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First guitar played by Jimi Hendrix in the UK up for auction

Laura  Barnes
First guitar played by Jimi Hendrix in the UK up for auction

What claims to be the first guitar played by Jimi Hendrix on UK soil will be up for auction in September.

Auctioneers Gardiner Houlgate are selling the guitar on behalf of keyboardist Zoot Money.

The late 1950s Wandre electric guitar comes with a hand written letter of provenance and signed, sealed re-mastered vinyl of Money’s 1966 album Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band.

The guitar, made in Italy, features a brunette finish with custom stickers added to the table and back. It comes with a vintage Stone Case Company hard case.
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The story of how this particular guitar got into the hands of one of the most iconic guitarists of all time goes a little something like this:

In September of 1966, Chas Chandler of The Animals arrived at Heathrow, London with Jimi Hendrix via an overnight flight from New York. As was customary for Chas when in town, he went straight by Zoot’s flat in West London to see if he knew anyone with a left handed guitar that Jimi could borrow to perform at the Bag ‘O’ Nails or Scotch of St. James that evening.

“I couldn’t let him use one of Andy Summers guitars that were in the flat below because he would have killed me!” recalled Money.

As they were sat discussing who to call, Jimi played around on his Wandre Italian guitar with Zoot saying that he would be happy to re-string the guitar in reverse if he was desperate, which he refused, but did comment on it having a nice easy action. This visit with Chas has been written of and mentioned in many biographies to date. Although Jimi never used this guitar in a gig, it was the first guitar he ever played in England.

“I had only purchased it to start some Chuck Berry songs on stage, because as I said Andy would not let me near his guitars! The strings are in fact still the strings that were on it that night! Later many other people tinkered on it including Jose Feliciano. Since those days, mainly it has been hidden as I later purchased an acoustic to use for writing,” said Money.

Gardiner Houlgate estimates a sale price of between £5-10,000.

The guitar will go on sale on Thursday 14th September 2017 at

Main image credit: Clare Hobbs

Tags: auction , guitar , jimi hendrix , Gardiner Houlgate , Zoot Money

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