Jimi Hendrix’s 1964 Strat Could Fetch Nearly $1M at Auction

March 27th, 2015

hendrix-strat-auction

A 1964 Stratocaster that Jimi Hendrix used on his earliest tours with the Jimi Hendrix Experience is expected to fetch £400,000 to £600,000—approximately $890,000—when it goes on the block April 1.

Ted Owen & Co. auctioneers in London are handling the sale of the guitar for Leon Hendrix, Jimi’s brother, who received it from him on February 12, 1968, the day Jimi played the Seattle Center Arena.

hendrix-strat-front-fullLeon has an interesting story about how he acquired the instrument.

He writes: “When Jimi came back home to Seattle with his band for the first time in 1968, we all met him at the airport, and the same night he played at the Center Arena.

“A lot of the family was backstage and we were waiting for them to go to their seats so we could smoke some weed and have a few minutes to ourselves.…

“He asked me if I was gonna get a band together. I had forgotten I had told him I was thinking about it over the phone, and I was kinda shy about it, which made him laugh. He had at least three guitars that were ready to go onstage: one of them he was warming up on, and there was another in an open case on the floor.

“He asked me if I had a guitar, and I said no, so he said, ‘Take that one over there,’ pointing to the one in the open case…. I said, ‘I dunno, man,’ or something like that.

“He said, ‘Go ahead and take it. You don’t have to learn to play it now if you don’t want to, but I want you to have it.’

“I’ve always remembered that part, because it made me feel like I couldn’t say no. That was Jimi.”

Leon has owned and used the guitar since then. The guitar is set up for right-handed playing and comes with the original case that Jimi was using on tour.

According to auction house owner Ted Owen, Leon has undisclosed health issues and needs cash. “Due to legal wrangles, Leon has never received a penny from Jimi’s estate, even though he is the only surviving blood relative,” Owen says.

“Leon is getting on a bit and is not in the best of health. That’s why he’s decided to sell now.”

Bidding starts at £200,000—about $300,000. For more information or to bid, visit LiveAuctioneers.com.

  • Rene

    Interesting story . I feel sorry for Leon, but who is going to spend several hundred thousands of $ on a guitar that once had belonged to Jimi ? It’s not like if it were the guitar he played… Well, anyway, good luck for the auction ! Cheers

    • Steve

      Rene: Read the article from the top. It says “Jimi Hendrix used on his earliest tours with the Jimi Hendrix Experience.”
      Plus you can see the Strap button he had on there for when he played it left handed.

  • Mike

    Jimmy was left handed so a majority of his guitars were strung in reverse. However, he was able to play right handed also because his father wanted him to.

    So, did he play it right handed or was it restrung? It’s a great looking guitar but not the collectors piece the price tag thinks it is.

    • Steve

      Mike: Leon had it restrung back to the original right handed set up.
      See there are strap buttons on both cutaway horns.

    • Derek VanMeggelen

      He played left handed with a right handed guitar upside down, was never re strung. and thats why you’ll notice there is a knob installed on the opposite side swell for his guitar strap.

  • DALE MUHLEMAN

    WHAT? PFFFSSST ! .ANY GUITAR JIMI HENDRIX PLAYED IS WORTH THAT AND MORE.AND WHO’S GOING TO SPEND THAT KIND OF $???.A PERSON THAT KNOWS HOW SPECIAL THE MAN THAT PLAYED IT WAS. THE PERSON THAT REALIZES HOW HE WAS A FORCE OF NATURE WHO ACTUALLY CHANGED THE FACE OF MUSIC FOREVER AND HOW HE PROFOUNDLY AFFECTED PEOPLE AND TOUCHED THEIR SOULS LIKE NO OTHER MUSICIAN ,/SONG WRITER /POET / SINGER/ENTERTAINER TO THIS DAY. AND A PERSON WHO KNOWS HOW HIS MUSIC , STILL THRIVES AND LIVES IN THE SPIRITS OF SO MANY . AND A PERSON THAT KNOWS THERE ARE ONLY SO MANY GUITARS JIMI PLAYED LEFT ON EARTH AND THAT THEY WILL ONLY BECOME MORE VALUABLE WITH TIME >NOBODY HAS DONE OR CAN EVER DO AGAIN THE THINGS HE HAS DONE.HE LIVES ON IN HEARTS OF BOTH YOUNG AND OLD. AND BESIDES – YOU COULD GET HIS DNA OFF THE STRINGS AND BRING HIM BACK TO LIFE LIKE THEY DID IN JURASSIC PARK. THEN YOU COULD RECOOP THAT MONEY YOUR WORRIED ABOUT AND BUY THAT DAMN BOAT.

    • DirtyPaw

      Well said…

  • Mac hart

    Listen,
    If Hendrix BREATHED on the particular Strat, and just played a few notes, I would shell out whatever it took and take it home, plug in and vibe out until my wife tried to wrest it from my sweaty, trembling hands!!

  • Mark

    This is a collector’s relic, not a guitar you buy to play. It belonged to Jimi, and that makes it valued far beyond any simple monetary amount. People, you are arguing the wrong point here. I hope it brings several million…

  • I agree with the last post by Mark…this was Jimi’s guitar and if you look at previous comments he did play this guitar…doesn’t take much to change it back…Leon got the shaft…he deserves it to go for MILIONS…good luck Leon Hendrix;))

  • I agree with the last post by Mark…this was Jimi’s guitar and if you look at previous comments he did play this guitar…doesn’t take much to change it back…Leon got the shaft…he deserves it to go for MILIONS…good luck Leon Hendrix;))It was a gift from his brother