Top 10: Jimi Hendrix Memorabilia
10) Jimi’s Wah-Wah Pedal - $19,375
Hendrix is celebrated for coaxing an unearthly wall of noise from his guitars, and he had more than a little help from his effects pedals. This Italian-made Vox Clyde McCoy pedal was owned by Jimi’s back-up vocal group ‘The Ghetto Fighters’, and Hendrix used it both in the recording studio and during a number of live performances.
The pedal featured in a May 2008 Julien’s sale with an estimated value of $2,000 - $3,000, but eventually sold for a price of $19,375.
9) Jimi’s oriental-style jacket, circa 1967 – £35,000
Jimi’s flamboyant style means that whenever items from his wardrobe come up for sale, they’re always highly sought after. This green silk jacket featuring dragons and pagodas was given as a gift to Judith Vernon, wife of Fleetwood Mac’s manager Mike Vernon, in 1967 before the second Jimi Hendrix Experience U.K tour.
It was sold during a Sotheby’s auction at the hard Rock Cafe in London in September 2000 for a price of £35,000, almost doubling its estimate of £18,000.
8) Original 1968 Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Fillmore Auditorium poster artwork - $72,000
Just as Hendrix’s music encapsulated the energy and creativity of the period, so did the work of artists Michael English and Nigel Waymouth.
Under the collective name of Hapshash And The Coloured Coat they created a series of silkscreen printed posters for concerts featuring psychedelic designs that remain some of the decade’s most iconic imagery.
Their poster for the Jimi Hendrix Experience gig at the Filmore Auditorium in Denver features an image of Jimi as a psychedelic Native American chief. The original artwork for the rare poster was sold during a Bonhams auction in 2008 for a price of $72,000.
7) A reel-to-reel recording of the Jimi Hendrix Experience live at the 1968 Woburn Music Festival - £48,050
In 1968 Hendrix chose to play just one live date in the U.K, at the Woburn Music Festival in Bedfordshire. On the evening of July 6, the band took to the stage and played a gig which has since been released posthumously as a live album.
At a Christie’s sale in 2008, the original ¼ inch reel-to-reel master soundboard tape recording of the concert was sold for a price of £48,050. It captured the band’s entire 48-minute set, including Voodoo Child, Purple Haze, Foxy Lady and the cover of the Beatle’s classic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
6) Jimi’s white Fender Stratocaster - $125,000
Hendrix famously favoured the fender Stratocaster as his weapon of choice, and four of them appear on this list. The first is a white 1963 Fender Strat, serial number L14985, and one of the first Stratocasters that he owned. It was kept for Hendrix at Juggy’s Sound Studios in New York, where he had used it regularly whilst recording early in his career as Jimi James.
Hendrix later gave the guitar to the chief studio engineer Skip Juried, after recording the Band of Gypsies album in 1970. The guitar was sold during a Fame Bureau auction in June 2007 for a price of $125,000.
5) Jimi’s 1968 Sunburst finish Fender Stratocaster - $168,000
This 1968 Fender Strat was used by Jimi in the studio between 1969 and 1970, as he favoured the studio sound that guitars with rosewood necks offered (although he preferred maple neck guitars for use on stage).
The Sunburst finish guitar was discovered in his London studio shortly after his death in September 1970, and later sold to a friend of the band. It spent 10 years as an exhibit at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland, before being sold during a Christie’s auction in 2006 for a price of $168,000.
4) Jimi’s 1970 Sunburst finish Fender Stratocaster - $180,000
The second of Jimi’s Sunburst Strats was a 1970 model, serial number 274200, which he bought at the celebrated Manny’s Music Store in New York on July 14, 1970. Hendrix later played the guitar at the opening party for his Electric Lady Studios in August 1970, just one month before he was found dead.
The guitar was sold with the original Manny’s receipt, along with an authentication from Jimi’s former band mate Noel Redding, at the Julien’s ‘Music Icons’ auction at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. It beat its estimate of $150,000 to sell for $180,000.
3) Jimi’s Red Fender Mustang guitar - $480,000
The only non-Stratocaster to appear on the list is a 1966 Red Fender Mustang which Jimi used during the recording of both Axis Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland.
It later appeared at the 2007 Music Rising "Icons of Music" charity auction in New York, which was organized to raise money for musicians who lost their equipment during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
It became the third most expensive of all Jimi’s guitars when it sold for $480,000.
2) Jimi’s Burnt 1965 Fender Stratocaster guitar - £280,000
Jimi’s 1965 Fender Stratocaster was the first to be sacrificed to the spirits of rock and roll in 1967. At the end of a performance at the Finsbury Astoria in North London Jimi covered the guitar in lighter fluid and set it alight, sending roadies rushing to put out the fire and burning his own hand in the process.
This became a trademark of many of his shows, but the first guitar to get the fiery treatment ended up in the hands of Jimi’s press officer Tony Garland. Forty years later garland’s nephew discovered the guitar still intact, and it was sold during a Fame Bureau auction in London in 2008 for a price of £280,000.
1) Jimi’s Woodstock white Fender Stratocaster - $1.3 million
There’s nothing that isn’t iconic about the white Fender Stratocaster Jimi played at Woodstock. The festival itself featured the cream of 1960s rock and roll, and represented the vibrant energy of the decade through its ‘three days of peace and music’.
And perhaps the defining moment of the festival, and one of the standout cultural moments of the decade, came when Hendrix took to the stage and performed a blistering version of the Star Spangled banner that spoke directly to a generation of disillusioned young Americans.
The guitar was first sold during a Sotheby’s auction in 1990, for a then-record price of £198,000 to the Italian collector Gabriele Ansaloni. Ansaloni then later sold the guitar to the Microsoft co-founder and renowned Hendrix collector Paul Allen in 1993, in a private sale believed to be worth $1.3 million.
Today the guitar takes the pride of place at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.
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