Eric Clapton’s owned and played guitars
Eric Clapton’s owned and played guitars are highly prized among collectors. Over the years guitar collectors have had a few chances to add Clapton’s guitars to their collections. Clapton aka Slowhand has hosted many auctions selling many of his most prized guitars. With all the proceeds from these auctions going to his charity Crossroads which helps musicians with addictions. The first auction was conducted by Christies auction house in New York in 1999, with a second auction in 2004 and the third in Bonhams, London in 2011. Below is a selection of some of the guitars which sold in these auctions, enjoy.
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Gold Fender owned & played by Eric Clapton
A 1996, Fender Stratocaster, 50th Anniversary Issue, Master Built Eric Clapton Signature Model guitar owned and played by Clapton 1997-2004; the headstock bearing the logo FENDER STRATOCASTER, neckplate engraved -EC1- FENDER 50TH ANNIVERSARY, dated under the pickguard 10-15-96, the body in 23 carat gold leaf with clear polyester finish, fitted with gold-plated hardware and three Lace Sensor pickups; and hardshell case with adhesive tape to one end inscribed by Lee Dickson gold leaf 50th Anniv/Fender-Strat #E.C.1
This guitar was used when Clapton joined B.B. King to play Rock Me Babyduring the latter’s recording session for the album Deuces Wild in 1997. It was the main stage instrument when Clapton joined a one-off fusion jazz super group, ‘Legends’, formed by Marcus Miller with Joe Sample, Steve Gadd and David Sanborn, to play a fortnight tour of European jazz festivals in July 1997. In addition the guitar made the front page of the world press when Clapton joined Paul McCartney, Elton John, Sting and Mark Knopfler for the Music For Montserrat concert at the Royal Albert Hall, organised by Sir George Martin, on 15th September 1997. On this occasion Clapton used it when playing The Same Old Blues, Layla andHey Jude with the all-star cast. It went on to serve as the main guitar on the tour of Korea and Japan in October, 1997 and was used as a back-up guitar during Clapton’s Pilgrim World Tour, 1997.
‘Crash’ concept guitar Eric Clapton’s owned and played guitars
A 2004 Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster, ‘CRASH’ concept guitar owned and played by Eric Clapton, 2004; the headstock bearing the logoFENDER STRATOCASTER WITH SYNCHRONISED TREMOLO andORIGINAL CONTOUR BODY label to front and 390 TODD KRAUSE label on the reverse side, the body in polychrome custom finish fitted with three Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups; a hardshell case; accompanied by an ‘Eric Clapton 2004 Auction’ guitar pick and a photograph of Clapton playing the guitar on stage
This guitar became Clapton’s main stage instrument, first appearing at theOne Generation 4 Another charity concert, The Royal Albert Hall, 15 March, 2004. Clapton continued to play the guitar during his 2004 European Tour
‘Blackie|’ Eric Clapton’s most valuable guitar ever sold!
‘BLACKIE’ CIRCA 1956 AND 1957, A COMPOSITE FENDER STRATOCASTER
The headstock bearing the logo Fender/STRATOCASTER/WITH SYNCHRONIZED/TREMOLO/ORIGINAL/Contour/Body, neckplate engraved -20036, the body of alder in later black finish fitted with three single-coil pickups, 21 fret maple neck of pronounced ‘V’ shape with black dot inlays and single string clip; and Anvil case stencilled in white with an image of two cartoon duck heads and lettering THE/DUCK BROS./LONDON 01 486 8056 with adhesive tape inscribed by Lee Dickson Auction #15/BK/’56 ’57 Black/Stratocaster
Blackie served as Eric Clapton’s practically sole stage and studio guitar for 15 years of his career from late 1970 to 1985.
Fender Strat Eric Clapton Signature ModelA 2008 Fender Stratocaster Eric Clapton Signature Model,Serial No. CZ512926,
in Daphne Blue finish, maple neck with skunk-stripe routing, with Todd Krause Fender Custom Shop transfer, twenty-two fret fingerboard with dot inlays, three Vintage Noiseless pickups, three rotary controls, selector switch, tremolo/bridge tailblock and white pickguard; and a black Fender hardshell contour case with black plush lining with handwritten label inscribed Fender Daphne Blue CZ512926.
Gibson Les Paul Eric Clapton ‘Beano’ tributeA 2010 Gibson Les Paul Standard Eric Clapton ‘Beano’ Tribute Model,Serial no. 01,
in sunburst finish, mahogany body with single cutaway, maple top, mahogany neck, twenty-two fret bound rosewood fingerboard with crown inlays, headstock facing with Les Paul MODEL inlay, two humbucking pickups, four rotary controls, selector switch, metal bridge, stud tailpiece and cream pickguard, the back plate with orange printed Gibson Custom label inscribed in black ink in an unidentified hand Eric Clapton 01; and a black hardshell contour case with claret plush lining, the lid of the case with Clapton’s facsimile signature and paper sticker inscribed in black felt pen 1; a black and yellow woven fabric strap and Gibson Custom Certificate of Authenticity in white leather folder, the cover with Eric Clapton’s machine-embroidered facsimile signature in pale blue thread; the back of the headstock signed by Eric Clapton in black felt pen additionally inscribed in black felt pen with the number 1, and a wooden Presentation Plaque with reproduction front cover of the Beano comic book, 7 May 1966, the plaque engraved “This issue of the iconic British comic – The Beano – was being read by EC on the album cover of John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers”, and a recent pressing of the LP Blues Breakers, John Mayall with Eric Clapton.
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