Owners of a 1967 Fender Stratocaster, which they claim once belonged to Jimi Hendrix, have won a suit against the legendary musician’s estate for interfering with a sale of the guitar.
A jury awarded Rock Stars Guitars $131,000 Friday, finding that Hendrix’s estate hurt the company’s efforts to auction the guitar by questioning its authenticity.
The 27-year-old musician died in 1970. A guitar he played at Woodstock went for $330,000 in 1990.
Rock Stars Guitars owners Greg Dorsett and David Brewis value the guitar at more than $350,000. They say a former roadie with ties to Hendrix sold them the instrument for $60,000 in 1999, claiming Hendrix gave the guitar to him.
When Rock Stars Guitars tried to auction the guitar on eBay in March 2001, Hendrix’s estate wrote letters questioning the guitar’s authenticity, saying there is no way to prove the guitar belonged to him. There is no receipt with Hendrix’s signature, nor a serial number that can be traced to him.
Because of the letters, the company was unable to sell the guitar, Rock Stars’ attorney Michael Guta said.
Stephen Lucas, a lawyer for Hendrix’s estate, said he will appeal.