A 1966 Fender Stratocaster Jimi Hendrix played during the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival will lead Heritage Auctions’ June 6 entertainment.
While the Jimi Hendrix Experience was fairly well known in the UK, having formed there in 1966, Monterey was their first major appearance in the US.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience exploded into the American consciousness on June 18, 1967
They actually got the gig after playing a cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to a packed crowd at London’s Saville Theatre on June 4, 1967.
It turned out both Paul McCartney and George Harrison were there that evening and put in a word with the festival organisers.
Two weeks later Hendrix took to the stage at Monterey and launched into Killing Floor – an ear-splitting cover of the Howling Wolf classic.
He closed the set by setting a cheap white Stratocaster copy on fire and smashing it to bits.
By the end of the show, it was safe to say the band had broken America.
This was the guitar he used for the majority of that legendary performance.
"At Monterey Pop, the world was well-and-truly introduced to the still-unmatched greatness of Jimi Hendrix, and because of him, Rock n' Roll would never be the same," said Heritage.
"This guitar was, and is, a part of that magic."
As a piece of music history, it’s right up there with the white Stratocaster he played at Woodstock – which changed hands for a reported $2m in 1998.
There’s no estimate for the lot, but it’s almost certain to sell for in excess of $1m.
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