A stamp honoring the psychedelic rock hero Jimi Hendrix goes on sale Thursday, the same day as a public unveiling at the South by Southwest music fest.
The brightly colored stamp, by artist Rudy Gutierrez, shows the guitar master playing one of his white Stratocasters. He’s decked out in a Sgt. Pepper military jacket, with full flowing Afro. Psychedelic, but clear-eyed in its presentation of the musician at work.
“It was important to make the art accessible — and to be true to the incredible combination of rawness and virtuosity that was Jimi Hendrix,” the artist said in a press release.
Hendrix joins ’60s rocker Janis Joplin as a U.S. stamp star of 2014 (the Joplin stamp comes later in the year).
The post office recently hailed Johnny Cash and Ray Charles, but its love of pop music stars (or at least their fans’ money) goes back decades — most famously the “young” Elvis Presley stamp of 1993. Other greats found on stamps over the years included Billie Holiday (1994), Buddy Holly (1993), Frank Sinatra (2008) and Duke Ellington (1986). Jim Morrison and John Lennon reportedly are in the wings.
The Hendrix issue is a “Forever” stamp, meaning it’ll always be good as postage. The current price is 49 cents. The stamps will have some value as collector’s items, especially in mint sheets, but don’t expect to get rich — after 20 years, the Elvis stamp (29 cents) retails for about $4 in mint condition.
New York-area artist Rudy Gutierrez’s works include the cover for the Santana album “Shaman.”
Hendrix’s sister Janie said: “While my brother has been cited many times as being among the most influential musicians of all time, the recognition implicit in his being portrayed on a U.S. postage stamp ranks as an unparalleled honor.”
More Jimi Hendrix content:
- Hendrix docu, “Miami Pop” CD rolling in
- “People, Hell and Angels” review
- “Machine Gun”: Top psychedelic song No. 45
- “EXP/Up From the Skies” Top psychedelic song No. 41
- “Hey Joe”: Top psychedelic song No. 66
- “Jimi Plays Berkeley” goes Blu-ray
- Hendrix rarities set: “West Coast Seattle Boy”
Jimi Hendrix store
(Primo picks from Amazon’s stash)