Pawn Stars Hendrix Stratocaster


Senior Stratmaster
Dec 31, 2013
Austin, TX
Did anyone see the Pawn Stars this week? A guy brought in a 1963 Stratocaster that he said Hendrix had played in the studio on several albums, he said it was his favorite recording guitar. It was Oly white and looked authentic '63, it was right handed and strung normally. Rick called it the "Holy Grail" like it was the actual Woodstock Stratocaster. The guy also had a typewritten piece of paper that had a statement supposedly from Jimi Hendrix's brother that said it was his studio guitar with the brother's signature. It looked kinda like a xerox copy. The guy wanted $750K for the guitar. I mean it had a case and everything.

Rick brought in his expert Jesse and he looked at it. Jesse pointed out that it had "ring wear" on the top side of the fretboard, like you would get if you were playing it upside down while wearing a wedding ring. The expert proclaimed that therefore it was 100% authentic, Jimi Hendrix's guitar- based on the wear on the topside of the fretboard and the typewritten piece of paper. Rick haggled a bit, starting at 450K then 500K, and finally offered the guy $600,000 based solely on that five minute inspection, without even popping the neck or anything. The guy stuck to the 750K and walked out with the guitar.

So if you have something that looks like a vintage Strat with a little wear on the topside of the fretboard and a typewriter you can make over half a million dollars. Just take it to Rick Harrison at Gold & Silver Pawn.


Senior Stratmaster
Dec 31, 2013
Austin, TX
OK I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek, I think Jesse was a little more thorough with his examination than what they showed on TV. :D It seemed really sketchy in the episode but here is a video I found that Jesse put up, this is not from the show apparently he is selling the guitar at Cowtown Guitars. Of course its in his interest to authenticate since he's selling it...


Strat-Talk Member
Sep 27, 2012
I saw the episode . It appears it was the real thing , the serial number on the guitar matched the guitar that was featured in a magazine . I actually think Rick offered a fair price at 600k . I remember hearing the white strat Hendrix played at Woodstock sold for around a million . I don't think this one would get that at auction , so think 600 was very fair .

Bad Monkey

Senior Stratmaster
Oct 8, 2013
Olde Town Arvada, CO
I saw the Pawn Stars episode, johnnyha. That guitar was SWEET!!! But honestly I felt like the entire thing was staged just to make an "interesting" episode. I mean let's face it...reality tv has very little to do with reality.

First of all...if you were lucky enough to own a documented Hendrix Strat...who in their right mind brings it to a pawn shop?....even if that pawn shop is quite possibly one of the most famous pawn shops in the world? If you want to sell you go to an auction not a pawn just felt very fake to me...the haggling back and forth...$50,000 here...$100,000 there...haha...just totally ridiculous IMO. But...I'm glad I stumbled upon it while I was flipping through's just blind luck that I tuned to that channel when I did....I don't usually watch that show...but I was thinking the entire time....SEE?! Hendrix DID play rosewood boards with the small headstocks!!! :D ...just always irks me when I see people saying "Jimi played the big headstocks" or "Jimi played maple boards"...yeah...he did...he also played the pre CBS headstock'd Strats too or rosewood boards...just depends on the timeline and what he was bonding with at the time...he played maple boards, rosewood boards, small headstocks, big headstocks...he even played guitars that WEREN'T Strats...God

Viking inLA

Most Honored Senior Member
Oct 23, 2013
Los Angeles

In breaking all confidentiality agreements i sign on a monthly basis....Reading your post Bad Monkey.

I once worked on a pilot, a dating show called The Science of love, we shot at the roof of a building in Downtown LA, long story short. The guy was sitting there choosing between 3 girls. Even before he had even chosen between the 3, we saw que cards laying around, saying things like " So, Steve, now when you've already been to Oakland twice and met her parents, what is the next step for you guys?"

Funny as hell...

I talked so some of the girls, all struggling actresses, doing ANYTHING to get on camera...



Senior Stratmaster
Dec 31, 2013
Austin, TX
Yeh I'm sure that guitar came into Jesse's shop and was for sale there before the episode was filmed. Lots of stuff brought in on the show is clearly set up in advance and there is no intention to actually sell the item. There's an early episode where Rick from American Restoration's brother brings in a coke machine, and Rick from Pawn Stars pretends not to know him. But of course now we know they have known each other for years. And to top it off there's an episode of American Restoration where Rick from Pawn Stars brings in the same coke machine to be restored that Rick from American Restoration's brother had just sold him. So the coke machine was just a prop all along.


Senior Stratmaster
Jul 2, 2013
Western Canada
Yeh I'm sure that guitar came into Jesse's shop and was for sale there before the episode was filmed. Lots of stuff brought in on the show is clearly set up in advance and there is no intention to actually sell the item.

Yes, it's well documented that the show's items are staged.

Harrison's original pitch to History Channel was for a show where he talked about historical things. That was rejected so he took the exact same concept, wrapped it in a reality show and History liked it.

Willie D

Pentatonic Hack
Silver Member
Dec 15, 2006
Reading over yer shoulder
That show is huge.

If they showed every step of the authentication process for an item like that, it would simply be an education for would-be forgers everywhere.


Jul 28, 2006
Scottsdale AZ
That guitar and story of it's history was in "Vintage Guitar" magazine last year sometime. At that time and in that that issue of the magazine, it was being offered by Cow Town guitars for 1 Mil. I mean there was a full page color ad just for that guitar. Jesse owns "Cow Town" guitars which is actually a pretty cool shop in LV. But if you follow the show, a lot of the guitars that show up on the show, somehow show up in his shop. Like the Mary Ford SG. It may be a relationship thing between the Pawn Shop and Cow Town. But the reality of that show is it's mostly scripted reality. I've been to the shop a few times, and at this point I think they are making more money selling Chumlee shirts and stupid trinket souvenirs than they are selling pawned history. Actually the shop is kind of a dump.


Senior Stratmaster
Feb 19, 2013
So Jesse in the video says its a 63 with a slab board...according to others in another thread there are no 63 slab board strat....hmmmmm