Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire, Jimi

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Psychedelic guitar legend Jimi Hendrix was known for many, many things-being a ripping, soulful, virtuoso guitarist, indulging in mind expanding drugs and rocking the funkiest duds ever, and lighting his guitars on fire. Not to mention the fact that songs like “Purple Haze,” “The Wind Cries Mary” and his take on “Little Wing” are catalysts for young musicians to pick up the guitar and wail.


Psychedelic guitar legend Jimi Hendrix was known for many, many things-being a ripping, soulful, virtuoso guitarist, indulging in mind expanding drugs and rocking the funkiest duds ever, and lighting his guitars on fire. Not to mention the fact that songs like “Purple Haze,” “The Wind Cries Mary” and his take on “Little Wing” are catalysts for young musicians to pick up the guitar and wail.

And now one very lucky, deep-pocketed fan will have the chance to have a piece of Jimi in their possession: his infamous torched Stratocaster from the 1967 London Astoria show. The guitar is going to be sold at auction through The Fame Bureau on September 4, 2008.

Hendrix’s passion for music emanated from his soul on record and on stage, and this particular performance was over the top. Video footage from the gig shows the guitarist on his knees bowing down to the axe, whipping out a can of lighter fluid, and starting a mini-bonfire in front of the drum kit. This event was the first time Jimi had done this and it wouldn’t be the last-he repeated the ritual at his Monterey Pop Festival performance.

Jimi’s press officer Tony Garland recovered the Strat and has held on to it since ’67 in his home. The Astoria guitar has burn marks across the front but is still in one piece, unlike some of his other sacrificed guitars, which were smashed to shreds upon conflagration. This September, Garland will pass the torch on to a new owner, and estimates on the price tag are hovering around seven figures. Joining the ranks of other classics such as Eric Clapton’s Blackie and some of Kurt Cobain’s Fenders, this guitar is a piece of rock and roll legacy. Jimi’s premature death was a heavy loss but at least we can remember him through what he left us behind. The guy seems to bring out a little soul in everybody.

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