A part of rock history will be auctioned on New Year’s Day when one of Jimi Hendrix’s treasured wah pedals and an amplifier he used to record hit songs go up for auction at J. Levine Auction & Appraisal in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The consignor, “Amp Doctor” Dave Weyer, built the wah pedal for Hendrix prior to Woodstock and said the amplifier he repaired and modified for Hendrix was originally used to record songs during his early days with the Jimi Hendrix Experience and used as a preamp later.
“We’ve spent a lot of time reviewing the provenance, listening to audio recordings, and examining photos and films from Woodstock, and we are confident that this was the wah pedal Jimi used during Woodstock,” said Antoine Gedroyc, J. Levine’s instruments and audio manager and consignment specialist. “It’s an honor and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent such an important part of music and American history.”
Weyer worked with many great artists of that era, including Hendrix, Neil Young, Crosby Stills and Nash, Burritos Bothers, Vanilla Fudge, Three Dog Night, and Ike and Tina Turner. Well-respected in his industry for his technical prowess, Weyer started his career working for Thomas Organ Company and in 1968 moved to Los Angeles, where he began working for Jerry Sanders, owner of West Coast Organ and Amp.
In 1969, Weyer knew Vox was coming out with a new wah pedal and wanted to create a special one for Hendrix.
“Like many techs of the period, I wanted to keep my secrets for possible future business, or even just to create a mystique around the particular item to create musician interest,” Weyer said, “so I sanded off the small printing on the transistors, making them a mysterious unknown item. Of course, anyone could have reversed engineered the pedal and discovered what I did, but that was part and parcel of the thinking of ‘garage engineers’ back in those days.” Weyer also explained that the pedal took advantage of a new transistor by Motorola that set the standard for low noise and gain.
The New Year’s Day auction is J. Levine’s biggest event of the year, featuring rare antiques, fine art and other luxury items from affluent estates. Doors open 9 a.m. MT January 1, 2017, with the New Year’s Day auction starting 11 a.m. For details, call 480-496-2212, or visit JLevines.com.