Now this is something that won't come along again. It's the favorite guitar of Jimi Hendrix. Voted by everyone from Rolling Stone to Time as the best guitar player ever, Hendrix favorite guitar was this vintage Epiphone FT79 and was “used for almost everything he composed" whilst he was in the United States. Given to a friend just before he died, it was subsequently on numerous recordings and film soundtracks including those by Dusty Springfield, Walker Brothers, Blue Mink, Paul McCartney and on David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs. It's coming up for auction, and is estimated to fetch GBP80,000-120,000, which seems incredibly cheap for such a piece of musical history.
The guitar will be offered in the Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia auction on December 15, 2010 and is estimated to fetch £80,000-120,000. Hendrix, widely considered to be the best electric guitarist in the history of rock music, bought the vintage Epiphone FT79 guitar second hand for about $25 in New York during his first tour of the States.
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He kept it for three years – longer than any other documented Hendrix guitar and spent weeks recording, jamming and performing with it in New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles. The acoustic Epiphone became his favorite instrument and his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham has said, “it was used very, very heavily, continuously, all the time. Jimi had music coming out of every pore. One minute he’d be eating his breakfast, the next he’d say ‘hey’ and pick up the guitar and play the riffs in his head...” His manager Chas Chandler remarked that Hendrix was so attached to the guitar he would even take it with him to the bathroom. He continued to use the guitar regularly after moving to Brook Street in London, at around the time Electric Ladyland was completed. He was captured on film playing Elvis’s "Hound Dog" on this distinctive instrument at the after-show party following The Experience’s Royal Albert Hall concert of February 18, 1969. He gave it to a fellow-musician in March 1970 and it was subsequently used on numerous recordings and film soundtracks including those by Dusty Springfield, Walker Brothers, Blue Mink, Paul McCartney and on David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs.