-bedroom Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch is to become the UK’s first Hard Rock Hotel, opening after re-branding in 2018 and the group’s 24th in the franchise.

The hotel does have some associations with rock and roll in that is was where revered guitarist, the late Jimi Hendrix kept a suite as a bolthole and for meeting with the prostitutes that were a big part of the Cumberland’s reputation in the 60’s and 70’s – “hot and cold running hookers” as one Hendrix associate recalls. Hendrix had several boltholes but stayed in the Cumberland after playing his last UK concert, the Isle of Wight Festival in September 1970 where he and the Doors gave performances described as “disappointing” though sets by Miles Davies, Joni Mitchell and the Who were widely praised.

Hendrix’s actual last public performance was an “uncharacteristically subdued” one where he played backing guitar at an informal jam with Eric Burdon and his band War at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club on September 16th 1970. He died on the morning of September 18th in the room of one of his girlfriends (room 507) at the Hotel Samarkand in Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill, aged 27.

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