Artist News

Experience Hendrix sues over “stolen” guitar

By | Published on Tuesday 13 October 2015

Jimi Hendrix

A guitar shop owner in Tucson, Arizona has found himself at the wrong end of a lawsuit from the Jimi Hendrix Estate. The late musician’s family claims that Harvey Moltz of Rainbow Guitars is in possession of an acoustic guitar that was once owned by Hendrix and which was stolen from them.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, Moltz bought the Black Widow guitar last year from someone named Brian Patterson for $80,000. Patterson in turn claims that he bought it from Sheldon Reynolds, former husband of Experience Hendrix CEO and sister of the guitarist Janie Hendrix. Moltz says that he was shown a letter prior to purchasing the guitar that said Janie had given the instrument to Reynolds as a gift during their marriage.

The family deny this, however. They say in their lawsuit that the first they knew of the guitar leaving their possession was when an LA auction house, through which Patterson was trying to sell it, called to check its authenticity. “The guitar is priceless to our family”, Janie Hendrix told the newspaper. “It is one of the few guitars that came home after Jimi passed away. We just want our guitar returned safely and back where it belongs”.

Moltz now finds himself facing a lawsuit demanding the return of the guitar as well as damages of up to $750,000. All this despite the fact that he “purchased the guitar in good faith from a private seller, without knowledge of competing claims of ownership”, said his lawyer Todd Jackson. Moltz “has no interest in acquiring or retaining stolen property”, he added.

At this point, Moltz has apparently agreed not to sell the guitar and to allow it to be inspected as necessary while the matter is resolved.