Hendrix estate lawsuit fails

San Diego -- Owners of a 1967 Fender Stratocaster, which they claim once belonged to Jimi Hendrix, have won a suit against the legendary musician's estate for interfering with a sale of the guitar.

A jury awarded Rock Stars Guitars $131,000 Friday, finding that Hendrix's estate hurt the company's efforts to auction the guitar by questioning its authenticity.

The 27-year-old musician died in 1970. A guitar he played at Woodstock went for $330,000 in 1990.

When Rock Stars Guitars owners Greg Dorsett and David Brewis tried to auction the guitar on eBay in March 2001, Hendrix's estate wrote letters questioning the guitar's authenticity, saying there was no way to prove the guitar belonged to him.

It's tax time at Neverland

Santa Barbara, Calif. -- Michael Jackson may not be able to beat it when it comes to the tax man.

County officials have decided Jackson doesn't qualify for an agricultural preservation tax break on his Neverland Ranch.

The 2002-03 assessed value of Neverland Ranch is $12,292,618, resulting in taxes this year of approximately $13,000, according to the Santa Barbara County Assessor's Office.

Jackson receives a legal tax break because he leases land to a cattle rancher. Without the tax break, the assessed value of the property could be 50 percent higher.

Under a state law, property owners are taxed at a lower rate in exchange for keeping their land in agricultural use. To qualify, Jackson can develop only two acres of his approximately 2,700-acre property for nonagricultural use.

But Jackson's Neverland Ranch has 37 acres dedicated to nonagricultural use, including a 7.1-acre amusement park complex, said supervising county planner Larry Appel, who visited the Santa Ynez Valley ranch earlier this month with Agricultural Commissioner Bill Gillette.

Beatle is U.K.'s richest musician

London -- Paul McCartney is Britain's richest musician, according to the Sunday Times' annual list of the country's wealthiest people.

The former Beatle's personal fortune grew by $75 million last year to $1.2 billion, the newspaper said, making him No. 1 among musical moguls, but 29th on the overall list.

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber ranks second with an estimated $636 million, and producer Cameron Mackintosh is third with $533 million.

Madonna, included on the list because she lives in London, ranked fourth with an estimated fortune of $361 million.

The full list of the 1,000 wealthiest Britons was to be published today.

'40s actress Andrea King dies

Los Angeles -- Andrea King, who was a leading lady and character actress who often played the "bad girl" in movies of the 1940s and 1950s, died Tuesday of natural causes. She was 84.

She appeared in three dozen movies during a five-decade career, including "Hotel Berlin," "God Is My Co-Pilot" and "The Man I Love." Her last big screen role was in 1994's "The Color of Evening."

She also appeared on "Murder, She Wrote" during the 1980s.


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