Auction News | Music memorabilia

The hair amulet used to contact Jimi Hendrix’s ghost on live television


An amulet once used to try and contact the ghost of Jimi Hendrix on live television will be up for auction next week.
The handmade charm amulet includes four large tufts of Hendrix’s own hair, interwoven with beads and leather braided cords.

The unique piece of rock music history is expected to fetch more than $65,000 in RR Auction’s Remarkable Rarities sale, which runs online from October 20 until October 26.

It was made by Felix Pappalardi, a famous music producer who worked with Cream on their albums Disraeli Gears, Wheels of Fire and Goodbye.

As a musician, Pappalardi was best-known as a bassist and vocalist with the proto-heavy metal band Mountain, who scored a hit in 1970 with the classic track Mississippi Queen.

The band shared an agent with Jimi Hendrix, Ron Terry, who booked Hendrix his legendary Woodstock gig on the proviso that the organizers put Mountain on the bill as well.

Pappalardi is said to have made the charm using Hendrix’s hair circa 1971, a year after the guitar icon tragically died in London at the age of just 27.

It was later acquired from an estate sale in Hollywood, Florida, housed within a broken frame with a plaque that read, ‘Felix Papallardi hair charms made from actual locks of JimiHendrix’s hair c. 1971.’

But it was in 1993 that the story behind the charm gets a little weird.

On the 23rd anniversary of Hendrix’s death, Guitar World magazine decided to try and conduct the ultimate interview with him from beyond the grave.

Editor Brad Tolinski acquired the charm, along with one of Hendrix’s Flying V guitars borrowed from the Hard Rock Cafe, and assembled a group of fans at the Electric Ladyland studio in New York.

With the help of a spiritual medium named Zena, the group attempted to contact Hendrix’s spirit whilst cameras from ABC-TV and Good Morning America filmed it for national television.

The event was a shameless publicity stunt, and unsurprisingly Jimi’s ghost declined the invitation to speak.

However, it was a suitably strange chapter in the life of the amulet which just adds to its appeal.

According to the auction house, the amulet is "a rock ‘n’ roll keepsake of markedly profound effect…a truly unique and unusual pop culture artifact…that metaphysically unites the body and spirit of the legendary guitarist."

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