Jimi Hendrix’s 1959-1964 Fender Jazzmaster

During the latter part of the Isley Brothers’ tour in late 1964 and the tour with Little Richard in early to mid-1965 Jimi was seen playing a sunburst Fender Jazzmaster. The guitar was also seen in one of Jimi’s earliest TV appearances, in May 1965.

Jimi playing a Fender Jazzmaster guitar in the backline of Buddy & Stacy doing
Jimi playing a Fender Jazzmaster guitar in the backline of Buddy & Stacy doing “Shotgun” on the television show Night Train from 1965.

Dating the Jazzmaster

Based on the guitar’s appearance, we can narrow down its manufacturing year to around 1959 to 1964. The pickguard seen on Jimi’s guitar became available on the Jazzmaster model in 1959, and the small headstock as well as the logo, are both from the pre-1964 era. Additionally, the guitar appears to have a veneer fretboard, which would decrease the year range to 1959 – 1962. Unfortunately, we don’t have any photos showing the fretboard from an angle that would allow us to make a conclusive determination. If you happen to come across a photo of Jimi playing the Jazzmaster with a good angle on the top of the fretboard, please leave it in the comments.

Post Little Richard

Jimi was seen playing this guitar in a photo taken at the Hejaz Grotto Hall in July 1965 with the Isley Brothers. This was, of course, after he left Little Richard and joined the Isley Brothers for the second time. While we cannot display the photo here due to copyright, a quick Google search should give you a few results.

Another photo of Jimi with the guitar was taken later that year with Joey Dee and the Starliters. According to a letter Jimi sent to his father, he played with Joey around November 1965.

After that, the guitar essentially disappeared from Jimi’s collection. Hendrix moved on to a white Jazzmaster, which he was seen using with King Curtis, and a sunburst Duo-Sonic he used with Curtis Knight.


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Paul Unger
Paul Unger
2 years ago

Nope… the guitar does not disappear, April 4, 1968, Virginia Beach, VA… live at The Dome. He opened with “Are You Experienced” playing this guitar, played the rest of the show with the white Strat.

Hendrix with jazzmaster april 4 1968.jpg
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Unger

Marshall on the left, Sound City on the right?