An affectionate personal note penned by rock legend Jimi Hendrix 50 years ago to a starstruck fan has sold for more than £5,000 at auction - much to the delight of its owner.
Anthea Connell first met the star back in 1967 at The Starlight Rooms, Boston Gliderdrome in Lincolnshire and the superstar guitarist was so taken he wrote on the back of a guitar strings packet: ‘To Anthea. Love and kisses to you forever. I wish I could really talk to you. Stay sweet. Jimi Hendrix’.
Five decades later the treasured autographed note has turned up at Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire, where it beat the original estimate of between £2,000 and £3,000 to sell for £5,700.
Mrs Connell, 69, from West Bridgford, said: "It exceeded any expectations I might have had. I would really like to thank Jimi for the memories of meeting him all those years ago and now I would like to thank him for his very lucrative signature.
"The money raised will go towards air tickets for a trip to New Zealand so my husband Steve and I can visit my cousin and his wife who live near Wellington. I hope Jimi would approve. It is certainly a bit more rock ‘n’ roll than buying a new boiler or double glazing.
"We will be raising a glass of champagne to his memory and his stunning music which continues to cross the generations and has massive appeal to this day.
"I told my dad, who is 102, about the sale of the autograph and he said ‘you always liked to be the centre of attention!’"
Claire Howell, Hansons’ head of music memorabilia, said: "I am not surprised the Jimi Hendrix note fetched such a high price. It has amazing provenance thanks to Anthea sharing her story of meeting him. So often, these stories are lost and forgotten.
"The other reason it did so well is because Jimi died young, aged 27 in 1970. That means his autograph is rare. Some of the most sought after musical autographs belong to people who died young. They call it the 27 club because, as well as Hendrix, Jim Morrison of The Doors, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse all died at the age of 27.
"But, as this auction has shown, though they may be gone these talented stars will never be forgotten."
When Hansons revealed the sale of the Jimi Hendrix autograph it sparked a media frenzy and Mrs Connell found herself on 120 news websites all over the world and on radio and TV.
The mother-of-two, now retired from her job in Student Support Services at Nottingham Trent University, said: "Apart from meeting Jimi in person, way back in 1967, I can’t think of anything more exciting, exhilarating, exhausting or nerve-wracking than the attention I received from the media when the news was released that I was auctioning his autograph.
"I had absolutely no idea the lovely signed message which Jimi gave me 50 years ago would cause such a sensation.
"I am still reeling from the enormity of the interest which has been shown. For one whole week I felt a bit like Paris Hilton - minus the curves, the Louis Vuitton luggage and the miniature dog, of course.
"It has been utterly gobsmacking how widely I have appeared in the press. Some of the headlines caused much mirth in our household, especially with my friends.
"They ranged from the Metro who called me a ‘foxy lady’ - much appreciated if not particularly accurate these days; The Daily Express described me as "a pensioner" which, sadly, I can’t argue with, and the New York Post referred to me as "a little old lady" - a bit harsh I thought. I do go to the gym regularly and boast all my own teeth.
"My ‘fame’ has even reached farflung places on the other side of the world. I’m still baffled about how I managed to feature in a publication in Moldova - I don’t even know where that is on the map! Did Jimi ever go on tour there? However, the best outcome of all is I gained massive kudos in the eyes of my kids and their friends by featuring in that bible of the music industry, the NME!"
The Jimi Hendrix note, plus autographs from Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, fellow members of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, were sold at Hansons Auctioneers, in Etwall, Derbyshire, on October 23. To find out more, call 01283 733988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .