Clapton's Blackie, Marley's Washburn - guitars and their pricey stories
Some iconic guitars have got better, and more expensive with age.
Take a look at some of these iconic guitars and how they’ve just gotten better (and more expensive) with age:
In 1970, Clapton brought multiple Stratocasters and created his own custom guitar, which he nicknamed Blackie, from the best three. Clapton was so attached to the guitar that he often would turn down other guitars simply because he knew Blackie was at the back. Clapton was quoted saying, “I feel that that guitar has become part of me.”
STRING STORY: While Clapton bought the instruments for a few hundred dollars each, Blackie was auctioned by Christie’s for a then-record breaking $959,500 in 2004.
This guitar has a significant spot in rock and roll history as Dylan played it at his first electric performance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 — often referred to as one of the most defining musical performances of all time. Leading members of the folk movement had criticised Dylan for moving away from political song writing and for performing with an electric band.
STRING STORY: The guitar, which also included the original leather strap and hardshell case, was auctioned off in 2013 by Christie’s for $965,000.
The Gibson J-160-E acoustic-electric was bought by Lennon in 1962 and is considered to be one of the most prestigious pieces of Beatles memorabilia. It has quite a history too. During Christmas 1963, the guitar went missing and it surfaced over 50 years later with a rookie musician, who had no idea of its value.
STRING STORY: This guitar is one of the new additions to the most expensive list, after it was sold in 2015 for $2.4 million.
Reggae legend Bob Marley lived a relatively modest life and owned only seven guitars, with a 22 fret double cutaway Washburn guitar as his favourites. After Marley’s untimely death, the Jamaican government declared most of the singer/songwriter’s assets as national treasures, including the Washburn.
STRING STORY: Marley’s guitar was rumoured to have been purchased for nearly $2 million.
The Rolling Stones guitarist loved his 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard, which is considered to be the Holy Grail of electric guitars. Other greats have got their hands on it too, namely Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. Richards used his beloved Les Paul during the band’s famous US tour of 1964. While the guitar changed many hands over the years, it’s final owner was said to be Whitesnake’s Bernie Marsden.
STRING STORY: Marsden, it was reported, sold the guitar to a UK-based collector, who then sold it to a Swedish collector in 2006 for $1 million.