A sale of late Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker’s huge collection of gear attracted fans of the band and vintage gear when it went to auction at Julien’s in Beverly Hills last week (18 and 19 October). And the star lot that smashed its estimate had serious provenance.
Amongst the vast array of guitars, pedals and amps from brands including Gibson, Vox and Marshall there was a 1957 Fender Duo-Sonic electric guitar, the very same one Becker is pictured with in the liner notes to the classic 1977 Steely Dan album Aja.
That direct link with the band's history proved impossible to resist for fans who took the bidding far above the estimated $4000 - $6000 and up to $57,600.
The original finish of the guitar (serial number 20617) had been stripped and left natural and featured an anodized aluminium pickguard.
And there was at least one surprise despite the expected high bid values received for items including a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Special ($16,000), 1928 Martin 00-28 acoustic guitar ($11,520), 1954 Fender Strat ($32,000) and even a highly-coveted gold Klon Centaur overdrive pedal that proved especially desirable with a $8,960 final value.
A Bruno parlor acoustic guitar that was estimated between $200 - $300 value went for $28,125. But further investigation reveals this 1930s rarity with a Hawaiian scene on blue background painted on its body is a desirable vintage find even without the Steely Dan guitarist and bassist connection.
You can check out all 1091 lots of the auction's gear and final sale prices on the Julien's Auctions site.
Walter Becker passed away on 3 September 2017 from esophageal cancer. His bandmate Donald Fagen continues to tour under the Steely Dan name and is currently touring the US.