50+ Years Later, Lost Jimi Hendrix Lyrics Have Been Pieced Together Again

A strange tale of "51st Anniversary" handwritten lyrics

As the British daily Evening Standard reports, back in February 1967, Jimi Hendrix and his band Experience were playing a concert in the spa city of Bath, standing in for Chuck Berry who canceled his show.

As the report goes, before the concert, two local girls, aged 15 and 16, made their way to the backstage door in search of a prized autograph.

Hendrix stepped out to meet them but told them he had no blank paper when they asked for his signature. Instead, he tore out a page of an exercise book he had on hand, ripped it in half, and then signed both pieces. Fellow band members Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding also gave their signatures.

As the teenagers walked home after the gig they turned over their respective pieces of paper to find handwritten lyrics, headed “51st Wedding Anniversary” – with a side heading, “Key of B.” Three weeks later, “51st Anniversary” was released as the B-side to his second Top 10 UK chart hit “Purple Haze.”

The two friends drifted apart, each one keeping their part of the lyrics. The fate of the lyrics was unknown until last year, when one of them approached Lancashire-based rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia store Tracks Limited for a quote of her set of autographs.

At the request of the store, the seller managed to track down her friend – despite limited contact over the past five decades, who had also kept her piece of the page intact.

Both women, who wish to remain anonymous, agreed to sell their halves of the manuscript which is now valued at a five-figure sum.

Paul Wane, of Tracks, said: “There are extremely few Jimi Hendrix manuscripts in existence and even fewer that have been signed by Jimi and the other two members of the Experience.”

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