Guitar Center purchased Clapton’s “Blackie,” his vintage Gibson “335,” and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Lenny” for over $2.4 million from the Clapton Crossroads Centre charity auction at Christies New York in 2004. They added The Edge’s Gibson Les Paul after purchasing it for $240,000 at the Music Rising Charity Auction last year. They will be exhibited in one-of-a-kind, newly created, “Legends’ Collection” display cases that will provide high level protection and climate control as the instruments tour prestigious musical events and key Guitar Center locations in 2008.
Personally built by Clapton in 1973, he played “Blackie” almost exclusively on stage and in the studio from 1974-1985 recording hits such as “Cocaine,” “I Shot The Sherriff,” “Wonderful Tonight,” “Further On Up The Road,” “Lay Down Sally” and various live versions of “Layla” featured on several album covers and videos. “Blackie” was subsequently purchased by Guitar Center for $959,500.”
Clapton’s Cherry Red Gibson “335,” purchased for $847,500, was used to record Cream’s versions of “Badge” and “Crossroads” as well as many other historical performances during his 40 years of ownership. Steve Ray Vaughan’s “Lenny,” which was purchased for $623,500, was used to record his classic love songs including “Lenny” and “Riviera Paradise.” All of the proceeds from these three guitars purchased by Guitar Center were for the benefit of Clapton’s Crossroads Centre charity.
U2’s the Edge purchased his cream colored 1975 Gibson Les Paul (faded from its original white) in 1982 in New York. It found fame as a go-to guitar used to write and record the smash hit “New Year’s Day,” among many others. In 2005, the Edge partnered with producer Bob Ezrin, Gibson Guitar and the Guitar Center Music Foundation to establish Music Rising, a charity campaign founded to replace the lost or destroyed instruments of professional musicians of the Gulf Coast Region. In 2007, the Edge donated his prized guitar to be auctioned in the Icons of Music Sale. Guitar Center paid $240,000 ($288,000 including buyers premium) and added this significant instrument to their “Legends Collection.”
Guitar Center commissioned Gibson Guitar and Fender Guitar to make replicas of Clapton’s Gibson “335” and Fender “Blackie,” as well as Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Lenny” guitars. These limited edition re-creations are among the most valuable guitars of their type ever offered. For more information about the Legends collection, please visit www.guitarcenter.com/legends.