The Origins of the EMP

The idea behind what is now known as The Experience Music Project started life 10 years ago as nothing more than a simple memorial to legendary rock guitarist and Seattle native Jimi Hendrix. But this brainchild of Paul Allen's (who is a fanatical Hendrix fan) quickly began to snowball from there and never stopped snowballing. Soon thereafter his simple "memorial" suddenly was supposed to represent not just Hendrix but ALL of rock history; then of musical "creativity" in general, and of NORTHWEST rock and creativity in particular. Whew!

When Allen and his sister Jodi Patton (who became co-chairman of the EMP) recruited the services of madman octogenarian architect Frank Gehry — who is to building design what George Barris is to auto design — with this tall order, their only specific requirement was that he make it look "swoopy." Hey, no problem!

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