As the story goes, one fateful night in the late 1960s, Jimi Hendrix, best known for changing the music world with his guitar playing, set free two ring-necked parakeets on Carnaby Street and that’s why thousands of the nonnative birds haunt London’s parks to this day.

“Absolute rubbish,” Christian Lloyd, a musicologist at Queens University, said in an interview. “It’s the kind of thing people want to be true, but it’s just not true.”

Mr. Lloyd would know. His research, along with relics that Hendrix fans would drool over, like his broken Fender Stratocaster from a 1969 Royal Albert Hall performance, is on display at Handel & Hendrix in London, a residence-turned-museum dedicated to the two musical giants who once lived there: Hendrix and the German composer George Frideric Handel.

Parakeets may not be part of Hendrix’s legacy in London, but he nevertheless left his mark. The several months he spent there, spread throughout the final five years of his life, were pivotal in his meteoric rise. It was also where the nomadic performer found the closest thing to “a real home,” as he put it, and where his life was tragically cut short at the age of 27.

Along with surviving landmarks from his time in the city, London also retains enough of what appealed to him personally to make for a proper Jimi Hendrix experience, 50 years since the musician last called it home.

The concept of home was a complicated one for Johnny Allen Hendrix, born in Seattle in 1942. He was sent to live with his grandmother in Canada when he was 6 and his parents divorced two years later. His mother died of alcohol-related injuries when he was 15. After a year in California with the United States Army at age 18, he found his true calling in 1962 as a touring musician.

By the time he ended up New York in September 1966, performing in small cafes under the name “Jimmy James,” he had developed a “fugitive kind of mentality,” according to Mr. Lloyd.

This is where Chas Chandler, who had recently quit the Animals and wanted to begin a new career as a manager, was blown away by what he saw and asked Hendrix if he’d come with him to London.

“He sat on the bed, holding forth and rolling joints,” Mr. Lloyd said. “What rock star’s bedroom would you get into these days? You wouldn’t even get near the house.”

At first glance, the turquoise velvet curtains (originally purchased from John Lewis on nearby Oxford Street), red Persian rugs, Bohemian knickknacks and piles of vintage vinyl appear to be the actual artifacts, but almost all of the items in the room are replicas. Hendrix requested that most of his possessions be destroyed after the couple had separated for good later in 1969.

Thanks to Ms. Etchingham’s involvement and enough old photos to go by, replacement items were acquired through memorabilia auctions while others, like the pink-and-orange striped bedspread, were remade to match the originals.

“She was able to recollect an incredible amount of colors and textures that the black and white photographs couldn’t give us; gradually the room was restored back to its former glory,” Claire Davies, the museum’s deputy director, said in an interview. “She also had so many stories about Jimi’s brief moment of domesticity with her in the flat that helped to shape our narrative.”

Elsewhere in the exhibit, visitors can sift through a re-creation of Hendrix’s record collection, mainly a mix of blues (Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf) and rock (the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Cream).

He did much of his record shopping at One Stop Records, known for its selection of American imports, across the road from his flat on South Molton Street. It’s no longer there, but Mr. Lloyd recommended Sounds of the Universe in Soho for a record shop that would fit Hendrix’s tastes.

Upscale Mayfair may have seemed like an odd area for a counterculture rock star to live, but it drew many industry types, located close to several clubs and studios. Venues that still exist include The Court (formerly Bag O’Nails) and The Scotch of St. James on Mason’s Yard, where Hendrix and others of London’s rock elite performed and socialized, including members of the Beatles and the Who. While The Court is for members only, the blue plaque commemorating Hendrix’s first performance there outside the building can be viewed by anyone.

When it came to food, Mr. Love, a restaurant located on the ground floor of the apartment building, was the go-to, with steak and chips a recurring order. Hendrix was not particularly fond of traditional English food.

“See, English food, it’s difficult to explain. You get mashed potatoes with just about everything, and I ain’t gonna say anything good about that,” Hendrix told Melody Maker.

While Mr. Love is long gone, Hendrix also went for burgers at Wimpy Burger, a chain that originated in the U.S. in 1934 but became somewhat of an institution in the United Kingdom (depending on your tastes).

“It’s like an English person’s idea of what a burger is,” Mr. Lloyd said of Wimpy, which still has a few London locations. “If people really want to get a sense of what London was like then in terms of food, that is probably the best place to go.”

Ultimately, Hendrix’s time in Mayfair was short but significant.

“When you think of how short his adult life was, it’s actually a fairly significant chunk. It’s also the part where it all starts going wrong for him in some ways,” Mr. Lloyd said.

Hendrix’s career brought him back to the United States in March 1969. Ms. Etchingham joined him briefly, but Hendrix wouldn’t commit to moving back to London, so the couple split in April.


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