The roll call of players who have signed a guitar to be auctioned in December reads like the who’s who of guitar legends. Musicians who have lent their support to raise money for friend and peer Jerry Donahue, the former Fairport Convention, Fotheringay and Hellecasters guitarist who suffered a catastrophic stroke in 2016, includes; Sir Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Steve Winwood, Mark Knopfler, Pete Townshend, Brian Wilson, Albert Lee, David Gilmour, Joe Brown, Richard Thompson and Dave Pegg.
During his career as a session guitarist, Jerry played for names including Plant, Elton John, George Harrison and Bonnie Raitt. Dave Pegg, Jerry’s old bandmate in Fairport Convention, explains how this incredible collection of names got involved to help Jerry; “It all started when I had a call from guitarist Matt Worley, another close friend of Jerry’s,” says Dave. “He’d acquired Jerry’s signature guitar with the idea to have a few big names sign it so we could raise some money for him.”
“At first we just asked a handful of people,” adds Matt Worley. “And with help from Tony Kelsey who co-opted the likes of Steve Winwood, Robert Plant, Andy Fairweather Low and Dave Pegg himself, word got out, the gates opened and we were swamped with some of the biggest names in the music business eager to autograph the guitar and pay their respects to Jerry.”
And there’s still signatures to be added from the likes of Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, ELO icon Jeff Lynn, former Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre, Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones. There’s reportedly not much room left on the guitar for more, so additional players will be adding theirs to the case.
With all three guitarists from the Yardbirds (Clapton, Beck and Page), the three remaining members of Zeppelin and a Beatle, the value of this guitar is hard to quantify. We’ll be finding out on 11 December!
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