17 July 2008

Jimi Hendrix -- Sacrificing Guitars

Jimi Hendrix, in my mind, was the greatest guitar player of all time. It is my mind so I can think like this. I am sure others have a widely divergent view on this. To each their own.

Jimi Hendrix so loved his guitars that he once proclaimed, "The time I burned my guitar it was like a sacrifice. You sacrifice the things you love. I love my guitar."

There are two burned guitars floating around. The first of these is the one that is to be auctioned on 4 September 2008. This guitar is a 1965 Fender Stratocaster and was set alight by Hendrix during a gig at the London Astoria on 31 March 1967. This particular guitar is expected to sell for about AUD 1,000,000.

Hendrix repeated the guitar burning routine in June 1967 at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival. This guitar ended up in the hands of Frank Zappa and then ultimately passed to Dweezil Zappa. However, this guitar has been restored although some scorch marks remain. The photo of this burning is the one above.

In contrast, the Astoria guitar has not been restored and is in the same burnt condition as it was in 1967. Apparently, it has been stored in the garage of the parents of Hendrix's former press secretary, Tony Garland.

The auction will be held at the Idea Generation Gallery (although I have read that the auction is to take place at the Fame Bureau) in London.


Yazid Manou said...

You made a little mistake regarding the Monterey burned guitar as it's not owned by Frank Zappa. Here is what Zappa said :

"Another one of my Strats is the one Hendrix burned at the Miami Pop
Festival; it was given to me by this guy who used to be his roadie. I
had it hanging on the wall in my basement for years until last year
when I gave it to Rex and said, "Put this sucker back together,"
because it was all tore up. The neck was cracked off, the bodywas all
fired, and the pickups were blistered and bubbled. That's the one
that's got the Barcus-Berry in the neck. A lot of people thought I had
Hendrix's guitar from Monterey, but it was from Miami; the one at
Monterey was white and this one is sunburst."

But Zappa also made a mistake (!!) 'cos Jimi never burned his guitar in Miami...The guitar was put on fire at Astoria-London on march 31st, 1967.

I know, all that story is quite confusing for everybody...

Rob Baiton said...


My understanding was that Jimi burnt 2 guitars. The first was in London and the 2nd was at Monterey.

The one for auction in September is the London one.

With regard to Frank Zappa. It was something that I read and Dweezil Zappa is quoted in a few places as having the Monterey guitar.

But you sound like a bigger fan than I. So, thanks for filling me in.

Yazid Manou said...

I try have the record straight ! Not easy for everyone as there are some misunderstanding and now we have two burnt guitars ! I'm acting like Lieutenant Columbo (!) 'cos I think one is a FAKE but I still do not know which one !!
You're right, Jimi burnt two guitars (London and Monterey).

Stay tuned !

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