LOAs for Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin

This post is a sharp turn from the most recent posts on this blog, which have mostly described, in Nancy’s own words, the pain of growing up with no father and a mother who abused her.  Sorry if this disrupts any sense of flow.  I suspect it won’t. 

Nancy, as this blog will later describe in more detail, and in her own words, eventually finds Jimi Hendrix when she is in her early twenties.  Thus opens a whole new world of art and personality, color and form, friendship, music and perhaps a little madness.  She finds home in a place inside her that the artist…..and she discovered her quite early in life….never really left.

My thoughts, which I kept to myself, were odd for then, but in style today.

I wanted to, but didn’t, wear my hair sticking straight up, like what is now called a modified mohawk.

I thought that cotton candy pink hair would suit my personality perfectly. But of course I had none of today’s many products to validate what I thought were very creative ideas.

After Jimi died, she was evidently called upon to provide LOAs, “letters of authentication,” that verified the authenticity of things that belonged to Jimi (and also Janis Joplin as it turns out!) that were being sold at auction.  She must’ve made a little money doing this.  And money she needed, since she profited little from whatever she created, including her sketch of Jimi for Cry of Love, which was apparently bought by the Hard Rock Cafe.  When she died, she was virtually destitute.  The City of New York had to come in and clean out her apartment.  No next of kin came forward (we still hadn’t found her).

In 1970, there were apparently some photographs of Jimi Hendrix being sold at auction.  In her LOA, Nancy Reiner states,

these photographs were used as preliminary models for the drawing I did of Jimi for the ‘Cry of Love’ album cover. There are paint markings on several of them – from my art studio.  Jimi was a friend with whom I would draw and write on many occasions.

While three of the 11 x 14″ photos are in very good condition with corner/border wear, five exhibit varying degrees of creases, wrinkles, and paint stains…

I haven’t been able to find these photos, but other objects once owned by Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin — a bracelet (Jimi), a hat pin (Jimi), a purple agate ring (Jimi), a scarf (Jimi), and a beanie hat (Janis) — were authenticated by my sister Nancy Reiner so they could be sold at auction.  These are shown below.

 loa-for-jimi-bracelet

loa-for-jimi-hatpin

loa-for-jimi-ring-1

loa-for-jimi-scarf_1

loa-for-janis-joplin-hat

4 Replies to “LOAs for Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin”

  1. Wow……no idea. The artifacts of her friends must have had such meaning given the destitution of her childhood artifacts!

    1. How true. I suppose everything had “enhanced” meaning given her “absent family.” But she doesn’t give any indication in her writing of having “compensated” in that way.
      TS

  2. Hi, I actually bought one of these Jimi Hendrix items with a LOA from Nancy a few years ago (and it wasn’t cheap). Are there really that many things out there that she signed LOAs for? Some people have discussed this online and are skeptical since there are relatively numerous things being auctioned that are said to include a LOA from Nancy. Did she supposedly personally own these things? I bid on mine with the thought that she did.

    Where you say “After Jimi died, she was evidently called upon to provide LOAs, “letters of authentication,” that verified the authenticity of things that belonged to Jimi (and also Janis Joplin as it turns out!) that were being sold at auction” who are you referring to when you say she was “called upon”? Do you mean she was auctioning off items of his that she had possession of and was called upon to sign LOAs by the auction house(s) she commissioned to auction them off? Is there any way to find out more information about this? Thanks.

    1. I wish I could say more definitively how all this came about. My guess is you are right that she owned these things and was asked by the auction house to sign letters of authentication. I know she was pretty poor when she died and needed the money. Her cover art was not compensated well, and she was too young at the time to know how to negotiate for more. I wish I could answer your questions. If you find out any more information, please let me know. And thanks for your interest!

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