Society X

the Great Universe

Tag: Jimi Hendrix

The Voodoo Chile, the African Queen and the Parakeets of Twickenham

by 5ocietyx

Monk Parakeet Flying Flying in Sky

The sight and sound of exotic green birds in the west and south London area has become common-place in recent years.

It is thought that the origins of the flock, which now number in their tens of thousands, is attributable to a single pair of breeding parakeets that were released into the wild.

African Queen

The jungle scenes from The African Queen were filmed @ Isleworth Studios

Some suggest they escaped from the set of The African Queen when filming took place at Isleworth Studios in 1951.

Parakeets in Teddington

Parakeet in Teddington

Another theory romantically attributes the ‘Voodoo Child’ Jimi Hendrix who it is said released them as a symbol of love in Carnaby Street in the Sixties.

Some people see them as a noisy unwanted alien pest that is displacing native British birds from their habitats through sonar dominance and weight of numbers. Others see them as an exotic and beautiful addition to our feathered fraternity of friends.

Parakeet takes flight..

Fortean Times however thinks the truth of where they came from is more mundane:

Feral parrots have been recorded in London since 1855. A study by Oxford University biologists of the rose-ringed, or ring-necked, parakeet (Psitacula krameri), suggests that London’s parrot population may reach 100,000 by 2010, having grown from fewer than 500 in 1983. They are long-lived birds with no natural predators in Britain, and it’s feared they will become serious pests to agriculture and biodiversity. They are now found as far west as Wales and as far north as Glasgow. There are already more parakeets in London than there are nightingales. Their recent population explosion is perhaps explained by a warmer climate, and by the spread of garden bird-feeders. The likeliest explanation for their origins, say experts, is disappointingly mundane: they probably escaped, and were released, from aviaries, pet shops and private homes. Quick – close that window!


Hendrix in Hounslow High Street

by 5ocietyx

Artist's impression of the Jimi Hendrix Experience arriving at Ricky Tick's music venue in Hounslow High Street

Artist’s impression of the Jimi Hendrix Experience arriving at the Ricky Tick music venue in Hounslow High Street

In the Sixties and Seventies, west London was the epicentre of Rock n Roll. Not only were many of the musicians born in the area, many of the legendary venues and studios were to be found here too.

One less well known location was the Ricky Tick club where the Left-Handed God, Jimi Hendrix redefined the guitar.

It is hard to imagine nowadays the ‘Electric Gypsy’ rollin’ into town yet the ‘Kingston Zodiac‘ appears to be aware of the significance of this hyper-local area and attracted and inspired signs to inform us so.


Ricky Tick is now a recruitment agency called Class 1 Personnel

Ricky Tick was next door to ‘Art & Magic’, above what is now Nandos and was previously turned into a Tesco shortly after the club closed down.

As shoppers bought their groceries few would have known that above the Fruit and Veg aisle a psychedelic phenomenon occurred that would electrify the world and influence music to this day.


Hendrix @ Ricky Tick poster

An example of west London’s influence on Rock music is the fact that  ‘The Lord of Loud’, Jim Marshall was born in Acton and set up a music shop in Hanwell.

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