More than 45 years after the death of Jimi Hendrix, his estate has won a partial injunction against a company trying to ride on the late rocker’s fame. According to Bloomberg News, the Hendrix estate has successfully blocked Tiger Paw Distributors, LLC, from using the word “Jimi” on the bottles of the company’s Purple Haze Liqueur or on its promotional materials and website.
In addition to the word “Jimi,” the booze maker’s bottles currently feature a drawing of the late guitarist and a drawing of Jimi Hendrix’s signature. Tiger Paw previously partnered with Hendrix’s 68-year-old brother Leon for the alcoholic drink.
While the Jimi Hendrix estate won part of its battle, the court ruled Tiger Paw can continue calling their product Purple Haze Liqueur. The name of the drink references one of the late rock legend’s most famous songs, the 1967 rock anthem “Purple Haze.”
— Siccness.net (@SiccnessNet) November 25, 2015
The Jimi Hendrix-themed liqueur was first launched in 2015. Tiger Paw’s website describes the Purple Haze Liqueur as “a 34-proof concoction of vodka, cognac and fresh and exotic berries.”
The company announced plans to add a Voodoo Child tequila to the line, another clear reference to Hendrix, who released the song “Voodoo Child (A Slight Return)” with the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1968.
Jimi Hendrix and his favorite guitar, Black Betty. He died the next day. pic.twitter.com/8VOsbMCaCg
— Eric Alper (@ThatEricAlper) June 26, 2016
Earlier this year, a rep for Leon Hendrix told TMZ that Leon is legally authorized to license and sell Jimi Hendrix-themed merchandise, something he has been doing for many years. The rep added that Leon actually took issue with his former business associates who went rogue and he also had plans to sue.
Experience Hendrix LLC and Authentic Hendrix LLC are run by Jimi Hendrix’s sister, Janie, and the two companies hold all of the rights transferred from the rock musician’s estate. Experience Hendrix initially appealed to the court to shut down all sales of the Purple Haze blend. Nearly 10 years ago, Experience Hendrix blocked sales of a Jimi Hendrix Electric Vodka.
Jimi Hendrix vodka. pic.twitter.com/o0o8nT2e
— AV. (@_MissValdes) May 20, 2012
The Hendrix siblings have been battling over their brother Jimi’s estate for decades, ever since Jimi Hendrix died in 1970 without a will, according to the Seattle Times. Hendrix’s father, James “Al” Hendrix, died in 2002, leaving his famous son’s estimated $80 million estate to Janie Hendrix.
In a rare interview in 2013 with Daily Sundial, Janie Hendrix opened up about her famous brother, who died when she was only 9-years-old. Janie revealed that her brother taught her how to play “Peter Gunn” on the guitar and she marveled at the staggering amount of unreleased material recorded by her brother that has been unearthed over the years.
“Where and how we find things is always trumped by the excitement when we view or playback what we find,” Janie said. “Nearly every single release we have issued since EH (Experience Hendrix) was formed has included film/video footage or audio recordings we have acquired. There are so many cool examples– it has included tapes and film store in a widow’s attic to deep archive searches where things have been misplaced or forgotten.”
— Retrospective (@RetroPhotoPics) September 1, 2015
Janie Hendrix also dished that her big brother always traveled with his tape machine, thus the massive amount of recordings that have turned up over the years.
“[Jimi] never stopped recording!” she said. “Whether he was at home or at a club jamming, he would use his Teac reel to reel tape machine. He loved working in the studio and would take home tapes of rough mixes to study so that he could make further progress next time he came back.”
Last year, Janie’s Experience Hendrix, L.L.C., settled out of court with her brother Leon’s HendrixLicensing.com for damages associated with the sale of T-shirts, posters, and other merchandise that capitalized on Jimi’s fame. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed, but it certainly seems that juggling all of these Hendrix-related licensing lawsuits is a full-time job.
Take a look at the video below to see Jimi Hendrix performing the song that started all of this drama.
[Photo by Central Press/Getty Images]