Jimi Hendrix‘s estate has filed a lawsuit claiming that the estates that represent bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell have no basis to sue them for copyright claims.
Dorothy Weber, the lawyer in question for Experience Hendrix, LLC and Sony Music Entertainment, filed the suit on January 18th. She claimed that both members of The Jimi Hendrix Experience rhythm section had signed waivers, preventing them from suing the Hendrix estate. The estates of both Mitchell and Redding have countered this claim, feeling they are no longer bound to the contracts their deceased clients signed in the 1970s.
“Any claim of ownership by the Defendants was time-barred decades ago,” Weber wrote in her filing. She is currently looking for a judge to declare that the estates representing Redding and Mitchell are doing so without legal merit.
Hendrix died in 1970, and Redding followed in 2003. Mitchell acted as band custodian until he died in 2008. In one of his last interviews, the drummer highlighted the importance of the band: “I’ve got to keep it quite straightforward on that. I’ll never go looking for that, because it doesn’t exist. It’s like trying to compare John Coltrane to Wayne Shorter. You can’t. I’ll never go along with a straight Jimi tribute thing because it doesn’t exist and it never will. People have different interpretations of the songs and that’s good, but it’s not the same. People need to remember Jimi didn’t go up to 11 on the amp all the time, he kept the undertones. People forget that.”
Paul McCartney witnessed Hendrix’s meteoric rise in the 1960s. “It’s still obviously a shining memory for me because I admired him so much anyway, he was so accomplished,” McCartney said. “To think that that album had meant so much to him as to actually do it by the Sunday night, three days after the release.”
McCartney concluded: “He must have been so into it because normally it might take a day for rehearsal and then you might wonder whether you’d put it in, but he just opened with it. It’s a pretty major compliment in anyone’s book. I put that down as one of the great honours of my career. I mean, I’m sure he wouldn’t have thought of it as an honour, I’m sure he thought it was the other way round, but to me, that was like a great boost.”
The legal case continues.