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Jimi Hendrix is still rocking the autograph markets

The value of investment grade Hendrix collectibles continues to rise based on recent auctions

July 22nd 1967, was a significant day for one of music's most legendary acts. It was the day that Jimi Hendrix left an ill advised tour with teenage heartthrobs the Monkees, and his career began to explode, with the "Are You Experienced" LP and single "Purple Haze" flying off the shelves.

At the time spin doctors concocted a story to explain Hendrix's departure, stating that his act was deemed "too erotic." Regardless of this, the departure signalled the beginnings of a true legend in the world of guitar music. 

It's a legend that lives on today, despite Hendrix's death some forty years ago, through a collectibles market that offers a wealth of investment opportunities.

Hand written Hendrix lyrics continue to offer good returns on an investment. At Christie's in New York in December 2006, the lyrics to "Coming down Hard on Me, Baby" came up for auction with an estimate of £6,000 ($9,000) attached.

Written in blue pen on two sheets of paper, the lyrics sold for £10,580 ($15,870) to a private bidder.

Elsewhere, vintage concert posters provide an ideal nostalgic investment. One poster of the "Jimi Hendrix Experience" at the 1968 Pop festival in Miami, came up for auction in New York in 2007. It sold for £12,500 ($18,750) over ten times the estimate of £1,000 ($1,500).

Alternatively, you may wish to invest in a signed album . One extremely rare signed vinyl album came up for sale with the cover "The Jimi Hendrix Experience Axis: Bold as Love" from 1968, signed:

"Thanks for Everything, Be Groovy, Jimi Hendrix"

It sold for £20,000 ($30,000) at the same New York auction.

For a more substantial investment, unique memorabilia from Hendrix's live performances is also available.

A 1966, Marshall Super Lead 100 Watt amp, thought to be one of first owned by Hendrix and from the early beginnings of his career, sold for £25,000 ($49.475) in London, in July of 2008.

The iconic clothing of Hendrix, worn on stage, also offers stylish investment grade collectibles.

The same July auction in 2008 saw the sale of a pair of wool - mix worsted trousers for £20,000 ($30,000). 

Featuring red, blue, green and olive stripes with black lines, the trousers were worn in 1967, most notably during a Hamburg photo shoot in March, with the image then used on the cover of the single "Burning of The Midnight Lamp."


Hendrix's famous trouser sold for £20,000

Similarly, a New York auction in 2006, saw the sale of a black leather waistcoat which featured on the inside cover of the LP "Are You Experienced?" in 1967 and an issue of Smash Hits magazine two years later.

The waistcoat nearly trebled the estimated price of £6,500 ($10,000), selling for £18,800 ($28,800).

In September 2000, Sotheby's in London sold a jacket belonging to Hendrix which bared a striking resemblance to one once own by Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger.

The oriental style jacket featured green silk printed with a pattern of white, grey, red and yellow characters and belonged to Hendrix in 1967. With an auction estimate of £18,000, the jacket sold for £35,000, more than three times the price paid for Jagger's edition in 2005.

Rare live recordings of Hendrix have also seen a rapid rise in value at auction.

One ¼ inch reel-to-reel master soundboard tape recording, from Woburn Music festival in England in 1968, came up for auction in London in July 2008.

The one of a kind recording, featured a 48 minute set from "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" which included "Voodoo Child", "Foxy Lady" and a cover of the Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" intro. It sold for £48,050 ($72,075).

Investment grade Jimi Hendrix collectibles also touch on the popular art of the era.

In 1967, Hendrix commissioned the artists Michael English and Nigel Waymouth to create a poster image for "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" concert that was taking place in New York that year.

Created using ink on board and inscribed "To Jimi with love", the design encapsulated the all of psychedelic glory of Hendrix's live shows.

From October 2000 to January 2001, the artwork was framed for display in the Victoria & Albert Museum's "Cosmic Visions" exhibition. In May 2008, it came to auction in New York selling for £48,000 ($72,000).

The most collectable Jimi Hendrix memorabilia remains his rare guitars, which continue to reach six figure sums at auction.

 

In 2006, a passionate fan paid £280,000 ($320,000) for one of Hendrix's trademark Fender Stratocaster's which had been burnt as part of his live show, at a gig in North London in 1967.

But the current world record price for a Jimi Hendrix guitar was set a year later, at Christies.

The 1966 red Fender Mustang, used in the recording of his numerous classic studio albums, sold for £310,000 ($480,000) to one lucky collector.

Today, rare collectibles from the career of Hendrix continue to come onto the market. One online auction service, recently put Hendrix's earliest known signed recording contract from October 1965, up for auction with estimate of £147,000 ($225,000) attached.

Elsewhere, autographed materials are available to purchase today

Guitars belonging to Hendrix also remain greatly sought after, not only by collectors, but investors too. Until 2006, a 1968 Fender Stratocaster belong to Hendrix had been kept at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, before selling at auction for £110,000 ($168,000).

Today, Hendrix is as popular as ever. In 1994, he was given a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, while in 2003, he was named the greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.

2006 also saw his debut album "Are you experienced" inducted into the National Recording Registry, which recognizes music that is, "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States."

With the popularity of Hendrix memorabilia, continuing to grow, maybe it's time to "experience" the market for yourself.

 

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www.paulfrasercollectibles.com

Images:  Christie's

Last updated: 23 July 2010