Five most expensive guitars sold at an auction
You’ve seen musicians rock their hearts out on TV before, and their guitar playing skills are nothing to be scoffed at. At some point, you may have imagined yourself on stage shredding those riffs in front of hundreds or thousands of people.
Some of your favorite musicians may have already stopped making music these days while some have already passed on. However, the instruments they used to play have become part of history and some music lovers would love to have them as part of their collection.
Since these instruments have great stories behind them, you won’t be surprised they’d cost an arm and a leg. So, which guitars were the most expensive ever auctioned? Chapman’s Guitar presents you the top five guitars known for having a steep price when they were sold:
Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 Fender Stratocaster
This guitar was played by Jimi Hendrix during the Woodstock Festival in 1969. Dubbed ‘Izabella’, the instrument was famously known for Hendrix’s rendition of ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ during the event. Also, Izabella was the last guitar Hendrix played in a concert.
Izabella was purchased by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 1998 for $2 million. It is currently on display in the Museum of Pop Culture in Hendrix’s hometown of Seattle.
John Lennon’s Gibson 1962 J-160E
This guitar became famous because two members of The Beatles, John Lennon and George Harrison, frequently used such guitars during their performances. Lennon used his guitar when the band recorded the albums ‘With Me’ and ‘Please Please Me’.
Lennon’s guitar was believed to have been lost following a gig in 1963. However, it was rediscovered 50 years later after the owner compared it to images of the serial number on Harrison’s guitar in a magazine. The guitar was sold for $2.41 million.
Fender ‘Reach Out to Asia’ Stratocaster
This once ordinary Fender Stratocaster guitar became the centerpiece of a fundraiser for the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. You’d think the guitar would sell for a hefty price if it was signed by a famous musician, but what you wouldn’t expect is that this instrument bears the signatures of multiple well-known singers.
It’s not just Bryan Adams, the mastermind of the fundraiser, who signed the guitar, but also other famous stars such as Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Brian May, and Malcolm Young. With such big names, it’s not surprising that it sold for $2.7 million to the heir to the throne of Qatar.
David Gilmour’s Fender Black Strat
This is the world’s most expensive electric guitar. The Fender Black Strat was first owned by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour in 1970 and it was heavily customized over the years he used it. The guitar’s sound is heard in five of Pink Floyd’s albums and four of Gilmour’s solo albums.
Gilmour auctioned this guitar to raise funds to fight the effects of climate change. It was sold for $3.975 million to Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts NFL team.
Kurt Cobain’s Martin 1959 D-18E
This guitar was played by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain during the MTV Unplugged in New York concert and is the most expensive guitar ever auctioned to date. It was rumored to be the last guitar Cobain played before he died in 1994.
In 2020, the iconic guitar was auctioned and sold for $6 million dollars to Peter Freedman, an Australian businessman and owner of Rode Microphones.
The historical impact of the guitars on this list is something that music fans will never forget. This is why some loyal followers of musicians will pay a fortune to have a reminder of their idols’ success.
However, if you are looking for guitars that aren’t that pricey, you can always check out the ones on offer at Chapman’s Guitar and see which instrument could inspire you to rock on.