Late night, bored surfing the ether I spot an ES 335 up for auction, no it’s a 345. Easy mistake, they’re all red and roundish, usually. Sometimes a bargain’s to be had but looking closer this was not only owned and played by a Mr James Marshall Hendrix, among a few others.
Played a lot, re-fretted, bits swapped, left handed, right handed, bits fallen off, replaced, pickups “from the ’60’s” – there’s a surprise. Maybe Lord H really did sweat on this one, who knows, provenance looks good but I guess it’s bound to.
Monstrous guide price, for sale by auction £40 000 – £ 60 000, not much variation there then. That means we don’t know what it will fetch + ex’s, VAT, bits & pieces, who cares. Commission at 20% + 3% online.
Then like a brick to the back of the head it strikes me. Go to the viewing. have a noodle on the Beast and watch the floor show as bidding begins.
Maybe 100’s or even 1000’s have had the same thought ? Wonder if they’ll let just anyone walk in and play it ??
Should do. Who are they to judge whether I have a spare £ 50 G’s ? Unless Harrods have anything to do with it – see my earlier outpourings, “The Guitar Shop”, what a jerk he was…..
I could always wedge my pockets out and look the part. My mate Shoe Box reckons you can get £ 20K in the front pocket of your jeans if they are new. That’s the notes, not your strides. New jeans are actually quite tight. I remember that much but can’t comment on the former. I do know you can carry enough Pound coins to knock out a donkey if you put them in a sock, but I digress.
Back to Lord H’s instrument. So a trip out. No messing, straight on the case, book the train and a hotel, why not make a night of it ? After all it’s not often you get to have a blast on Jimi’s stuff.
Big day out, all set, packed lunch, last minute phone call to the auction house to check on viewing times, maybe have enough time to mooch around Denmark Street and get depressed.
Ah – now there’s a thing. Really helpful bloke called Ted on the other end, tells me there is NO VIEWING as, after all, it’s only a small auction, not worth it you see.
Bollocks it is to me mate, I carefully explain train / hotel / cost a bloody fortune thing.
No chance, on-line only, no room no viewing. So I’m the sad loser sat in the hotel reception waiting for the sodding thing to start on-line with a bunch of Oriental types getting stuck in to the free cheese and biscuits. I did the same in Bangkok once and ate them out of satay chicken washed down with a case of complimentary Singha – in a different life. Bloody hot in Bangkok. They eat frog’s bits and other unnecessary stuff too, not big on guitars mind. Proper 24 hour city.
Auction website’s up and running, not even any audio, just a photo and Bid Button. This is the slowest auction I’ve ever watched. Life ticks by. Bids roll in for Madonna’s vest. No wonder there was no viewing, would’ve been full of proper weirdo’s trying that on. Thankfully no one’s interested in a Fleetwood Mac top hat. Ozzy Osbourne’s pants fetch £ 940. Barking mad. Maybe Ozzy bought them back, he’s bonkers, bet they don’t fit him now.
Jimi’s leather jacket £ 2700. More stuff. Bored I buy a Beatles poster. Why ? You can have anything it’s just a click away, so easy, painless, no need to even get your card out.
Then “Bids in the Room” flashes on the screen. What’s all this about ? There is no bloody room. I reckon the auctioneer’s sat in his lounge with his mates, crate of brown ale, having a laugh, wearing top hat, Madonna’s vest and Ozzy’s pants.
Finally, two hours later. Two hours I can never get back, we get to Lot 50 or whatever. There it is – the 345.
Not much interest, the ether’s playing it real cool, I think bidding starts at £ 15000, I daringly bid £ 18000 for a giggle, dead pan face, showing no emotion and have some more free bread and cheese. Bidding soars to £ 32000 and stops, no more interest, lot swiftly passed.
I did hear later it was sold for £40000 to an offer from the other side. USA. Ironic that. I wonder if it will just end up under the bed ? That’s £ 50 000 with all the paperwork sorted.
And did you click on that link ? FBI, now that’s just plain weird, it just came up out of no where. I wonder if they want to buy any guitars ? I have two 1960’s 335’s, one with PAF’s………….