Liying undiscovered for 40 years, Hendrix`s legendary 1965 Fender Stratocaster now faces auction on September 4th 2008.
In March 1967, Finsbury Astoria, London Hendrix announced his arrival to UK audiences with a memorable live performance where he set his trusty Fender.
The sale also includes the last surviving drum-kit of Led Zeppelin`s John Bonham (£20,000), Jim Morrison`s final notebook of poetry (£80,000 – £100,000) and musings before his death from Paris in 1971; and the song-sheet for Band Aid`s `We are the World` – signed by the likes of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan (£5,000 – £6,000).
Only allowed into the UK on a temporary VISA, Hendrix was determined to leave an indelible impact on all who witnessed the performance. He instructed close confidante and press officer Tony Garland to buy lighter fluid from a local hardware store, and at the end of his show Hendrix re-defined the limits of live performance forever.
Flames flew into the air as Hendrix set fire to the base of his Fender Stratocaster – and the astonished audience looked on as the American renegade was ushered off-stage by petrified venue staff – and taken to hospital with minor hand injuries.
Whilst Hendrix was being treated, his guitar was retrieved by his roadies, and eventually returned to Garland`s London offices. The guitar was then kept at the home of Noel Redding (bass player with the Jimi Hendrix Experience); before Garland collected the guitar and stored it at his parent`s garage in Hove – and only unearthed by Garland`s nephew in 2007.
Although Hendrix famously repeated the stunt at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, the Astoria guitar remains the only surviving burnt guitar fully intact – with burns still visible along the neck and pickboard.
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