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Tuesday, 24 September, 2002, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK
Hendrix's flaming guitar fails to sell
Dweezil Zappa
Dweezil Zappa found the guitar under a staircase
A guitar famously torched on stage by Jimi Hendrix failed to reach its reserve price at auction on Tuesday.

Hendrix's Fender Stratocaster Sunburst, thought to be the same instrument that he set fire to at the London Astoria in 1967, was expected to fetch at least 340,000.

Jimi Hendrix
Hendrix was recently voted the greatest guitarist of all time

But the highest bid received was for 300,000. Now it is down to the vendor, Frank Zappa's son Dweezil, to decide whether accept that bid.

Hendrix also burned the guitar at the Miami Pop Festival the following year, and Zappa senior - who was also on the bill at the festival - found and restored the instrument.

He played it on his 1976 album Zoot Allures before forgetting about it.

Dweezil found it in pieces under the stairs at his father's studio, and set about putting it back together.

The auction marks the second time this year he has tried to sell the guitar - an earlier bid of $500,000 (321,000) was rejected at a sale in Las Vegas.

An auction house spokesman told BBC News Online that Dweezil Zappa would take both the Las Vegas bid and Tuesday's London offer into account before deciding what to do with the guitar.

Before the auction, Zappa told BBC News Online: "It's a very inspiring guitar because it has such a unique history, one that can never be recreated.


The times I burnt my guitar it was like a sacrifice

Jimi Hendrix
"When I found it taken apart, in 1991, I told my dad I'd found the Hendrix guitar, and he said I should have it. Now I think it's time it should pass on to a new owner."

Hendrix only owned two Sunbursts, and it is thought that this is the one that was torched on the two occasions, according to Ted Owen, of Cooper Owen auctioneers, who handled the sale.

"All of the Hendrix archivists and all of the books are pointing to the fact that it was originally burnt in '67 at the Astoria and was restored and burnt again in Miami," he told BBC News Online.

Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa restored the guitar twice
"It's particularly burnt where the electrics were and the plastic scratch-plate area. The neck is completely burnt."

Hendrix is consistently voted the greatest guitarist of all time in music polls.

He once said: "The times I burnt my guitar it was like a sacrifice. You sacrifice the things you love. I love my guitar."

Jim Morrison poem
A Jim Morrison poem is for sale
He is only thought to have set fire to guitars three times - in London, Miami and at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967, which became the most famous torching because it was captured on film.

Also on sale at the auction are a handwritten poem by Doors front man Jim Morrison, which sold for 6,000 - at least three times its asking price.

A self-portrait by Eric Clapton - expected to fetch 400 - eventually sold for 2,600.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Lawrence Pollard reports
"By being smashed and burnt the old guitar is worth thousands of dollars more on the memorabilia market"
See also:

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