Fire! Jimi Hendrix's 'favourite' smashed and burned guitar returns from the dead
His beloved black Fender Stratocaster is expected to fetch £125,000 at auction
A valuable guitar that Jimi Hendrix was seen to douse in lighter fluid, smash to pieces and set fire to on stage in 1967 will go on sale next week in one piece, and without any signs of scorching. It is expected to fetch £125,000.
Unknown to the crowd at the Monterey festival, outside San Francisco, Hendrix had switched his “favourite” black Fender Stratocaster for another instrument just prior to his dramatic display of flames and rage during a rendition of “Wild Thing”.
Not wishing to be outdone by The Who’s Pete Townshend who had performed first and smashed up his guitar, Hendrix opted to set his axe on fire so as not to be accused of copycat behaviour.
He requested some lighter fluid but couldn’t bring himself to destroy the Strat and so swapped it secretly for a less valuable instrument.
The Fender Stratocaster continued to be used on Hendrix’s American tour (his return to the States after moving to the UK in 1966 to make his fortune). It later fell into the hands of his record company managed by James Wright.
“When Jimi used to smash a guitar up you would try and rebuild it so he could use it again for that purpose. Pete Townshend smashed his guitar up and put the neck into the amp. Jimi was annoyed at this and asked for some lighter fuel. He just wanted to outdo Pete Townshend,” Wright told The Times.
“He played the black guitar for most of the act and then right at the end he swapped it for a repaired one that he set fire to. At the time the black Fender was his favourite guitar and he didn’t want to ruin it.
At the time of the stunt Hendrix was a big star in Britain but still relatively unknown in the States. A picture of him leaning over the burning instrument was used on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and the incident went down in rock ‘n’ roll history – helping to turn him into a legend.
The guitar is in relatively good condition aside from a few chips and scratches.The CBS era instrument with contour style solid body and original candy apple case dates from late 1966/67 with rosewood neck and black solid body and white scratch protection.
It will be sold by the Fame Bureau on 27 November in Mayfair, London.
It is 42 years since the man widely considered to be the greatest electric guitarist in history died in London aged 27.
Another Fender Stratocaster that Hendrix set fire to in 1967 at the Finsbury Astoria was auctioned by the Fame Bureau in January £90,000.
Review: Of Mice and Men
By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work
Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar
What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?
Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings
The actor has confessed to his own insecurities
Allotments are the focus of a new reality show
Arts & Ents blogs
Big Bang Theory to get special Star Wars episode with help from Lucasfilm
The best movies on Netflix: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Game of Thrones season 4 episode 2 breaks torrent record as fans watch online
The original Breaking Bad ending saw every character die
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 Big Bang Theory to get special Star Wars episode with help from Lucasfilm
- 3 Babies cry at night to stop mothers procreating, scientists claim
- 4 Pharrell Williams 'Happy': British Muslims dance to song in video
- 5 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews