JIMI HENDRIX'S WAH-WAH PEDAL AND AMP SURVIVES AUCTION HOUSE BURGLARY 5th January 2017
Burglars who broke into the J Levine Auction House in Scottsdale, Arizona just hours before it was due to host a New Year's Day auction, their largest of the year, missed out on a major prized possession.
The hapless criminals smashed the front door to the auction house and made off with guns and jewellery worth $225,000 but left behind a small guitar amplifier and pedal that once belonged to Jimi Hendrix.
And it wasn't just any old pedal either - it was Jimi's wah-wah pedal which had been consigned to auction by owner Dave Weyer who custom built it for Jimi just before his famous Woodstock concert.
The wah-wah pedal is a priceless part of rock history and was expected to fetch up to $100,000 at the auction.
Weyer said in a phone interview with ABC15:
"Of course he loved it because he loved every kind of gizmo that became available that might tailor or improve his sound."
Weyer met Hendrix back in the 1960s when the iconic guitarist was looking for someone who could repair and improve his amplifiers.
The 'Amp Doctor' asked Hendrix later how all of the equipment he had developed performed at Woodstock, and Hendrix responded: "Groovy."
"I repaired the pedal again in 1970 after many concerts, fully intending to re-gift it back to him, but it all ended when he died in the September," Weyer said.
"It was a very positive and uplifting experience to work for Jimi. He was like a shaman, a medicine man, a preacher. He was actually deeply spiritual.
"I was like, 'You've got to be kidding," said Weyer of his reaction upon discovering what the pedal could fetch on the open market.
"It's hard to find a place to fence the pedal because there's only one of them and everyone would know."
The auction has now been re-scheduled for January 15th and Weyer is hoping an institution or museum will be the winning bidder.
"Then we can put this pedal someplace where it can continue to please people," Weyer said.
The starting bids for both the amp and pedal are $25,000 and so far there have been no bids but a bid of $2,500 has been made on the prototype West Coast 3 transistors Fuzz that Weyer developed for Jimi to use live. He passed away before the project was finished.