Signed Jimi Hendrix Arrest Card Goes to Auction
A Canadian arrest card filled in after Jimi Hendrix was charged with drugs possession in 1969 will go to auction next month, and it’s expected to sell for more than $14,000.
The document was completed on May 3, 1969, after Hendrix was detained in Toronto’s Pearson International Airport as a result of small quantities of heroin and hash being found in his luggage. In the ensuing trial, where he faced up to 20 years in jail for each charge, he was found not guilty after having argued that he had no knowledge of the drugs having been placed in his bags.
The arrest card includes Hendrix’s full name and address, all 10 of his fingerprints and his signature, plus the mention of “scar on right eye” as a notable feature. Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of RR Auction, said the mugshot associated with the arrest had previously sold for $14,000 and he expected the card to achieve at least the same price. “It’s one of those things I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up in a museum,” he told the Vancouver Sun.
At trial that December, his manager Chas Chandler argued that fans often gave Hendrix gifts of which he could have no prior knowledge. Hendrix himself said he’d “outgrown” drugs. The jury dismissed the charges because, under Canadian law, the accused had to be proven to know the drugs were there. Afterwards he said, “Canada has given me the best Christmas present I ever had.”
Both Sides of the Sky – the third in a trilogy of albums containing mostly unheard songs from Hendrix's archives – will be released on Mar. 9, the day after the RR Auction event goes live online.