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Sunday, July 14, 2024 | Back issues
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Hunt for Hendrix Guitar Lands in Arizona

TUCSON, Ariz. (CN) - Jimi Hendrix's estate claims in court that a Tucson guitar store has illegal possession of the legendary rocker's "Black Widow" acoustic guitar.

Experience Hendrix LLC, headed by Jimi Hendrix's sister Janie Hendrix, has been attempting to locate the "Black Widow" acoustic guitar since late 2014 when it sued Janie Hendrix's ex-husband and former Earth, Wind and Fire member Sheldon Reynolds in Los Angeles Federal Court.

The company also sued one Brian Patterson in Los Angeles Superior Court in June, alleging that he had contacted Julien's Auctions for help selling the guitar after receiving it from Reynolds.

Experience Hendrix filed a similar, $750,000 lawsuit late Friday in Pima County Superior Court in Tucson against Harvey Moltz and Rainbow Guitars Inc., claiming that they "wrongfully obtained the Black Widow and continue to possess the Black Widow."

Owned by Moltz, Rainbow Guitars is a popular Tucson music store that has sold new and vintage guitars for more than 30 years.

According to the lawsuit, Reynolds claims he received the instrument as part of a divorce settlement with Janie Hendrix.

He has also claimed that "a friend of his, who helped him retrieve his belongings from Jamie Hendrix's home, was directed by Janie Hendrix's 14-year-old son to take a pile of guitars and other belongings that included the Black Widow," the lawsuit states.

Experience Hendrix says that "neither story is true" and that it was "just recently informed, in June 2015, that Patterson no longer retained possession of the Black Widow, and instead, the defendants now have possession of the Black Widow."

Experience Hendrix LLC, a Washington company, took control of Jimi Hendrix's assets and image after Jimi's father, Al Hendrix, died in 2002.

The company sued Moltz and Rainbow Guitars Inc., claiming conversion, slander of title, and aiding and abetting, and seeking an injunction to prevent them from selling the Black Widow and from using Jimi Hendrix's name or likeness.

Moltz did not immediately return a request for comment on Tuesday.

Experience Hendrix is represented by Edwin McPherson of McPherson Rane in Los Angeles and Amy Wilkins in Phoenix.

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