Hendrix home tape for sale, shows "softer" side

Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:56pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - A home recording by Jimi Hendrix, which its owners said showed the 1960s rock icon's softer side, will be auctioned next month and is expected to fetch between 50,000 and 100,000 pounds ($70-140,000).

According to co-owner Mark Sutherland, the tape was recorded by Hendrix in New York in 1968 and then taken to Britain.

Carl Niekirk worked in a photography studio below Hendrix's central London residence where, because there was only one entrance to the building, he often doubled as doorman for his famous neighbor, letting in guests including George Harrison.

"I don't know how the tapes got from New York to London, but they must have been important if he took them with him," Sutherland said.

"Hendrix ended up in London above where Carl worked. Carl kept getting disturbed by people, and said 'a favor for a favor' ... and Jimi gave him two tapes."

Sutherland said a friend met Niekirk in a pub several years ago and bought the tape from him "for a nominal fee." He is not sure what happened to the second recording.

Since then the tape's new owners have been in legal dispute with the Hendrix estate, and Sutherland said he was now finally able to auction it. Hendrix's estate was not immediately available for comment.

Sutherland and Ted Owen, managing director of pop memorabilia auctioneer the Fame Bureau which is handling the April 28 online auction, are confident the tape is genuine.   Continued...

<p>A file photo shows Jimi Hendrix performing at the Gillmore East. REUTERS/AMALIE R./Handout</p>