Guitar Aficionado

Pete Townshend’s Gibson SG Sells for Nearly $64,000

The guitar is a rare surviving example from the Who’s late-Sixties/early Seventies era.
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By Christopher Scapelliti

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Pete Townshend’s circa 1967 Gibson SG sold for £37,500 — about $63,850 — at Bonhams Knightsbridge Entertainment Memorabilia sale on Wednesday, June 25.

The guitar was a rare survivor among the numerous SGs Townshend demolished onstage from the late Sixties through 1973.

Townshend regularly stated that the Gibson SG was his guitar of preference. This model guitar is the one most readily identified with Townshend during this period. In a letter accompanying the guitar, he wrote, “ must be one of the few passing through my hands, which has survived without getting smashed...”

Other notable memorabilia sold at the auction include a tailored suit made for John Lennon to wear in the Beatles’ film debut, A Hard Day’s Night, which went for £26,250 (about $44,700). The suit was made in London for Lennon by Millings & Son and it is listed in the tailor's books as “Order No. 722” and dated “5/11/63.” The trousers are inscribed in black ballpoint pen “John Lennon ‘Hard Days Night’.” Another suit worn by Lennon sold for £18,750 (about $32,000).

A Nirvana set list, written in black marker-pen by Dave Grohl, sold for £5,625 (about $9,500). The set list was taped to the stage near Kurt Cobain’s mic stand during a Nirvana performance in Glasgow in 1991 and is complete with dirty footprints from the sole of a trainer along the bottom edge where Cobain possibly stood.