A Chicago-based auction house has sold the rights to some of Jimi Hendrix's most famous songs to a private bidder for $15 million – but the late guitarist’s estate has vowed to prove that it, and not the vendor, owns the rights to the songs.
The songs - which include Purple Haze, Voodoo Chile and Foxy Lady - were auctioned by the estate of Michael Frank Jeffery, Hendrix’s one-time manager who died in a plane crash in 1973.
But Experience Hendrix, the late guitarist’s family-run estate, believes it owns the rights to all of Hendrix’s compositions and recordings. Bob Merlis, a spokesman for Experience Hendrix, told Reuters, "Whoever bought this bought themselves the right to be a litigant. It will be contested instantly."
The legal haze is likely to continue for some time; if you can stomach the legalese, press releases on the Experience Hendrix site delineate its legal position extremely meticulously. Suffice to say that either the Hendrix estate doesn’t know what it legally owns, or someone has just taken a 15-million-dollar gamble....