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1966 Jimi Hendrix Signed Songwriters Contract
Starting Bid - $2,000.00, Sold For - $4,993.75
Presented is what we believe to be the earliest Jimi Hendrix (1942-70) song writing publishing contract ever signed by the future legend of music, dated March 30, 1966. The two-page “Popular Songwriters Contract” is so early it dates from his days of recording with Curtis Knight in 1966, before he became a star. The contract refers to Hendrix as "Jimmy Hendrix" and is signed in that manner as well, as at this early date Hendrix had not yet adopted the later spelling "Jimi." This is one of the few signed documents known to exist from this early pre-fame era, signed by Hendrix using the original spelling of his first name. Very few Jimi Hendrix songwriters contracts are known to exist. Many years ago a small group of five or six surfaced directly from the files of Jerry Simon, publisher of R.S.V.P. Music, of which this is one. All were dated March 30, 1966 and are the earliest songwriting contracts signed by Hendrix. The contract, between R.S.V.P. Music and Jimmy Hendrix, grants the company all copyrights for the song “I Ain’t Taking Care of No Business” for the sum of $1.00. In exchange, Hendrix is to receive royalties of five cents per copy, respectively, for each piano or dance orchestration of the song sold by the company. Additionally, Hendrix is to receive 50% of all proceeds from foreign sales of the piano/orchestration copies and 50% of the proceeds from the sale of all phonograph records. The contract is signed in blue ink on the reverse by “Jimmy Hendrix” and Jerry Simon, President of R.S.V.P. Music. At the time of this contract, Hendrix was still a relative unknown in the music community. However, in the spring of 1966, while playing in a New York City club, he was “discovered” by Linda Keith, then-girlfriend of Keith Richards. That break changed his career and shortly afterwards he changed his name to “Jimi” and formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The song “I Ain’t Taking Care of No Business” was released by Capital Records on the album "Get That Feeling" in December 1967, where it was retitled "No Business." Hendrix had little to his name at this early date and was not likely to see a great deal of profit from the terms of the contract for this song, which ends with the lyrics "Aww, I sure wish I had me a sandwich/I'm so broke I can't even pay attention/Uh, I'm so broke I can't even give you the time." The contract (8.5 x 14 inches), printed on two sides of a single sheet, displays a few tiny border tears and light creases, otherwise in Excellent condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA.
Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open).
SOLD FOR $4,993.75
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