Jimi Hendrix Electric Lady Mural

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    On August 26th, 1970, Jimi Hendrix celebrated the official opening of his Electric Lady Studios in Manhattan’s West Village. Artist Lance Jost was commissioned to paint the studio in a  psychedelic space theme. In the April 2010 Issue of Rolling  Stone, David Fricke dives into Hendrix’s last days and lost  recordings, tracing the epic plans and earthly troubles that  marked the guitar god’s final months.

     In response to Jimi Hendrix’ request to create space, artist, Lance Jost has painted you into the interior of the Electric Lady Cosmic Craft with full views of your eminent relationship to eternity as you are hurtling through endless space; riding along the Rainbow Bridge to “kiss the sky.”

     Lance Jost welcomes the challenge to create your imagination in vividly depicted style and a broad spectrum of unique materials.

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Navigation Room

Behind the Scenes

     I was commissioned by Michael Jefferey, Jimi Hendrix’ manager to do an album cover for a European rock group he was handling called Moon. At his request I delivered the artwork to Jimi’s roadie, Gerry Stickell’s backstage at his concert at the San Diego Sports Arena July 25, 1970.

     Jimi was so impressed with my imagery of space that he requested that I paint it into a mural in his Electric Lady Studio.

     After waiting for months to begin work on the mural, I was finally packing my paint brushes on September 19, 1970. Imagine my shock when I heard through a friend that Jimi had died the day before in London, England. It had to be a sick joke. But later that day I found out it was true.

     Because of all the turmoil and indecision after Jimi’s death, I didn’t actually take off for New York City until three months later, where I found the mood dire to say the least and felt I needed to cheer people up and add color in an otherwise dreary atmosphere.

     The mural was actually painted in a loft, my living quarters on 4th Avenue overlooking the Cooper Union Building. Since the mural was going to be 100 feet long, it required enough space to stretch the canvas out on the walls. Since the loft was large enough, periodically the studio ran a group of musicians through, putting them up while they recorded. You’ve never experienced extremes until you’ve lived with a bunch of inebriated rock musicians.

     One day at the studio while sitting in on a recording session I was introduced to a painting instructor from the New York Academy of Fine Art who told me that he had studied with Hans Hoffmann at the renowned School of Abstract Expressionism, the most pervasive art movement in the world over the last eighty years. Being an artist, I was understandably impressed. Then he added that it was in the same building, Electric Lady Studio, where the famed collaboration between Hoffmann and Jackson Pollack actually occurred.

     After three months of research, it took another six to complete the Electric Lady Cosmic Craft mural. When I started stapling the 100-foot long canvas on the wall a kind of cathartic experience happened. Secretaries, engineers, roadies, managers, musicians all started coming out of their offices to witness the unveiling. Eddie Kramer, Jimi’s favorite engineer walked up to me and put out his hand. “I had no idea what you were doing here. This is amazing.” The room hushed. Everyone started crying and hugging each other because Jimi wasn’t there to enjoy it. I’d think my imagery had that effect on people.


34 Comments

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  15. Jason   |  Tuesday, 20 September 2011 at 6:42 pm

    It was always my understanding that illustrator Brad Johannsen also painted a mural in Electric Lady.

  16. Frank Perri   |  Sunday, 23 October 2011 at 2:34 am

    Was at Electric Lady Studios tonight and saw this mural for the first time. Man, this thing blew me away! I spent a good 45 minutes just staring at it, just taking it all in. There’s something magical about it. I just found your site because when I got home tonight I wanted to find any info about the mural because it just blew me away. Fantastic work, man and this thing was just breathtaking in real life.

  17. Ian McGowan   |  Thursday, 10 May 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I don’t think anyone could say that Jimi would not have been so happy with your amazing painting. So cool.

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  19. Donna   |  Monday, 01 October 2012 at 3:06 pm

    I’m really bad at responding to comments. I’m more artist than computer techie. But I really appreciate your kind words.

    Thanks.
    Lance

  20. Donna   |  Monday, 01 October 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I know it’s been almost a year, but I’ve been really out of touch with the website. Lots of projects this year.

    But I really appreciate your comments about the mural. I’m so glad you got to see it in person. It does my heart good to hear that you appreciate it that much.

    Stay in touch (lancejost@gmail.com).

    Lance

  21. Donna   |  Monday, 01 October 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I don’t have any idea. I don’t know who Brad Johannsen is. You may be thinking of Electric Ladyland in London?

    Danny Blumenthal did the collages in the bathrooms at the NYC Electric Lady, and I did the 100-foot long mural in the reception area and hallway. Don’t know if anyone did more murals after that.

    Lance

  22. Donna   |  Monday, 01 October 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I’m married to the artist.

    Donna Jost

  23. Donna   |  Monday, 01 October 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I’m also a writer. I co-wrote Mike Hynson’s autobiography, “Mike Hynson-Transcendental Memories of a Surf Rebel.”

    Thanks.

    donna

  24. Benedict   |  Sunday, 24 February 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Whatever seriously influenced you to write “Lance Jost Designs”?
    Idefinitely appreciated the post! Many thanks ,Belinda

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  26. Donna   |  Sunday, 28 April 2013 at 4:20 pm

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  27. Louis Vuitton illustrates the art of travel in a new book series – wallpaper.com | Books in the News   |  Wednesday, 29 May 2013 at 8:14 pm

    […] What things about the city did you discover while working on the book? Being so familiar to the city after many years, the challenge for me was to find or revisit places that I still find poetic and inspirational. I was happy to be able to visit Electric Lady Studios, which was created by Jimi Hendrix in the late sixties, just before he died. There are fantastic, cosmic murals commissioned by Hendrix and painted at the time by an artist, Lance Jost. […]

  28. Jason   |  Sunday, 30 March 2014 at 3:39 am

    BRAD JOHANNSEN met with Hendrix to discuss doing the murals shortly before Jimi died.Brad was a well known psychadelic illustrator at the time.He did two books for Crown,the first WPLJ poster,LP covers including Lighthouse,lots of book covers etc.Google search his images and you’ll see strong similarities.

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  30. John Palermo   |  Monday, 02 March 2015 at 6:28 am

    I worked as an engineer and assistant engineer at Electric Lady in the late 70s and early 80s. I worked with Hall & Oates, The Stones, Ronnie Spector, Twisted Sister, Joni Mitchell, Deborah Harry, and many other artists. Every time I walked that long hallway to Studio B, I looked at the mural and each time saw something new. During that period, the owners discussed selling it, and I’m glad they didn’t. ELS was an amazing place to work and the mural helped set the unique atmosphere. I now own a CD/DVD duplication business in NYC called DupeCoop.

  31. Donna   |  Tuesday, 03 March 2015 at 10:02 am

    Thanks John. It’s nice to hear that my contribution was appreciated.

  32. Lukas   |  Sunday, 05 April 2015 at 2:34 am

    Oh, what a discovery – so moving and inspiring! I believe there’s a cosmic experience being there!

  33. Jeff Fahey   |  Tuesday, 22 September 2015 at 11:48 am

    Lance – While I was attending the School of Visual Arts (1968-71) I was hired to assist either you or perhaps it was Brad in painting the interior rooms and offices of Electric Lady. We stored all of our materials in a room that also contained many of Jimi’s personal belongings until his estate was settled. Most of the time I worked alone and was given the materials and directed which colors were going into which office, this wall is purple, that trim is blue, this door is yellow, etc., etc. I thought I also helped fill out some of the areas of the mural – particularly along the edges of the walls. Does this ring a bell, Lance? Did you use an assistant?

  34. Donna   |  Sunday, 27 December 2015 at 11:27 am

    Jeff,

    Sorry, it took so long to get back to you. I’m busy on a commission, and have to admit, I don’t check my website email a lot.

    The closest thing I had to an assistant back then was John Veltri, who was a handyman/photographer. He helped me by making the framing for my canvases, especially around the curvature of the walls downstairs.

    As for painting the edges of the walls, the 100 foot long mural was three 8 foot high pieces. I can’t think why there would be any need to paint around it.

    But I loved reading your story. Refresh my memory more if you can and maybe we can figure this out.

    Thanks,

    Lance

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