Jimi Hendrix: Rare lyrics manuscript pieced together more than 50 years after it was torn in half to sign autographs | Ents & Arts News
More than 50 years after being ripped in half to give to two British fans, a rare signed manuscript of lyrics by Jimi Hendrix has been put back together.
The lyrics for 51st Anniversary, released as the B-side to Hendrix’s second UK top 10 hit Purple Haze in 1967, had been torn apart when the legendary US guitarist used the paper to sign autographs outside a gig in Bath.
But following a search, they have now been reunited by rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia store Tracks Limited, based in Lancashire, and the manuscript is valued at a five-figure sum.
Tracks spokesperson Paul Wane said: “There are extremely few Jimi Hendrix manuscripts in existence and even fewer that have been signed by Jimi and the other two members of the Experience.”
Hendrix was in the early stages of his career when his band the Jimi Hendrix Experience played the Bath Pavilion on the evening of 20 February 1967, having stood in for Chuck Berry, who had cancelled.
Ahead of the gig, the star went out to meet two teenage fans who had gone to the backstage door in search of an autograph.
Hendrix told the girls, aged 15 and 16, he had no blank paper – so instead took a page from an exercise book, tore it in half and signed both pieces, along with fellow band members Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding.
Walking home after the show, the teenagers realised there were handwritten lyrics on the back of their pieces of paper, titled 51st Wedding Anniversary and including a side heading, Key of B.
As their lives went in different directions, the two friends lost touch later in life.
But when one of the fans approached Tracks Limited for a quote of her set of the autographs, she then managed to track down her old friend to see if she had also kept her piece of the page.
Fortunately she had, and the manuscript will shortly be offered for sale by Tracks.
Hendrix is widely considered as one of the most important musicians of the 20th century and among the greatest guitarists of all time.
He was a headline act at the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, just a few weeks before his death in London at the age of 27.