It's been over half a century since the death of the greatest guitar player who ever lived, Jimi Hendrix. Yet, his indomitable influence continues to grip generations of aspiring guitarists, as well as Major League Soccer teams, apparently.
The Seattle Sounders – 2019 MLS Cup champions and soccer team of Hendrix's place of birth – have just launched their latest kit, a purple-and-orange ode to the late guitar icon.
According to the club, the kit was inspired by Hendrix's “love of color and psychedelic patterns”, and features his signature stamped on bottom of the front of the shirt.
In a nod to Straight Ahead – a track released on the posthumous 1997 Hendrix album First Rays of the New Rising Sun – the shirt's neck tape sports the lyrics: “We got to stand, side by side”.
Explains Peter Tomozawa, Sounders FC's Owner and President of Business Operations: “We couldn’t be more excited and proud to finally introduce the Jimi Hendrix Kit to the world; a true intersection of sports, music and pop culture.”
“Jimi’s legacy looms large, not just here in Seattle where he was born and raised, or for the Sounders, where his iconic rendition of All Along the Watchtower has been a part of matchday tradition for years, but across the entire world.
“In his short life, Jimi gifted us with his talent, and, even more so, with his generous and loving spirit. We wanted this kit to embody that colorful, creative personality, while also using it as a way to further good, just as Jimi used his own platform.”
In celebration of the unveiling, Seattle-based rock group The Black Tones donned the kit while delivering a rendition of All Along the Watchtower at the Sounders' home ground, Lumen Field. Check out the performance below.
Proceeds from the first 30 days of kit sales are set to be donated to the five following non-profit organizations: The Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation, the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM), RAVE Foundation and the Tacoma Public Schools Indian Education Program.
“Seattle was and always will be Jimi's home,” says Janie Hendrix, President & CEO of Experience Hendrix, LLC. “The Sounders are Seattle's own, as well. Collaborating with the Sounders to create a jersey is our way of playing for the home team. We're celebrating two local heroes and at the same time supporting a cause that unifies.
“Jimi was all about honoring the place you come from. This venture allows us to give back to the community he loved. That's something I think would make Jimi proud.”