Shop is sued over ‘stolen’ Jimi Hendrix’s Black Widow guitar worth nearly $1MILLION
The estate of Jimi Hendrix is suing a Tucson man for a guitar once owned by the legendary rock-and-roll musician, claiming it was stolen by a former member of Earth Wind and Fire before being sold.
Experience Hendrix LLC, the company that runs Hendrix’s estate, wants a Pima County Superior Court judge to order the Black Widow guitar returned from Rainbow Guitar owner Harvey Moltz.
According to the October 2 complaint, the estate said Harvey Moltz, who claims he bought the Black Widow acoustic guitar last year for $80,000, is not the rightful owner of the instrument.
Estate attorney Ed McPherson said the guitar, which is valued between $750,000 and $1million, was stolen by Sheldon Reynolds, the ex-husband of Hendrix’s adopted sister, Janie Hendrix.
Moltz said he purchased the guitar in June 2014 from someone who bought it from Reynolds, a former member of Earth, Wind, and Fire.
The guitar, which Hendrix owned when he died in 1970, went to the musician’s father along with the rest of the estate at the time of his death, the complaint said. Experience Hendrix was bequeathed the estate when Hendrix’s father died in 2002.
‘The guitar is priceless to our family,’ Janie Hendrix, CEO of Experience Hendrix told the Arizona Daily Star in an email statement. ‘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.’
Experience Music first discovered the famous guitar was missing in June 2014, when an auction firm called to authenticate the item.
Julien’s Auctions, a Los Angeles-based firm claiming to be ‘the auction house of the stars’ called Experience Hendrix to authenticate the Black Widow, which was being auctioned by Brian Patterson.
Moltz said that he bought the guitar from Patterson that same month. Patterson claims to have bought the guitar from Reynolds.
‘My client purchased the guitar in good faith from a private seller, without knowledge of competing claims of ownership,’ Moltz lawyer, Todd Jackson, told the Daily Star.
When Moltz purchased the guitar, Patterson showed him a letter stating that Janie Hendrix had given Reynolds the guitar during their marriage, Jackson said in a June 15 letter to Experience Hendrix lawyers.
McPherson claims, however, that the seller ‘got it from someone who stole it and we intend to get it back’.
Experience Hendrix said Reynolds claims to have gotten a hold of the Black Widow in one of two ways: through a divorce settlement with Janie Hendrix in 2007 or through Janie Hendrix’s 14-year-old son when belongings were gathered during the split.
But Experience Hendrix said both claims are false and that the guitar was never Janie Hendrix’s property.
Moltz claims to have bought the Black Widow legitimately and ‘has no interest in acquiring or retaining stolen property’, Jackson said in his letter.
Moltz said he is willing to refrain from selling the guitar while the court battle takes place in California.
He also offered to allow the guitar to be inspected when needed.
(Courtesy of http://www.dailymail.co.uk/)