Eric Clapton is auctioning off 70 guitars from his formidable collection to raise money for his Antigua drug and alcohol rehabilitation center Crossroads.
Among the items at the sale — which will also include amplifiers and will take place on March 9 at Bonhams in New York — are a black Fender “Eric Clapton Signature” Stratocaster he played at the Cream reunion shows in 2005 (expected to go for $20,000 to $30,000) and a pair of Marshall speaker cabinets he used with Derek and the Dominoes during the 1970s (estimated to sell for $8,000 to $10,000). Guitars donated by Jeff Beck and Joe Bonamassa are also part of the 150-lot auction.
Clapton held similar auctions in 1999 and 2004. The latter event raised more than $7.4 million and saw three of Clapton’s guitars sell for astronomical figures: a Stratocaster he called “Blackie” went for a record-breaking $959,000; a 1964 Gibson ES-335 he’d played with the Yardbirds and Cream sold for $847,500; and a 1939 Martin acoustic he played during his MTV Unplugged appearance went for $791,500. The first two items were purchased by music chain the Guitar Center.
Clapton had set the previous record price for a guitar at the 1999 auction when a 1956 Strat (“Brownie”) sold for $497,000.