Although Clapton played numerous guitars throughout the ‘60s (Gibson ES-335s, SGs, Fender Jazzmasters and Telecasters, among others), from the moment the world heard the opening riff of Layla - played on a 1956 sunburst called ‘Brownie’ - Eric Clapton and the Stratocaster have been inextricably linked.
In 1970 Clapton bought six Strats for $100 each, and gave three of them to George Harrison, Steve Winwood and Pete Townshend. He fashioned the other three, components of ’56 and ’57 models, into one of the most famous guitars ever: ‘Blackie.’
Clapton played ’Blackie’ for all it was worth and the guitar survived numerous refrettings, but by 1987, he decided to retire his treasured axe.
‘Blackie’ was eventually sold at Christie’s in New York for $959,500 to raise funds for Clapton’s Crossroads Centre, which treats patients suffering from drug and alcohol addictions.
Only God Himself could do better.