For more than 20 years, the music and image of Jimi Hendrix have been packaged and marketed without the consent of the Hendrix family. Those rights were sold in 1974 by the estate’s attorney, Leo Branton, allegedly against the family’s will. But now, two years after filing a fraud suit against Branton, the guitarist’s father, Al Hendrix, has settled out of court and regained control of his son’s legacy. Al Hendrix has agreed to drop the suit against Branton and eventually to pay an unspecified amount, reported to be between $5 million and $10 million, to Branton and others named in the suit, including Hendrix reissue producer Alan Douglas. In exchange the senior Hendrix will immediately receive payments reportedly in excess of $1 million. The rights to Jimi Hendrix’s music have been estimated to be worth as much as $80 million, but Al Hendrix says money wasn’t the main issue: “I was going for the legacy, and all that’s back with the family now, and we will work with it as we see fit. That’s where Jimi would want it.”
This is a story from the September 7th, 1995 issue of Rolling Stone.