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Paul Davids removes Jimi Hendrix Monterey Strat video until a panel of “independent industry experts” can verify the guitar's authenticity

Paul Davids
(Image credit: Paul Davids / YouTube)

YouTuber Paul Davids has issued a statement explaining why he recently took down a video featuring what he believed to be the black Fender Stratocaster Jimi Hendrix played during his iconic set at 1967's Monterey Pop Festival.

Following the initial publishing of the video back in December, some viewers expressed concerns that the guitar was in fact not the same instrument Hendrix played in 1967, citing the fact it was removed from sale at Heritage Auctions, and had some visual discrepancies.

In the wake of online skepticism regarding the instrument's authenticity, Davids changed the video's title from ‘I Played Jimi Hendrix's $10,000,000 Guitar’ to ‘I Played Jimi Hendrix's Guitar – Or Did I?’ He also pinned a comment under the video, in which he confessed that he “just can't be sure whether [the guitar] is the real deal or not”. 

Now, Davids has taken down the video entirely, explaining his decision to do so in a new Instagram post.

“Since the video came out there have been doubts about the authenticity of the guitar,” he writes. “I understand the concerns regarding this instrument and I'd sure love to get to the bottom of this.”

“I've been speaking with the owner of the guitar and he has always been very forthcoming with extra information and provenance of the guitar whenever I asked for it. I learned more about the history of this very guitar than any of my own guitars. Some of the info is known, some of it is private or even confidential. When (if?) this information ever comes out is unfortunately not up to me.”

He goes on to explain that the guitar's current owner is willing to put together a panel of “independent industry experts to determine the authenticity of the guitar”. 

“I think it's the only way to go forward, really,” he continues. “If the guitar is genuine I'd love to put the video back up, since it was an awesome experience.

“If this turns out to be fake, [the guitar's owner] was the victim of a highly elaborate scam... and I fell for it, too. In that case, I'm feeling sad for the owner, but also for the fact that someone actually purposely replicated the guitar and sold it as such.”

He then notes his intention to create a follow-up video regardless of outcome, “because however this ends, the whole situation has been a great life lesson so far”.

Davids' Instagram post concludes with a message he received from the guitar's owner, which reads: “Once the independent panel have reached a conclusion, either this will once and for all be authenticated as one of Jimi's most important guitars or it will have been one of the most sophisticated scams, which aside from myself would have duped the experts at Fender.

“I'm glad this guitar has had the attention it deserves and only hope the process of setting up a truly independent panel of experts with authority and knowledge can happen smoothly, sooner rather than later and a process can be agreed which satisfies everyone [that] it is completely independent and proper.”

Jimi Hendrix played the black Fender Stratocaster for the majority of his Monterey Pop Festival set, swapping it out prior to the closing track, Wild Thing, for the painted Strat that minutes later he set ablaze in one of the most memorable moments in rock history.

Stay tuned to Paul Davids' YouTube channel (opens in new tab) for the latest updates.

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Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).