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Few moments are as iconic and emblematic of musical rebellion as Jimi Hendrix setting his guitar on fire. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of people associate Hendrix’s guitar-burning antics with the international Monterey Pop Festival. However, the truth is that he had already executed this daring act before.

The first time occurred on March 31, 1967, at The Astoria in London, marking the 24-date tour alongside The Walker Brothers, Cat Stevens, and Engelbert Humperdink. Jimi Hendrix lit his guitar on fire for the first time and continued to dazzle the audience throughout the rest of the tour by incorporating his teeth into the act, occasionally setting his guitar on fire again for added flair. It became a signature move, showcasing Jimi Hendrix’s unique and electrifying style.


Jimi Hendrix burned his hands when he lit his guitar on fire


Chandler, Hendrix, and rock writer Keith Altham were chilling before the tour’s first show when the journalist tossed out the idea that it would be cool if the guitarist not only played “Fire” but also played with fire. A quick mission to the local store by a roadie for some lighter fluid, and Chandler had the plan in motion.

After the Experience wrapped up their opening set with “Fire,” Jimi Hendrix casually placed his guitar by the amps and strolled back to the front of the stage while Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding kept the jam alive. With Jimi Hendrix diverting the crowd’s attention, Chandler coats the Stratocaster in fuel. Jimi Hendrix grabs the guitar, kneels beside it, and, with a few burnt matches, sets it ablaze.

Thanks to the generous amount of fluid, the flames shoot up to a whopping four feet, unfortunately burning Jimi Hendrix’s hands in the process. The rush to extinguish the fire also ends up with some minor burns. Despite the incident, Jimi Hendrix managed to pull off the grand finale on another guitar. Later on, he heads to the local hospital to get treated for his burns.


Hendrix’s burnt guitar fetches $600,000

The first guitar that Jimi Hendrix set on fire on stage has been sold for £280,000 ($604,000) at a London auction. The 1965 Fender Stratocaster, famously ignited by Jimi Hendrix after a historic performance at London’s Finsbury Astoria in March 1967, became a symbol of his revolutionary style. The guitar found its way to Tony Garland’s office, later residing in Garland’s parents’ garage in Hove, southern England. In 2007, Garland’s nephew rediscovered this historic artifact.


What is the most expensive guitar of all time?


The 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic-electric guitar used by Cobain in Nirvana’s iconic MTV Unplugged performance in 1993 claimed the title of the priciest guitar ever. In 2020, this musical relic fetched a staggering sum of over $6 million at auction. Not only does it hold the record for the world’s most expensive guitar, but it also stands as the most expensive piece of rock memorabilia in history.


20 Guitars that Jimi Hendrix used

  1. Gibson 1955 Les Paul Custom Exclusive Electric Guitar: Jimi briefly used this flipped Les Paul Custom during 1968.
  2. Fender Mustang: Hendrix played a Daytona Red Fender Mustang during “Axis: Bold as Love.”
  3. Fender Jazzmaster: Main guitar in Little Richard’s band and used occasionally in his solo career.
  4. Jimi Hendrix’s 1967 Gibson SG Custom: White Gibson SG, played on The Dick Cavett show in 1969.
  5. Jimi Hendrix’s 1960s Zemaitis 12-string Acoustic: Featured in the famous ’12-string blues’ intro in a film about Jimi Hendrix.
  6. Fender Jaguar: Hendrix played a dark blue or black Fender Jaguar with dot inlays in 1964.
  7. Joe Maphis Model Double-Neck 6/12 String Guitars: White guitar from Manny’s Music shop in NY, used for “Spanish Castle Magic.”
  8. Ampeg Dan Armstrong Lucite Guitar Clear 1969: Seen with Hendrix and Keith Richards; a clear lucite guitar.
  9. Black Widow: Named after Hendrix, played on the guitar’s prototype.
  10. 1965 Gretsch Corvette Electric Guitar Cherry Finish: Possibly used in a 1967 jam session with Curtis Knight.
  11. 1969 Gibson Flying V: Custom-built by Gibson for Jimi in 1969, gold plated, left-handed with a tremolo bridge.
  12. Gibson Les Paul Custom 1953 – 1957: Played at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East Theater in New York in 1968.
  13. Gibson ES-345 – Vintage Burst: Likely a ’60s Gibson ES-345 with Bigsby Vibrato.
  14. Fender Bronco: Used by Jimi for one night in the late ’60s, given to Brian Levine.
  15. Höfner Club 50: Hendrix seen playing a Höfner Club 50.
  16. 1966 Fender Stratocaster Lake Placid Blue: Seen in a photo with Hendrix playing at the Miami Pop Festival in 1968.
  17. Rickenbacker 360/12: Hendrix holding a Rickenbacker 360/12 in MapleGlo.
  18. Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster® | Electric Guitars: Used at the Miami Pop Festival in 1968, later repaired by Frank Zappa.
  19. Danelectro Shorthorn: One of Hendrix’s earliest guitars, a Danelectro Shorthorn named “Betty Jean.”
  20. Fender Jazzmaster: Before becoming a Strat devotee, Hendrix played the Fender Jazzmaster.


YouTube player
Jimi Hendrix Live – Wild Thing (Monterey, 1967) (Guitar on Fire) (HQ)


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