Knopfler and Nile Rodgers-signed Strats among the prizes in #ILoveLive raffle to support out-of-work crew

#iLoveLive Stagehand campaign
Mark Knopfler's stage Strat from his 2019 tour is signed and up for raffle (Image credit: Stagehand / Crowdfunder)

The UK charity Stagehand has launched the #ILoveLive prize draw to support stage crew and technicians who have lost work as the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered the live music industry.

Hosted on Crowdfunder – which is waiving its fees for the cause – the #ILoveLive prize draw is selling raffle tickets for £5 a throw, with prizes ranging from a signed Mark Knopfler Stratocaster to a Roland TB-03 signed by and played on tour by the Chemical Brothers. 

The raffle is live now and you can buy as many raffle tickets as you like, with more prizes to be announced on 4 December.

A number of the prizes will be of special interest to guitarists. Joining the Knopfler Strat is a replica of Nile Rodgers' 1957 ‘Hitmaker’ Fender Stratocaster, signed by the man himself, Johnny Marr is selling off his signed Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble, while Eric Clapton is donating a Martin custom shop OM Bob Gruhn acoustic, which will be signed and dedicated to the winner. 

Warren Ellis and Nick Cave have signed and donated an Eastwood Warren Ellis Signature bass and Reuss Muzzbox pedal, the latter played in the studio by Ellis and on tour with the Bad Seeds and Grinderman. 

The Muzzbox is a replica of Ellis's legendary homemade octavia-style fuzz, which is brother Murray made for him out of old radio parts. At least that was the plan – what Ellis got was something more interesting instead and became a key component of his sound

Stagehand #ILoveLive

Reuss Muzzbox and Eastwood Warren Ellis signature bass, signed by Nick Cave and Ellis (Image credit: Stagehand / Crowdfunder)

There is also a Gibson Les Paul Studio, signed by Liam Gallagher, an National Resolectric donated by Elbow, while Tom Bailey of the Thompson Twins has donated the Japanese-built ESP T-Style he played at Live Aid Philadelphia in 1985.

Nile Rodgers and Steve Stevens joined Bailey on guitar that day, while Madonna – the Madonna – sang backing vocals. Bailey was always a Telecaster player, but his were stolen en route from Paris to New York, and Rodgers turned him on to ESP, who gave him two T-style Mirage models to complete his shows. 

Indeed, this guitar is a slice of pop history and represents a pivotal moment for ESP, whose '87 Series welcomed some of its classic models back to the line up for 2020.

There is also a cornucopia of other pop and rock items, including a signed mixing desk from Craig David and hand-painted lyrics from Florence Welch.

The draw closes on 17 December at 6pm, with winners being chosen on 23 December. Prizes ship in January. You can check out the prize draw here

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.