Los Angeles – It would seem that the spirit of rock guitar god and icon Jimi Hendrix is not only alive and well, but also hovering gently over the persona of his younger blood brother Leon Hendrix. On the heels of a landmark court victory, (Experience Hendrix, L.L.C., et al., Plaintiffs vs. HendrixLicensing.com LTD, et al., Defendants, Case No. C09-285Z, The Honorable Thomas S. Zilly, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle) which yields his company with Andrew Pitsicalis, Rockin Artwork, the right to use his sibling’s name, likeness, artwork and song titles, he is also celebrating a landmark joint venture licensing deal with Barrett LaRoda and Matin Sed of The LaRoda Group LTD.
Matin Sed, the president and managing director of the LaRoda Group LTD originally initiated and sourced the Hendrix deal over several months of meetings. Barrett LaRoda, CEO of the LaRoda Group LTD successfully negotiated the joint venture opportunity. The partnership includes the creation of branded Jimi Hendrix licensed artwork with rights to be held by Leon Hendrix in conjunction with Rockin Artwork.
The deal is particularly sweet for Leon Hendrix, as his Las Vegas based business partner, Andrew Pitsicalis and their company Rockin Artwork, have been tied up for over two years in a trademark litigation with Hendrix licensing companies in Seattle controlled by Leon Hendrix’s sister by adoption Janie Hendrix. Janie Hendrix originally inherited control of the Hendrix estate upon the death of their father, leaving Leon Hendrix shut out of the estate.
“I have always wanted my brother Jimi’s true spirit to live and thrive through my company Rockin Artwork,” Leon Hendrix, the owner, director and spiritual guide of Rockin Artwork expresses. “Now with the LaRoda Group, I have found the perfect partners to make that dream a reality, and in the biggest way possible. I can’t wait to begin showing the public the true Jimi, as I knew him in my life and in my heart.”
This year has been one of several triumphs and victories for the formerly much-maligned Leon Hendrix. In addition to embarking on a successful European tour with his own band, Hendrix recently lead over 7200 guitarists in a world record breaking live performance of “Hey Joe” in tribute to his legendary brother. He also recently released his memoir “Jimi Hendrix: A Brother’s Story” on Thomas Dunne Books to rave review and acclaim.
Andrew Pitsicalis, CEO of Rockin Artwork notes, “When Rockin Artwork won our rights to deal in Jimi Hendrix products and projects after many years of struggle, I knew big things were on the horizon. This partnership is even bigger than what I foresaw. With all their vast experience and know-how, the LaRoda Group will take us to that next level and beyond.”
Thomas Ted Osinski Jr., general counsel for Rockin Artwork cites, “As lead counsel for Rockin Artwork, I was able to help bring home a portion of Jimi Hendrix’s legacy to its rightful place with his actual brother he grew up with. Now through this venture with the LaRoda Group, I will get to see this legacy flourish first hand. I’m in eager anticipation to see everyone’s hard work and dedication to this cause finally pay off.”
The Hendrix deal is a noted coup for Barrett La Roda as well. No stranger to iconic licensing deals, LaRoda is recognized for establishing The Sammy Davis Jr. Enterprises Inc., reclaiming the power behind Davis’ institutional memory. His accomplishments on behalf of Sammy Davis, Jr. include the production of a live stage show in homage to Mr. Davis and the first ever celebrity branded on-line Internet casino. LaRoda’s licensing clients also include the Empress of Soul, Mrs. Gladys Knight and celebrity lifestyle landscaper/contractor Ahmed Hasan.
“I believe what makes this joint venture so powerful in the intellectual property community is that the business model we created may be a first in the licensing industry,” expounds Barrett LaRoda. “The experience of the Rockin Artwork executive team, the passion and history of Leon Hendrix, combined with the magic of the world’s greatest guitar player of all time, Jimi Hendrix; this continuum sets a solid foundation for the LaRoda Group to build incredible opportunities. The entire venture not only sets an important precedent, but also creates a vehicle for the expression of a true legend that will not be denied. This is truly “One Rainy Wish” come true.”
Jimi Hendrix is internationally recognized as the greatest of all time, and one of the most influential musicians of his era. He was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was dedicated to him in 1994 and Rolling Stone Magazine attributes him as one of the top guitarist on its list of the 100 Greatest.
To reach The LaRoda Group, contact www.larodalicensing.com.