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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 August, 2004, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
'Biggest' rock sale for Hendrix
By Darryl Chamberlain
BBC News Online entertainment staff

Jimi Hendrix
One of the photographs of Hendrix which will be sold
At least 20,000 items of Jimi Hendrix memorabilia are to be sold from next year at what is being billed as the world's biggest rock auction.

One-fifth of the 15m collection will be on show at the revived Marquee club in central London from 9 September.

It will then be sold off six months later, with more items being brought in to replenish the exhibition.

Ted Owen, co-founder of auction house Cooper Owen, said: "The collection covers every aspect of Jimi's life."

The full collection - which is still being catalogued by Mr Owen's staff - includes up to 300 hours of video footage, 60% of which has never been seen before.

It also features 3,800 albums from around the world, posters, tickets, handbills, and most of Hendrix's own personal tape collection.

Tape collection

The music contained on the 47 tapes includes early versions of some of his most well-known songs.

Mar-Liis Ival
Model Mar-Liis Ival with the Stratocaster and the Cherokee jacket
"What's on there is better than anything he'd ever released - tracks like Purple Haze, you name it, it's there," Mr Owen said.

A 1965 Fender Stratocaster guitar - scratched by Hendrix's rings - also features in the collection, and is expected to fetch 250,000, while a Cherokee Indian jacket, reflecting Hendrix's roots, is thought to be worth 30,000.

Contracts, promotional material, poems written by the guitarist and over 6,000 magazines featuring the singer are also in the collection.

The Hendrix hoard was built up by US fan Bob Terry, who started collecting memorabilia at the age of 17. He then sold it on to another American collector.

"The collection is so large, it's impossible just to focus on the one thing," Mr Owen said.

"People thought of Hendrix as a wildman, because he smashed guitars on stage, but he was a great musician who thought through every aspect of his music."

The exhibition will open ahead of the Marquee club's launch on 21 September. Hendrix played at the original club's site in nearby Wardour Street, Soho.

'Like a hurricane'

The Marquee closed its doors in 1996, and after a short-lived revival in north London in 2002, the rights to the name have been bought for a new venue at the former Home nightclub site in Leicester Square.

Ted Owen
Hendrix arrived unannounced at about three in the morning, and I was blown away by him
Ted Owen
Hendrix died in London in 1970, just four years after he arrived in London and set the music world alight with his revolutionary style of guitar playing.

"Jimi made it in London . There's no other place in the world - except maybe Paris - where this exhibition could be held," Mr Owen told BBC News Online.

"He was like a hurricane when he hit London - and influenced the likes of Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, John Mayall and Steve Winwood.

"The exhibition will show how Hendrix came to dominate the scene."

A recent exhibition in Paris drew thousands of visitors - but Mr Owen said the London exhibition, designed by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood's son Jamie, would be "10,000 times larger".

"Much as I love their stuff, this won't be the Hard Rock Cafe."

Psychedelic experience

His original idea was to recreate one of London's psychedelia clubs, the Ufo on Tottenham Court Road, where the 57-year-old saw Hendrix for the first time in 1967.

Jimi Hendrix exhibition plans
The exhibition will open next month
"The Ufo was the home of the British underground scene, we were all used to seeing Pink Floyd or Soft Machine - they were like the resident bands at the time, there wasn't much variation in the guys on stage," he recalled.

"Hendrix arrived unannounced at about three in the morning, and played an impromptu gig. I was blown away by him."

Mr Owen hopes the exhibition will give visitors a psychedelic experience - "you're going to be taken on a trip for at least an hour".

Despite the amount of Hendrix memorablia on the market in recent years, Mr Owen is convinced the market for it has not yet been saturated.

"Like the Beatles changed the world socially, Hendrix changed the world musically. It'll stay in demand."

The BBC's Robin Denselow
"He was, quite simply, the most inventive electric guitarist that there's been"

Hendrix guitar fails to sell
06 Jun 03  |  Music
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05 May 04  |  Oxfordshire

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