This paper looks at the recent trend of recasting the 1960s counterculture as official British heritage. It is argued this is due to cultural shifts in the British heritage sector, economic factors and a repurposing of the past to suit the present. The focus will be on the Handel & Hendrix in London museum as it evinces this remaking and the role of United Kingdom (UK) public bodies concerned with heritage, as well as the heritagization processes and particular conditions that enabled the rock star Jimi Hendrix and, by extension, aspects of the counterculture to be designated as official heritage. The implications of this ‘elevation’ will be discussed in relation to how the counterculture is currently represented. Raymond Williams’ concepts of the selective tradition and dominant, residual and emergent cultural elements are drawn upon in order to support the discussion.
Jones, Peter, From the Profane to the Sacred: Jimi Hendrix and the Sixties Counterculture as official British Heritage, Counterculture Studies, 3(1), 2020.