Arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music, Jimi Hendrix, could soon be getting his own bridge shortly in Croatia…
There is currently a big push going on for željeznički – zeleni most (railway – green bridge) over the Sava river in Zagreb to have its name officially changed to Hendrix bridge. The bridge has colloquially been known as ‘Hendrix bridge’ for close to 20 years after somebody graffitied the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame legend’s name on the bridge in 1995, but now there is a move to make it official.
Croatian Railways have stated that they will lobby for the bridge to get a new name after a petition, which saw over 5,000 people sign was initiated seeking a formal name change for the bridge that not too many locals currently know the official name of.
“Nobody really knows the real name of the bridge. It has always been Hendrix bridge and always will be,” one Zagreb local said.
Croatian Railways have over the years tried to remove the graffiti but to no avail. The famous ‘Hendrix’ graffiti would soon appear again after any paint job. The latest was earlier this month after a recent renovation job on the bridge saw a coat of paint go over the graffiti.
Built in 1939, the bridge at the time had the biggest arc in Europe. It was a popular youth hang out spot in the early 1990’s, and one night back in 1995 a group of rock music enthusiasts decided to paint what would become of the most famous pieces of graffiti in the country.
“We were in high school and all played in a rock band. We played stuff like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and of course, Jimi Hendrix. I don’t remember who’s idea it was or why we did it, but we scotch-taped two broomsticks together with a paint brush on the end, and every member of the band wrote down one letter of the name, hanging upside down,” one of the author’s of the Hendrix graffiti told daily Vecernji list.
The fact that the bridge is a cultural monument could pose a problem in the eventual name change as ‘vandalism’ is not permitted on such structures. A compromise suggested by Croatian Railways is that a proper piece of street art replace the graffiti.
The local Zagreb City Council will ultimately decided on the official name change.