A guitar once owned by the legendary Jimi Hendrix is to go on sale next month at Bonhams, giving his fans a chance get their hands on a unique piece of rock 'n' roll memorabilia.
The guitar, which his girlfriend of the time said he "used for almost everything he composed in this country", will be offered in the Entertainment Memorabilia auction on December 15 and is estimated to fetch £80,000-£120,000.
He bought the vintage Epiphone FT79 guitar from a second hand in New York during his first tour of the States, paying around $25. It quickly became his favourite guitar and he kept it for three years, much longer than any other documented Hendrix guitar.
Hendrix spent weeks performing and recording with it in New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles, and his manager Chas Chandler remarked that Hendrix was so attached to the guitar he would even take it with him to the bathroom.
As his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham has said, "it was used very, very heavily, continuously, all the time. Jimi had music coming out of every pore. One minute he'd be eating his breakfast, the next he'd say 'hey' and pick up the guitar and play the riffs in his head..."
He continued to use the guitar regularly after moving to Brook Street in London, during the completion of his "Electric Ladyland" album. He was captured on film playing Elvis's 'Hound Dog' on this distinctive instrument at the after-show party following The Experience's Royal Albert Hall concert of February 18th 1969.
He gave it to a fellow-musician in March 1970 and it was subsequently used on numerous recordings and film soundtracks including those by Dusty Springfield, Walker Brothers, Blue Mink, Paul McCartney and on David Bowie's 'Diamond Dogs'.
Due to his legacy and enormous influence on the modern music scene, prices for Hendrix memorabilia have risen considerably in recent times buoyed by the 40th anniversary of his death and the release of previously-lost material. In fact, over the last ten years the price of his signature alone has risen 397.5% (according to the industry's PFC40 index).
The chance to own one of Hendrix's guitars could be too good to pass up for collectors, investors and music historians alike, so expect to see some fierce bidding at Bonhams next month.
As Stephanie Connell, Head of Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Department commented, "Jimi Hendrix is arguably the greatest guitarist of all time and the sale of this iconic instrument offers a rare opportunity to own an important piece of rock and roll history."
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