Own a piece of Rolling Stones history as a Keith Richards stage-played 1972 Fender Telecaster Custom goes up for auction

A stage-played 1972 Fender Telecaster in black that was once owned by Keith Richards goes up for auction
(Image credit: Getty Images / Gotta Have Rock and Roll)

A 1972 Fender Telecaster Custom that was played onstage by Keith Richards is going up for auction, alongside a guitar strap and assorted Rolling Stones tour ephemera.

The auction, which is being hosted by Gotta Have Rock and Roll, will also see a Vox wah pedal that was once used in anger by Jimi Hendrix go under the hammer.Starting bids for Hendrix’s wah are set at a cool $15,000, while Keef’s black Tele Custom – one of a number that have been at his disposal over the years – starts at $20,000.

The ’72 Telecaster Custom is instantly recognisable as a Keef guitar. It comes from the collection of Jim Callaghan, who was a veteran of the Rolling Stones security team. The story goes that Richards gifted Callaghan the Telecaster in 1990, when the band were clocking up the road miles on the Urban Jungle Tour in support of Steel Wheels, which was fresh in record stores across the world.

Sadly, there is no guitar capo included with the lot, but then if the budget stretches to a stage-played Keith Richards Telecaster then you can always pick one up at your local music store. Unlike the black Telecaster Custom on Richards’ regular rotation, this one has all six strings, so you might have to remove the lower E string and tune it to open G yourself for maximum Stones effect.

There is, however, plenty of case candy here to sweeten the deal. There is a Fender guitar strap, reportedly the one used by Richards himself, a crew jacket, a pair of crew T-shirts, tour itinerary and a number of passes. A certificate of authenticity and letter of provenance is also included. 

The guitar itself is early ‘70s Fender, complete with the F-stamped neck plate. The knobs are black skirted Strat style, with the dual volume, dual tone controls serving a Wide Range humbucker at the neck and a single-coil pickup at the bridge. 

This electric guitar is not too dissimilar to the American Vintage II 1977 Telecaster Custom, which would make a more than acceptable alternative. It is estimated to fetch between $50,000 and $100,000 but these things tend to get a little out of hand once the action heats up.

Jimi Hendrix's Vox wah pedal

(Image credit: Gotta Have Rock and Roll)

As for the Hendrix Vox wah, this is an Italian made, Clyde McCoy holy grail wah pedal, serial number 02683. The listing says it was used on the stage and studio, and judging by the pictures it has seen a lot of action. 

The pedal was owned by The Ghetto Fighers, aka Arthur and Albert Allen, the twins who performed backing vocals on tracks such as Dolly Dagger and Izabella, and has previously been auctioned via Julien’s Auctions in 2008 and 2011. 

Both lots will be auctioned on 12 April. For more details, head on over to Gotta Have Rock and Roll.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.