Hendrix's Epiphone Wilshire guitar is up for sale at $1.25 million

The King Kasuals featuring Jimi Hendrix
(Image credit: Moments In Time)

The Epiphone Wilshire is a good value electric guitar for anyone, especially as it's been reissued, but one played by a young Jimi Hendrix? Well try $1.25 million.

Such is the premium of providence associated with the greatest rock guitarist of all time, but before everyone else knew about him and his Fender Strats, Jimi was the sharp-suited guitarist with his 1961 Wilshire in The King Kasuals alongside army buddy and bassist Billy Cox. 

Jimi Hendrix's Epiphone Wilshire

(Image credit: Moments In Time)

The soul band period of Hendrix after he left the army is a fascinating era that helped shape the genre-striding firebrand that would later emerge. But it's also a confusing time in terms of knowing for sure how he obtained specific guitars and there are mixed accounts of how Hendrix got his Wilshire as a result. 

One account suggests he reportedly traded $65 and his army days 1958 'Betty Jean' Danelectro Shorthorn 3012  (named after a woman he was dating called Betty Jean Morgan) for an Ibanez Rhythm Maker at Collins Music Store in Clarksville Tenessee but allegedly return that guitar after defaulting on payments. The Wilshire became his next guitar.

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Another story is that he traded the Danelectro and $65 for the Wilshire. Whatever the truth, the guitar was previously on the market in 2008 but has resurfaced with a private collector for a $1.25 million asking price via Moments In Time – no auction requested here, folks. 

Will it sell? A 1959/60 Fender Duo-Sonic Hendrix used on tour with the Isley Brothers fetched $180,000 but that was back in 2010 – that might as well be another century when it comes to vintage guitar values with legendary connections.

Find out more at Moments In Time 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.