This weekend New York will play host to what is likely to be the most valuable single sale of guitars and rock memorabilia ever. If their catalogue estimates are to be believed, auction house Guernsey's should raise somewhere north of $4million dollars as they move an incredibly starry array of storied guitars.
The headline act is almost certainly Jimi Hendrix's white 1963 Stratocaster (est $400k-600k), going under the hammer alongside a custom left-handed 1967 Cherry Red Guild Starfire V that he played at the Wreck Bar after the Miami Pop Festival in 1969 (est $350k-450k).
The Strat is one of the earliest known Hendrix-owned models, reputedly played and recorded extensively at Juggy Sound, in New York City, one of his then-preferred studios. In mid-1965, an up-and-coming Hendrix had switched from his Little Richard backing gig to session work, acquiring this Strat from studio head Henry "Juggy" Murray, along the way.
Bids start at $160,000.
Other highlights include...
• One of Prince's two gold symbol guitars (est $100k-150k)
• Two acoustics played by Gerry Garcia at legendary San Francisco venue the Warfield
• A 1962 Fender Stratocaster with a Gold Sparkle finish, once owned by Bob Dylan (est $150k-250k)
• The Fender Precision Bass Bruce Springsteen used on his first album (est $100k-200k)
• Two Tom Petty acoustics, one of which is being sold to fund the re-building of San Diego’s
• The Gibson Les Paul that was the first guitar that Madonna played on stage during her Drowned World tour (est $100k-200k)
• David Bowie's Gibson L4, played extensively in the 80’s and 90’s (est $75k-100k)
• Three Johnny Winters-owned guitars including two Lazers and a famed Firebird
• Notable instruments owned and played by Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Foghat, Les Paul, Steve Miller, Eric Clapton, Noel Gallagher and others
• An entire section of the sale will feature guitars inscribed by Les Paul to legendary perfumers including Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Santana and Bono
Alongside all of the above and many more storied instruments, the itchy of wallet will be able to bid on a recently discovered trove of professionally-produced audio tapes from 1960’s performances and sessions. Recorded by the famed Hollywood Bowl’s late sound engineer Charles Lewis these include live performances by the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Aretha Franklin and Neil Young.
Other live recordings from San Francisco’s Boarding House include such legendary performers as the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Merle Haggard and Louis Armstrong. Oh, and there are some studio session master tapes featuring Elvis Presley, Jan and Dean, and the great James Brown.
The auction takes place at Guernsey's in New York on 2 December. For a full list of lots and mouthwatering details of each, head over to the Legendary Guitars & Musical Treasures site.