July 26, 1995 in City

Hendrix’s Dad Obtains Son’s Music Rights To Legend’s Songs May Be Worth $75 Million

Seattle Times
 
Tags:lawsuit

Jimi Hendrix’s father will again have the undisputed rights to the guitar riffs and psychedelic songs that made his son a world-renowned rock star.

As part of an agreement negotiated in U.S. District Court, Al Hendrix will pay an undisclosed fee to the corporations that have controlled the Seattle rock star’s legacy for roughly 20 years, according to attorneys’ accounts of the settlement.

No one would comment on the amount of the payment or exactly what it’s for. Precise terms of the settlement also weren’t disclosed.

“Practically speaking, any rights that Jimi Hendrix had are now restored to Mr. Hendrix,” said Kirk Hallam, an attorney who represented several corporations during the settlement negotiations.

Hallam estimated that the rights to Jimi Hendrix’s music alone are worth $50 million to $75 million.

The settlement is scheduled to be signed Friday. It will bring to a close litigation that has swirled for two years since Al Hendrix sued an attorney who had long advised the family.

It also avoids a costly federal-court trial that had been delayed several times and was most recently set to begin this week.

“We’re extremely pleased that Mr. Hendrix’s ownership of his son’s legacy will be confirmed decisively and without the burden or cost of a trial,” Hendrix’s attorney, Yale Lewis, said through a spokeswoman.

Al Hendrix was sole heir to Jimi Hendrix’s legacy when the 27-year-old musician - who rose to stardom atop searing guitar licks in songs such as “Foxy Lady” and “Purple Haze” - died in 1970.

In 1993, Al Hendrix sued Leo Branton Jr., legal counsel and family friend since Jimi Hendrix’s death, after Al Hendrix became concerned his ownership rights had been mismanaged.

The suit also named several corporations that subsequently took ownership of the rights to Jimi Hendrix’s work. Alan Douglas, a music producer who has engineered the release of several albums since Jimi Hendrix’s death, also was a defendant in the litigation.

The settlement is legally bind ing and parties have been ordered to sign final papers Friday, the attorneys said. Some details have yet to be ironed out.


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