Jimi Hendrix’s 1960s Danelectro Bronze Standardaccess_time First seen circa 1960
After his Supro was stolen, with the help from father Hendrix bought this Danelectro which he later nick-named “Betty Jean” after his girlfriend at the time, Betty Jean Morgan. [Jimi Hendrix Gear, by Michael Heatley, p.28]
The guitar was allegedly originally green, but Hendrix himself painted it several times from red to purple, and back to green at some point. [Becoming Jimi Hendrix, Steven Rody]
However, the earliest photo of him holding the guitar shows young Hendrix wearing a red sports coat and standing by a red car. The guitar, however, seems to be copper-colored one. This was the standard finish on this particular model, and we haven’t been able to confirm whether green was even an option at that time.
Although initially thought to be a single-pickup model, a closer inspection of the photo above reveals that the guitar actually has two pickups. The photo dates to Hendrix’s Army days (circa 1961), which means that he carried the guitar together with him into the Army – although it looks like he removed the pickguard and added some decals to the lower portion of the body.
This is also confirmed in the book Starting At Zero: His Own Story. In one of the letters Jimi sent to his father during the army days, he specifically asks for the guitar to be sent to him, noting that it’s still at Betty’s (his girlfriend) house. Sometime later, he ends up selling the guitar to a guy in the army. After being discharged in July 1962, he borrows the guitar back in order to make enough money playing around clubs to go back home.