Famous guitars that would sell for more than Dave Gilmour's black Strat

Strangely I just heard about this. Dave Gilmour’s black strat fetched nearly $4 million at auction this past June.

Just curious to hear opinions on what guitar you think could top that price.

Off the top of my head, all I can think of is:

  1. Jimmy Page’s Les Paul
  2. maybe Stevie Ray Vaughan’s #1?

This isn’t a question to compare players or musical taste, i just started thinking what others (that i may not know of) would be iconic enough to to beat that at auction?

Willie Nelson’s Trigger, but he’d never sell it.

Page’s Paul was my first choice. He’s the reason I got one for 8th grade graduation. But I chose a different color, so another choice for me would be…

Mark Knopfler’s strat or (cherry sunburst, my color) Les Paul.

Brian May’s Red Special would probably fetch a pretty penny.

Given that it’s (a) unique, (b) hand-made by May and his father, and © he’s played that exact same guitar throughout his career, it has the uniqueness that could lead to a huge auction price, if it were ever sold at auction (likely only after May leaves this earth).

Good one. I didn’t think of that one. But definitely on the list.

Eric Clapton’s ‘Blackie’ went for $850k in 2004. Given the way these markets appreciate, I wouldn’t be shocked if it went for millions today.

Peter Green’s unique Les Paul went for $2 million in 2014 so it might not break that record in 2019, but might get close depending on whether a bidding war started.

Page’s Gibson EDS-1275 double-neck, should go for a few bob.

Pete Townshend’s … OK, scratch that.

Oh, sure, they could collect the pieces. Worth a bundle.

There must be a Hendrix guitar that would sell in the millions but I am not familiar with specific guitars he owned. Maybe the one he played at Woodstock.

The strat Hendrix burned at Monterey (it survived) sold a few years ago, but it didn’t rake millions.

The red Gibson ES-335 that Alvin Lee played with Ten Years After at Woodstock is up for sale right now. I don’t think it’d quite match the 4 million, but it should fetch a pretty penny.

Prince/Symbol’s symbol guitar.

Paul McCartney’s Hofner bass guitar.

John Lennon’s Epiphone Casino guitar.

Did Elvis have a particular guitar he used a lot?

“Lucille” along with Trigger, were the first two I thought of. I didn’t know until this Rolling Stone blurb about King’s people selling one of them, that there was more than one: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/bb-king-lucille-guitar-auction-862789/

Still, it’s projected to earn a 100,000 dollar bid when it’s auctioned in September.

So many Les Pauls… how about Les Paul’s Les Paul?

I also wonder if these items have or will soon reach their peak nostalgiac value as the baby boomers and eventually GenX die off? Will some future rich guy born in the year 2020 be itching to drop millions at an auction in 2070 so he can hold the guitar that Gilmour or Page or whoever played?

Probably. Or at least sort of. Peak nostalgic value we might be at soon.

But the thing with antiques is that while prices will rise and fall with popularity, time adds a value all its own and particularly unique objects are always prized. So there may not be any Gilmour fan-boys in 2070( though I bet you there will be, there are still Beethoven fan-boys after all ), but rich collectors looking for something to show off will be all over it. Because just the fact that it once sold for $4 million will make it valuable. Maybe not as valuable, maybe more - but still valuable.

Good point. Nobody is clamoring to buy Tommy Dorsey’s trombone.

Maybe Eddie Van Halen’s?

Interesting to ponder. The fact that we will (presumably) still have high quality recordings 100 years after the fact in 2070 is kind of a new experience in human culture.

Will blasting Dark Side of the Moon still resonate with a 17 year old on it’s 100th anniversary in 2073? I’d love to know the answer.