Friday, October 2, 2009

Controversial Hendrix Stratocaster Goes On Sale For $500,000

A Jimi Hendrix Fender Stratocaster guitar with a controversial past is back on the market after its owners, one based in San Diego, settled with the late rock star's estate.

The vintage 1967 electric guitar is a right-handed one that was converted to left-handed to accommodate Hendrix.

The owners, Rock Stars Guitars, are asking $500,000 for it.

The instrument, currently on display at the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville, was at the center of a 2001 lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court. At dispute were claims by Experience Hendrix LLC that the guitar was stolen shortly after Hendrix's death in 1970, or that it never belonged to him at all.

After two court trials and appeals, the estate settled with Rock Stars Guitars earlier this year for an undisclosed sum and an agreement that Experience Hendrix will give up its claim to the guitar.

As the story goes, Hendrix gave the guitar to roadie James “Tappy” Wright as a gift around 1968.

Rock Stars Guitars owners, Greg Dorsett of San Diego and David Brewis of England, said they bought it from Wright in 1999 for $60,000.

When the company tried to auction it on eBay in 2001, Hendrix's estate halted the sale by questioning its ownership.

A lawsuit followed, ending with a verdict two years later that ruled in favor of the businessmen. The jury awarded the partners $131,000, saying Hendrix's estate prevented them from getting market value on the guitar.

But after subsequent appeals, the case finally resolved in January with the settlement.

“I see this settlement as a complete vindication,” Dorsett said in a statement. “Hopefully the litigation experience has only added to this guitar's unique history.”

For more information on the guitar or to make an offer, visit

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