Latest Pop, Rock, R&B, Hip-Hop, Country & Jazz News

Jimi Hendrix ‘Black Widow’ Guitar at Center of Ownership Fight

Jimi Hendrix is pictured with a guitar that is similar to the "Black Widow" acoustic he once owned and that is now at the center of a legal fight.

Jimi Hendrix is pictured with a guitar that is similar to the “Black Widow” acoustic he once owned and that is now at the center of a legal fight.

One of Jimi Hendrix’s lesser known musical instruments, a storied “Black Widow” acoustic guitar, is a the heart of a bitter legal fight between his estate and the former bassist for Earth, Wind and Fire, who was once married to Hendrix’s step-sister.

Hendrix owned dozens of guitars during his brief career. Today, most are worth tens of thousands of dollars and are housed in museums.

Even Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen owns one of the late rock star’s guitars, a classic 1968 Fender Stratocaster that Hendirx played at Woodstock in 1969.

But the Black Widow acoustic is far less notable and has a murkier history. Although Hendrix owned it, experts doubt he ever performed with it, according to several references. But he is said to have used it in studio sessions, according to another account.

Still, it may be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

After Hendrix died, the guitar ended up in the hands of step-sister Janie Hendrix’s ex-husband Sheldon Reynolds, who is being sued by Hendrix’s estate, Experience Hendrix.

According to court papers, Reynolds passed the guitar on to co-defendant Brian Patterson, who is trying to sell it through Julien’s Auctions, a Beverly Hills company that specializes in entertainment memorabilia.

Julien’s tipped Experience Hendrix about the upcoming auction, most likely to establish the guitar’s provenance. That’s when the estate lawyer’s swung into action.

Experience Hendrix lawyer Edwin F. McPherson filed suit in federal court, claiming Reynolds stole the guitar, which he asserts rightly belongs to the Hendrix estate.

Reynolds countered in court papers that the instrument was part of divorce settlement with Janie Hendrix. He also claims her 14-year-old-son said he could have his pick of guitars when he went to her house to collect his belongings.

But the estate claims that the guitar always belonged to Experience Hendrix and was not Janie’s to give away. It wants the guitar and is seeking a restraining order to block the sale.

For the latest updates on the case follow IM on Twitter. For more details, check out Courthouse News Service.


Subscribe To TheImproper's Email Newsletters, Free!