Karl J. Geisler...
The following reports were posted on
on July 28, 1995.
According to the San Francisco Examiner home page....
SEATTLE - The rights to the music of legendary rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix,
valued at tens of millions of dollars, will return to his family under a
lawsuit settlement announced Tuesday.
The rights to the music, name and likeness of the 1960s acid rock star have
been entangled in litigation since 1993, when Hendrix's father and sole
heir, Al, sued the family's longtime legal advisor, charging mismanagement
of the singer's legacy.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, where Hendrix was
born, effectively blocked sale of the rights to MCA Records for a reported
$50 million to $75 million.
Al Hendrix's lawyer, Yale Lewis, said the rights, which include the master
disks to Hendrix's music, were worth closer to $90 million.
Under the settlement, Al Hendrix will get a lump sum payment of unspecified
back royalties when the agreement is finalized next month and then will get
rights to all royalties going forward.
The settlement also provides for the Hendrix family to pay an unspecified
amount over time to settle certain counter-suits, Lewis said. Lawyers on
both sides declined to release further details of the settlement.
Since Hendrix's death in 1970 of drug-related causes at age 27, his
electrified blues-rock has remained popular, reaching new audiences through
releases such as last year's "Jimi Hendrix: Woodstock" from MCA, which was
ranked among Billboard magazine's top 40 albums less than a year ago.
Funding for the litigation was provided through an interest-free loan from
Microsoft Corp. co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen, a devoted Hendrix
A spokesman for Allen said the litigation cost $5 million, which the family
was asked to repay only if they prevailed.
According to AP...
Alan Douglas, As a result of the agreement, will no longer maintain ownership
rights over any of the musical releases he's overseen since Hendrix's
will complete work on a soundtrack album and a documentary of Jimi Hendrix's
career entitled ``A Room Full of Mirrors.'' It will be up to Al Hendrix
and his representatives
to decide what to do with the works.
The Electronic Telegraph Thursday 27 July 1995 World News
Father wins legal battle for Hendrix millions
By Hugh Davies in Washington
THE 76-year-old father of Jimi Hendrix won the rights yesterday to
his dead son's music, estimated to be worth more thanESC(I#ESC(J50 million. Al> Hendrix's victory comes after years of legal wrangling to sort out
the financial mess the rock guitarist was in when he died 25 years
ago after overdosing on sleeping pills in a girlfriend's flat in
At the time, his vast earnings were going into Bahamian tax
shelters. Aides and managers took sizeable percentages and he was
forced to tour America and Britain repeatedly to avoid bankruptcy.
His father, a retired landscape gardener in Seattle, has been
fighting as the sole heir to gain control of the assets.
Interest in Jimi Hendrix and his music has continued and his grave
has become a shrine for grunge music followers.
Although Hendrix was always more popular in Britain than in America
- his only real hit in America was a blistering version of Bob
Dylan's All Along the Watchtower, which struggled to No 20 in 1968 -
global sales of his albums still produce more thanESC(I#ESC(J2 million
annually in royalties.
Spin-offs such as photographs, T-shirts and films, generate another
Hendrix was discovered by the veteran guitarist Les Paul in a New
Jersey nightclub. His death - suffocating on his own vomit at the
age of 27 - illustrated the rock maxim that living fast and dying
young is incredibly lucrative for record companies.
More of his recordings were released posthumously than in his
lifetime. Rolling Stone magazine christened him the "greatest
guitarist of all time".
There has even been a ghoulish Hendrix: On the Road Again tour, with
fans invited into a 64 ft tractor-trailer to watch films, listen to
music and "play guitar with Jimi" via a computer.
His father, who bought him his first guitar on credit, claims that
he collected less thanESC(I#ESC(J1.3 million in the last two decades. He
started legal action that was due to begin in a federal court this
He has agreed to drop a fraud suit against a Los Angeles civil
rights lawyer he hired to sort out the muddle of the estate.
An agreement gives him all of his son's property, including the song
catalogue and master tapes of his recordings, in return for various
large payments to sort out old contracts.
Al Hendrix, who still lives in a modest home, has a pacemaker in his
chest and suffers from arthritis, said: "I am elated. Jimi would be
happy to know we won this thing and got it all back."