First a Stint as Jimi Hendrix's Son—Then an '$18K' Album
Billy Yeager's story is definitely an odd one
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2017 5:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – A blond Florida surfer who once pretended to be Jimmy Story, the son of Jimi Hendrix, apparently enjoyed the attention so much from that original hoax that he tried to pull off an even bigger one, as documented by NPR's Andrew Flanagan. This one involved aspiring musician Billy Yeager's supposed "test pressing"—an unreleased album put up in tiny quantities to check for quality before the album is released for real—of 301 Jackson St. on the Discog resale site, with the sample looking like it was going to fetch an astounding $18,000, more than any other album on Discog had ever commanded. Except, as Flanagan, notes, once one starts the "tumble down the rabbit hole of Yeager's life," a clearer picture starts to come together—one of "relentless failures" and Yeager's "ceaseless drive to reverse them."

What started Yeager on his murky musical trajectory was a once-in-a-lifetime boost from musician Bruce Hornsby, who in 1990 had heard Yeager's demo tape and hooked him up for a chance with Capitol Records. That chance never panned out, and Yeager became "embittered" over the years, working "odd jobs" and getting rejected by record companies. Yet somehow "rare" Yeager-connected "ephemera" started finding its way online, for over-the-top prices—odd for an unknown, who "repeatedly poured more of his creative energy into being a trickster-booster" than into being a musician. As for that collectible test pressing that seemed to almost net Yeager a hefty pocketful of change: He may have been the "buyer," and it may have never existed in the first place. Try to unravel the mystery at NPR. (Wu-Tang Clan sold the lone copy of one of its albums for millions—to Martin Shkreli.)

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