Jimi Hendrix Makes an Appearance on US Postal Service Stamps


Apr 07, 2014 Europe/London

When one talks about music and the decadent 1970's, then surely the name Jimi Hendrix will instantly pops into the conversation. Jimi Hendrix, the legendary guitar player of his generation helped redefined the music industry with his electric rock guitar. Today he is still considered one of the greatest musicians, and rightfully so. Thought his stint at the top only lasted four years, his music and influence still live on up until this day. And now, new generations of music lovers will rekindle their love and interests for this icon as new stamps inspired by the music and life of Jimi Hendrix are released. With these stamps released by the US Postal Service, his memory lives on ‘forever’.

Release of Jimi Hendrix US Stamps as part of the Music Icons series

The release of the stamps this March was part of the initiative by the United States Postal Service to come up with its Music Icons series featuring some of the most popular music acts of the 1960s. The series has already honoured Ray Charles, Johnny Cash and Lydia Mendoza on stamps issued last year. Inspired by the psychedelic 60's and 70's, these stamps, worthy to be collected by hobbyists, are designed by Rudy Gutierrez. The Hendrix stamps portray the guitarist holding his guitar as if he were in the middle of an explosive performance. Aside from the release of the stamps, the US Postal Service also scheduled a dedication ceremony to be held in Austin, Texas in time for the Southwest festival. It was also revealed that there will be a celebration concert accompanying the release of these commemorative stamps, featuring rock acts like Perry Farrel of Jane's Addiction, Slash from Guns ‘n Roses, Robby Krieger formerly of The Doors and Wayne Kramer of MC5.

The release of the stamps was welcome by family members. In an interview, Janie Hendrix, the sister of the late guitarist extended their family’s appreciation, and calls the stamps ‘one of the highest honours’ bestowed on her late brother. She added that even though Hendrix has been cited many times as one of the industry’s best, still this act of profiling him in commemorative stamps is unrivalled in terms of recognition.

Stamp worthy of a collection

Designer Rudy Gutierrez portrays Hendrix in performance, with the actual stamp designed using selvage and stamp art, and the sketches made using coloured pencils and acrylic paint. The colors were carefully selected to bring back the feel of the 60's and 70's, and these can be considered as direct homage not just to the artist but also to the decade. The stamp sheet is somewhat similar to an old 45 rpm record slim, and the face of the musician is decorated with icons and swirls of colors and images related to his life and career. The sheet shows four blocks of sixteen stamps in all. The stamp sheet design has a kaleidoscopic feel, giving a sensation of movement or maybe of a spinning record.

According to a press release, the USPS will next commemorate Janis Joplin, another important musician from the decade as part of the Music Icons series.