By Ian Neubauer
A US court has ordered the recall of Hendrix Electric Vodka and ordered the manufacturer to pay $5 million to the estate of its namesake — guitar legend Jimi Hendrix.
Launched in 2006, the super-premium vodka that came packaged in purple-tinted angular bottles and was available in several flavours made quick headway in the US market following its release.
However, Experience Hendrix, the legal co-owner of Jimi’s music and licensing rights, filed a lawsuit last year after claiming the product was unauthorised and infringed upon their trademarks.
Hendrix Experience CEO, Janie Hendrix, added that product was offensive given that alcohol is thought to be one of the factors responsible for her brother’s 1970 death.
“We are gravely concerned that there may be a perception that Experience Hendrix has, in some way, authorised this sale of vodka,” she told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “As a matter of strict policy, we have never promoted an alcoholic beverage.”
Hendrix Electric Vodka claimed it had the support of Jimi’s former band mates and a number of Hendrix family members, including Jimi’s brother, Leon.
But the last word goes to Jimi himself: “I’ve been imitated so well, I’ve heard people copy my mistakes.”