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Alex Lifeson’s White Gibson ES-355 Sells at Auction for $384,000

Alex Lifeson plays his white Gibson ES-355 guitar during a soundcheck ahead of Rush's gig at Bingley Hall in Stafford, Staffordshire, England on September 21, 1979
(Image credit: Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty Images)

Last Friday (May 20), in partnership with Julien’s Auctions, Rush electric guitar legend Alex Lifeson put a number of his most beloved electric and acoustic guitars up for auction.

The extensive auction – the proceeds from which Lifeson said (opens in new tab) would be donated to charity – featured a number of Lifeson's most oft-used instruments, including the snow-white Gibson ES-355 he used on almost every Rush album and for innumerable Rush performances.

After 13 bids, that ES-355 ended up selling (opens in new tab) for an even $384,000, well above its original estimated value of $300,000.

Alex Lifeson's white Gibson ES-355

(Image credit: Juliens Auctions)

In a recent interview with Guitar Magazine (opens in new tab), Lifeson said that – of the guitars he sold – the ES-355 was the most difficult to part ways with.

"That [the ES-355TD] was the last one that was left," Lifeson said (opens in new tab). "I was sitting in our mudroom, just off our garage, while the removal truck was waiting. I sat there with that case in between my legs and, maybe it sounds a little corny, but I was talking to it. 

"I was reminiscing about gigs that we did together and kissing the bubble wrap. But I know that, with the funds I’m hoping to raise, it gives it all another life and helps other people, and in some cases gives people another chance at life. Why wouldn’t you do that?"

Alex Lifeson holds his beloved Gibson ES-355TD guitar

(Image credit: Fin Costello/Redferns)

A custom-built 1980 Hentor Sportscaster – used by Lifeson extensively during the recording of Rush's Grace Under Pressure album and for the "Limelight" solo – also fetched a princely sum, selling (opens in new tab) for $187,500. 

The Sportscaster also appears in the "Vital Signs," "Countdown," and "The Enemy Within" music videos.

Alex Lifeson's 1980 Hentor Sportscaster

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

Also going for six figures was the 1976 Gibson Dove (sold for $128,000) that Lifeson used to write the Rush classic "Closer to the Heart" and the 1991 PRS CE 24 (sold for $112,500) that served as Lifeson's main touring guitar in the 1990s.

For more info on all of the Lifeson guitars that went under the hammer, visit juliensauctions.com (opens in new tab).

Jackson Maxwell
Associate Editor, GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.