By Christopher Scapelliti
Neal Schon has been doing a little house cleaning.
The Journey guitarist has put four of his guitars up for sale, including his 1963 “Frankenstein” Fender Stratocaster, the instrument he used on many of Journey’s early Eighties recordings, such as “Escape,” “Frontiers,” “Infinity,” “Faithfully,” “Lights” and “Send Her My Love.”
Known as the “Lights” Strat, the guitar has a refinished Pearl White body, a Floyd Rose bridge, a 1963 neck and a PAF pickup in the bridge position. Schon had originally repainted the body gold before changing it to white.
The guitar is now for sale from Bananas at Large, a San Francisco Bay Area audio and musical instrument retailer. The asking price: a cool $100,000.
That’s quite a premium to put on an artist’s name, even an artist with a distinguished history like Schon’s. For comparison’s sake, as of this posting, a 1963 Fender Strat reportedly owned by Molly Hatchet’s Steve Holland and used on the group’s first three, Platinum-selling albums is listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $19,500. Hatchet and Journey were contemporaries, but admittedly, Hatchet never achieved Journey’s level of success. Whether that makes Schon’s Strat worth five times what’s being asked for Holland’s is entirely up to the buyer. And knowing Journey fans, there may well be a few well-heeled devotees ready to make that purchase.
Alan Rosen, Banana’s owner and a friend of Schon’s, convinced the guitarist it was time to sell off some of his guitars. In addition to the “Lights” Strat, Schon is selling three unique Gibson Neal Schon signature prototypes for $35,000 each.
Ready to do some shopping?
Check out the video below to hear Neal talk about the “Lights” Strat.