Following the mammoth $6M sale of Kurt Cobain’s ‘Unplugged’ guitar, another iconic lefty’s axe has sold at auction for more than four times its asking price, going for $216,000 USD. It was a rare, unbranded Japanese guitar owned by none other than Jimi Hendrix.
Synonymous with the Fender Stratocaster, this guitar is a little left of centre. With no identifying badge on the headstock, the early ’60s Japanese model sports a double-cutaway body with a sunburst finish. And yes, it’s a right-handed model that would have been flipped and restrung in Jimi’s possession.
A rare, non-branded Japanese guitar owned by Jimi Hendrix sells at auction, the axe has a major role to play in the origins of the guitar legend.
According to brother Leon Hendrix, Jimi picked up the guitar in 1962 after he was discharged from the U.S. Army. No known recordings of the guitar being played exist but after doing a little digging into Jimi’s possible amp around the time – the Silvertone Twin Twelve Combo – one can only imagine what it would have sounded like in his hands.
GWS Auctions chronicled the guitar’s history with Hendrix travelling to Clarksville, Tennessee where it was played on the Chitlin’ Circuit with the likes of Wilson Pickett, Slim Harpo, Sam Cooke, and Ike and Tina Turner just to name a few.
It ended up in Harlem, New York where Hendrix played the guitar at such venues as Cafe Wha? and the Cheetah Club from 1964 up until 1966. It was at one of these venues where he impressed Chas Chandler and the rest is history.
While you’re here, familiarise yourself with the other bizarre creations to come out of Japan in the ’60s.