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But it forever set the standard for the way human beings interact with computers. It ushered in the phenomena of private space in public created by the isolating effect of headphones. It ran on AA batteries, allowing it to travel far from power outlets. Sony eventually sold more than million of the devices, which paved the way for the CD player and the iPod. Sure, the world had personal computers before the was introduced in Records by classical musicians and opera singers were popular purchases for the device. From the transistors that amplified the radio signal to the use of printed circuit boards that connected the components to the eye-catching design, many factors conspired to make the TR-1 a holiday must-buy after its November launch.

And as revolutionary as all this tech was, it only scratches the surface of how the Regency — by ushering in truly portable communications — changed the world overnight. For Kodak, the low-cost shooter was the hook that allowed the company to reel in money through film sales. These people would go on to buy MacBooks, iPhones and iPads in droves, helping to make Apple the most valuable technology company in the world.

Hitachi makes everything from aircraft engines to defense equipment, but perhaps nothing as personally stimulating. All business? Thirteen rechargeable battery cells were crammed into the casing to power the calculations, with results spat out onto thermal paper. But featuring a tuner and timer, Philips device was the first to let television junkies record and save their favorite programs for later. Originally selling in the U. Its blocky 8-bit graphics looked nothing like the lavish, rousing illustrations on its game jackets, but the black-and-faux-wood Atari game console was the first gaming box to stir the imaginations of millions.

It sold poorly in the months after its launch in September , but when games like Space Invaders and Pac-Man arrived a few years later, sales shot into the millions, positioning Atari at the vanguard of the incipient video gaming revolution. Beep boop bop beep. Eeeeeeerrrrrrroooooooahhhh ba dong ba dong ba dong psssssssssssh. In the days before broadband, that was the sound the Internet made. Their use peaked around , as faster alternatives that carried data over cable lines arrived. But millions of households still have an active dial-up connection.

The NES was to video gaming what The Beatles were to rock and roll, singlehandedly resuscitating the market after it launched in Its modest power and anemic screen forced developers to distill the essence of genres carried over from consoles. Long before cellphones became commonplace, beepers were the way to stay in touch on the go.

Message recipients would respond by calling the sender via telephone. The Bravo Flex, introduced in , became the best-selling pager in the world, according to Motorola , giving many people their first taste of mobile communication. It could store up to five messages that were 24 characters in length. By the early s, having a pager became a status symbol, paving the way for more advanced communication devices like the two-way pager, the cellphone, and eventually the smartphone. The ruby red model was the first to integrate the tapedeck into the camera.

Previously, home videographers had to wear a purse-like peripheral that housed the cassette. Eventually, camcorders were displaced by flash memory-packing Flip Video cameras and, later, smartphones. But their impact will live forever, like the movies they captured. Other Android-powered smartphones existed before the Droid launched in , but this was the first one popular enough to push Android into the spotlight.

And sowed a rift between Apple and Google, which had previously been close allies. It seemingly paid off—although neither companies disclosed sales figures, analysts estimated that between , and , Droids were sold in roughly one month following its launch. Few products are so iconic that their design remains largely unchanged after more than 20 years. Such is the case with the ThinkPad line of laptops, which challenged the dominance of Apple and Compaq in the personal computing industry during the early s by introducing features that were considered to be innovative at the time.

One of the earliest in the line, the ThinkPad C, came with a Its TrackPoint navigation device and powerful microprocessors were also considered to be groundbreaking in the early s. Like the early Internet, GPS started life as a government-funded innovation. He was filling a promise made by Ronald Reagan. Shortly afterwards, companies from TomTom to Garmin introduced personal GPS devices for automotive navigation like the Start 45 and other uses.

The Model was considered the first answering machine designed for the home during a time when the technology was only commonly found in workplaces. It held roughly 20 messages and enabled owners to listen to voicemails privately through an earphone. BlackBerry made pocket-sized gadgets for accessing email on-the-go before the , but this was the first to combine the Web-browsing and email experience with the functionality of a phone. The let users check email, make phone calls, send text messages, manage their calendar, and more all from a single device. Its predecessor, the , required users to attach a headset in order to make calls.

All told, the was a pivotal step forward for mobile devices. Earlier devices, like the GriDPad and Palm Pilot, had smaller touchscreens users had to operate with a stylus. Microsoft unveiled a tablet that ran Windows XP in No surprise, as the chunky, relatively affordable keyboard-housed system—users plugged the whole thing into a TV with an RF box—did more to popularize the idea of the personal home computer than any device since. Millennials get plenty of flak over their penchant for instant gratification. Need proof? That Polaroid photographs so dominated 80s-era family albums and pop culture gives the square-framed, often off-color snaps a retro appeal that today is celebrated by enthusiasts and aped by billion-dollar apps like Instagram.

The Kindle quickly took over the e-reader market, becoming the best-selling product in the history of Amazon. Follow-up hardware ventures, such as the Kindle Fire Tablet and Echo home assistant, have also found success. Today the company has digital stores for music, movies and video games in addition to books. Provenance : The companion guitar to actor Roy Rogers across films and a thousand recording sessions, from to his death in In the s, gripped by the "great depression," America needed heroes. Heroes are larger than life and heroes give hope. It got two. Rogers was, for those of you who do remember, one of the most influential performers in American history.

The official Christies video for the guitar is really worth watching as it tells the story of a very successful and respected musician who fell into acting and became one of the most prolific and loved actors of all-time with over movies to his credit. The Roy Rogers Show show ran for nine years on radio before becoming a smash hit on television from through If there is a "royalty" among guitars then, surely, the OM Deluxe is it. There were only 15 made, all in , and this example was the first.

The pearl inlayed floral pick guard, the pearl inlayed bridge and the gold plated tuners with pearl buttons, resembling more of a banjo tuner than a traditional guitar tuner, are among the features that differentiate, even in today's models, the OM Deluxe from the standard OM He used it for most of his recording and film work.

It remained with him until his death in It has hence been subjected to hundreds of minutes of exposure alongside the matinee idol. Hence the lack of an official number on the list — this is a list of auction results only. From the auction description Gilmour told us Christie's : "It wasn't my first string. I had a string when I was a teenager and some of those instruments, you know, what happened to them is murky.

I didn't have the funds to just buy another one, so they would often just be sold in order to buy something else, but I did have a string. I always loved the string, I used to listen to Lead Belly a lot, who was a great string player, and there was another guy called Erik Darling who played a string and I learnt some of his stuff. He was an American folk singing guy and he had an album that I was very, very fond of back in those days.

He then joined, or formed, a little trio called the Rooftop Singers and had a big hit called Walk Right In, featuring a string. So I always wanted to get another string and I knew a guy who had a Martin string and he wanted to get rid of it. I liked it, I bought it. It gave me Wish You Were Here, which was very generous of it. Playing around with his new guitar at London's Abbey Road Studios during the making of Pink Floyd's album Wish You Were Here between January and July , Gilmour hit upon the notes that would become the enduring title track to the album.

Reflecting on the final recording, Gilmour continued, " every time I listen to the actual original recording I think God I should have really done that a little bit better, but the idea was that it was like a guitar playing on the radio and someone in their room at home …listening to it and joining in, so the other guitar was kind of supposed to be a kid at home joining in with the guitar he's listening to on the radio, and therefore it wasn't supposed to be too slick… and it wasn't.

This was the guitar on which Layla was recorded note that in this live concert video, Clapton is playing "Blackie". Bought by Eric Clapton in , when touring with Cream, as a "working guitar" — one that could take the knocks and the bangs of being played, hard, every night on tour. Clapton believed that the more use that was shown in the neck of a guitar the better it played and he bought many of his guitars at pawn shops and second hand shops for that very reason.

He used Brownie on his debut album, Clapton , considered by many to be his best album ever, extensively during the early 70s, and when playing with Derek and the Dominos and on the album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Brownie was used by Clapton in the recording of Layla on August 26, , with the chemistry between Duane Allman's Gibson Les Paul and the haunting Strat providing one of the most famous guitar interplays of all-time. Brownie became Clapton's back-up guitar after he sourced and fell in love with "Blackie" above in this list. In , Fender Custom Shop created a limited edition only tribute replica of this guitar which is featured in the above video.

In the very early days of The Beatles, when they performed around Liverpool as The Quarrymen, the group had been transitioning from a skiffle band using acoustic instruments to a rock and roll band using electric instruments and John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison all made the switch to electric guitar. Lennon and Harrison were the first, purchasing near identical Hofner Club 40 models. Lennon later recalled in an early s interview: " … both George and I saw a Hofner Club 40 and we both thought it was the end.

Harrison traded his big Hofner President model acoustic archtop jazz guitar with aftermarket pickups installed for a Hofner Club 40, his first electric guitar. Harrison later remembered of his first Hofner acoustic Jazz guitar, "I got what they call a cello-style, f-hole, single-cutaway called a Hofner, which is like the German version of a Gibson. I got a pickup and stuck it on. I thought it was the most fantastic guitar ever. Ray Ennis of that band remembers the trade: "The Club 40 that George got was originally mine," Ennis confirmed. I swapped it for his acoustic Hofner, which was sunburst, with f-holes.

I haven't got it now — because at the time, who thought The Beatles would be so famous? In those early days we used to get fed up with guitars very quickly, so we'd swap and change a lot. As well as working as a session musician, Haynes was half of a successful duo named Homer and Jethro. Following Haynes' death in , the instrument found its way into the possession of the California guitar dealer Frank Lucido, who included the rare guitar in a Stratocaster exhibition where it received a "best in show" blue ribbon award.

In September , Lucido sold the instrument to Gilmour's guitar technician, Phil Taylor, who sold it to Gilmour in It was then used in the promotion Gilmour's solo album About Face , with a shot of Gilmour with the guitar featured in the official program for the tour. With few exceptions, Hendrix played right-handed guitars that were turned upside down and restrung for left-hand playing.

This had an important effect on the sound of his guitar; because of the slant of the bridge pickup, his lowest string had a brighter sound while his highest string had a darker sound, which was the opposite of the Stratocaster's intended design. Provenance : George Harrison played this Australian-made guitar during the summer of while his Gretsch Country Gentleman was being repaired and he never actually owned it.

The guitar was borrowed from Barratts Music Store in Manchester England and he liked it so much he kept it for July and August when Beatlemania was taking off in England. Provenance : This guitar was ordered by Eric Clapton in , around the 50th anniversary of Fender. Clapton wanted something that could hang in a museum, so the company made him a custom fender plated with 23 carat gold. Fenders' original Gold Leaf guitar was a custom order for Eric Clapton at the time of Fenders' 50 th Anniversary in The guitar also contributed to the recording of Another Brick In The Wall Part 3 and in the live shows in support of the album.

The guitar next appeared on stage at an evening of Beatles music at Cowdray Park in We. Gilmour also used the Les Paul during the early recording sessions for what would become his solo album On An Island. The Gretsch White Penguin is a solid-body Falcon and one of the rarest and most collectable American vintage guitars with a total output of around 50 guitars. David Gilmour had wanted a Gretsch White Penguin for some time, and this guitar was purchased for Gilmour's collection in July and kept for home and studio use. Gilmour told Christie's, "at some point I heard there was a sister or brother guitar to the White Falcon and set around to find one of those.

It's a lovely instrument with something all of its own. These guitars can be so similar, same make, but they sing out in a different way. I've played it a lot, it's a lovely, lovely thing. The first Rosewood Telecaster was made by sandwiching thin layers of maple wood between a solid rosewood top and back. As one of the two makers, Philip Kubicki, recalls, "I spent hours sanding the bodies to perfection. Then, the historians say, Harrison's guitar was flown to England in its own seat accompanied by a courier, and hand-delivered to the Apple offices in December The guitar was one of George's favorites and he used it on the Get Back sessions, the final roof-top performance on January 30 and a final performance on the following day at the Apple Studios.

It was soon after this that The Beatles disbanded. Harrison gave the guitar to Delaney Bramlett, who had taught Harrison to play slide guitar, and who invited Harrison to join his group for some shows in England and Denmark. Bramlett has said that during the tour, he and Harrison would often switch guitars during the shows, but he loved that Rosewood Telecaster and would play it whenever he could. There was a lot of speculation among collectors, historians and Beatles fans as to where the guitar was and Bramlett said that Harrison had joked with him that he should sell it before someone killed him for it.

In it was again offered at auction, two years after George Harrisons' death. It was bought, on behalf of Olivia Harrison, by the actor Ed Begley, and so returned home. Gilmour told Christie's, "I loved Fender Stratocasters, I loved Hank Marvin playing the Fender Stratocaster… The Stratocaster was my boyhood dream guitar and sometimes it's hard to wean yourself off that sort of thing. Gilmour purchased this guitar in a second-hand shop in England in summer With a similar rosewood neck to his first white Strat, the guitar had been hand painted in white over its original white finish.

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It was first used publicly at the Pop Deux Festival de St. Tropez in Gilmour can be seen playing the guitar in footage of both the sound check and full concert, recorded for French television show Pop Deux. Gilmour personally stripped the guitar back to its natural wood finish at his flat on London's Old Brompton Road in the early s, after which it was fitted with Dawson Stereophonic pickups in and kept for studio use. Gilmour particularly liked the sound of the middle pickup on this guitar. Provenance : This guitar has a special place in Beatles history, having been played by both John Lennon and George Harrison.

It was custom-made in and presented to the group in while they were working on the 'Magical Mystery Tour' album. Lennon even attached a plaque to the back of the guitar declaring his friendship. Magic Alex was one of Lennon's closest friends from to , with John standing as best man at his wedding in May The guitar features a scroll design, a hollow body, a single f-hole and a fret rosewood fret board with rectangular inlays. Vernon requested several custom adjustments to personalize the guitar for Elvis, including changing the finish of the guitar to ebony, reported to be chosen to represent Elvis' recently earned black belt in karate, and the stunning acanthus script inlay of "Elvis Presley" on the fingerboard.

Crowning the guitar and recognizing Elvis' achievement was the application of the Kenpo Karate decal on the body of the guitar. The guitar appears to have been completed and gifted to Elvis in Presley began using the guitar that year and is photographed performing with it often between and , including, most famously, during Presley's televised and broadcasted Aloha From Hawaii concert, noted as the first televised program to be beamed around the world by satellite.

The story ends in generosity when, in , at a concert in Asheville, North Carolina, Presley gave the guitar to audience member Mike Harris. It was Presley's last show of a three-night tour. Presley was in the middle of the song "See See Rider" when Presley gave the guitar to a shocked Harris. Accounts vary as to what Presley said to Harris, from the prophetic "You keep the guitar.

I gave it to you for a reason. Someday it will help you out. Hopefully, it'll be valuable one day. Purchased from Ovation Instruments in , this Custom Legend became one of David Gilmour's longest serving instruments, carried on every Pink Floyd and solo tour since and famously used to write and record the original demo that became Comfortably Numb. If you are a guitar nutter, read Christie's lot essay on this g uitar and you will be captivated. An historic guitar used by American music icon Bob Dylan from the late s, and played through his entire set at George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh.

The guitar was also used during his entire "Rolling Thunder Revue" tour from October 30, to May 25, , as well as countless other dates. In , he sold the guitar to noted guitar-tech and musician not to mention, Dylan's guitar repairman at the time! Larry Cragg. According to Leon he told Jimi that he was going to start a band.

Jimi asked him if he had a guitar.

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Leon said no and so Jimi gave him the Fender. Leon kept it for nearly 50 years and put it up for auction in Regardless, the resultant price was a disappointment. An unimpeachable provenance is key to a sound investment in this game. The official auction description explains the history of the guitar but Hendrix traveled with several Stratocasters and Judge for yourself. It was Leo Fender's first prototype for the Fender Telecaster, the world's first commercial solid-body, single-cutaway electric guitar. In , Leo Fender developed his first prototype of the Broadcaster, but it went under the name of Fender Esquire.

The solid body was made in pine, with a single pick-up and around 50 were made, but none had a truss rod and a number were returned when the neck warped. Later versions were made of solid ash and did have a truss rod. A two-pickup version, maybe the first two-pickup guitar ever made, was developed in June and was named the Broadcaster with the original one-pickup version retaining the name Esquire. At that time the Gretsch company had been marketing a drum set under the name of "Broadkaster" and asked Fender to drop the name Broadcaster.

It did, and the guitar was renamed the Telecaster. Fender did ship some Broadcasters with only the Fender decal, and no model name. They were called, euphemistically, the "Nocaster" and, now, are very sought-after collectors items in their own right. While the Telecaster has become one of Fender's more popular models it had its beginnings as the humble Esquire.

Provenance : Just 14 of these guitars were ever made, and fewer than 10 are still known to exist.

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It is regarded by many as the most beautiful, the most collectible and the most valuable guitar that Martin ever made and it's sound is also beyond compare. In the late s, the perfect storm for the creation of the Martin OM Deluxe was about to develop. During that era every guitar manufacturer aspired to make the finest guitars imaginable. The market was booming. Innovation was rampant, and craftsmanship was outstanding.

Then came the stock market crash of which catalyzed the Great Depression. Martin, like all companies, was forced to lay off all but its most skilled craftsmen and guitars were produced in small numbers. The up-side, of course, was that the guitars that were manufactured were made by the finest guitar craftsmen that the world, possibly, has ever seen.

Certainly, the Martin OM stands testimony to that. This example is exquisite and quite possibly the finest Martin OM offered for sale in the last 30 years. Provenance : There are no photos of John Lennon playing this instrument and he himself never mentioned owning a Senator. But did Lennon? The guitar's history was certainly hyped-up when in this Senator was displayed in the lobby at the home of AEI Music in Seattle. It is doubted that the Senator ever saw the insides of Abbey Road and it is well documented that the guitar Lennon used on the aforementioned songs was a Gibson JE.

She provided a letter from George Harrison, to her, with Harrison calling it "one of the first guitars of John's going back to Liverpool. Provenance : The original Les Paul. Once owned by Les Paul himself, many people regard this guitar as the most significant electric guitar ever made and some were expecting it to go as high as a million dollars at auction. Les Paul was unimpressed with the Gibson Gold top.

Although iconic, he regarded it as having a number of design flaws. He demanded that if a guitar was to have his name on it, it had to be a better guitar than Gibson was making. He used it on all of his Listerine Shows and, being the innovator that he was, he began experimenting and modifying it almost immediately. Different knobs. Different pickups. Different stoptails. In fact, in those mid fifties shows you could be forgiven for thinking he was playing a number of different Black Les Pauls.

This blonde, maple-necked Fender Stratocaster guitar didn't sell at auction and hence we cannot confirm the price, but it has been one of the most valuable guitars in the world for the last quarter century, primarily due to Jimi Hendrix ' famous performance at the iconic Woodstock Festival in August, Interestingly, by comparison to the cars and motorcycles which populate our top most valuable listings, and are restored to as-new perfection, this guitar bears the markings of Hendrix' provenance. It reportedly still has the stains on the back from Hendrix' colorful shirts, the nut has been reversed to accommodate the upside-down stringing and there are burns on the neck from Hendrix lodging cigarettes between the neck and strings and letting them burn down while he was playing it.

At the time of its sale, this Stratocaster was the most recent addition to Eric Clapton's collection of Signature Stratocaster Custom guitars and his third painted by graffiti artist 'Crash. The construction of this guitar was a collaboration between two master builders at Fender, Todd Krause and Mark Kendrick. Harrison bought the instrument at Hessy's music shop in Liverpool in November and used it during the Beatles' two lengthy club residencies in Hamburg in and , and on numerous British gigs over an 18 month period.

In , George Harrison gave the guitar to Beat Instrumental Magazine to offer as a competition prize. The winner of the competition opted for a cash prize rather than the guitar, which remained with the magazine. This is the Fender Broadcaster with which Stevie Ray Vaughan launched his career, being given the guitar by his older brother Jimmie, who had etched his nickname 'Jimbo" on the back. Vaughan used this guitar on his earliest known recording while still just 15 years old in , and his first studio recording in Provenance : This guitar organ proved equally as unpopular with the public as it did with both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones both received promotional instruments.

Essentially it was a Phantom guitar combined with a Vox Continental organ and could be played as either a guitar, an organ — or both. It was never played in the studio or live. Lennon gave it to Mal Evans, a roadie to whom The Beatles members gave a number of their guitars. There were only of the guitars made and this one is stamped " Gilmour purchased a pair of Jedsons from Ivor Arbiter's Sound City in London in September, , being this guitar and an otherwise identical red Jedson as a pair.

He bought in New York in and used it in the recording studio and on stage for more than 20 years. He donated the guitar for the Icons Of Music auction for the Music Rising Benefit, which he co-founded, to help musicians of the Gulf Coast region regain their livelihood after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He used it extensively on stage and the wear on the back of the guitar bears testament that this guitar was very much a working guitar. The Edge felt the absence of the Les Paul.

After all, it had been with him for just over two decades, and so Gibson decided to make an exact replica for him. He knew nothing about it and in an interview about the guitar he said, " So I called Edge and said, 'Do you know anything about this?


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What are they doing sending it back to you? Edge didn't know what was happening. They made an exact replica. Gibson wanted Edge to have the guitar even though he'd auctioned it off. I still remember when he plugged it in for the first time and played it; he was like, 'This is it! It's the same guitar. Provenance : This is the Fender Stratocaster used by Hendrix at the Monterey Pop Festival where he famously set his guitar on fire using lighter fluid. Fortunately, the guitar was switched for another for the sacrificial burning. This Fender Stratocaster has a rosewood neck, but has often been confused with "Black Beauty.

The black and white Stratocaster was given to Hendrix' record company Anim Limited, where it fell into the hands of James "Tappy" Wright, a manager of the company. Tappy later sold it at auction. A Yellow Cloud guitar custom made and stage played by Prince. Accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity on Paisley Park Enterprises letterhead from Jenifer Carr, director of finance and operations, stating that the guitar has been used in rehearsals and performances all over the world. Preferring not to take his valuable vintage instruments on the road, this Vintage White 57V Stratocaster became Gilmour's guitar of choice, used as the main guitar on his About Face Tour from March 31 to July 16, in support of his second solo album About Face and features heavily in the tour documentary Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, released on VHS in September Gilmour continued to use the guitar for live performances throughout the mids, notably for an appearance on cult British television show including the first North American leg of Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour , from September 9 to December 10, The Cream 1 was thereafter carried as a spare.

We referred to the 'Nocaster' when discussing the ' Fender Broadcaster Prototype' earlier in this article. Euphemistically called the 'Nocaster' — the Fender with no name — after the legal spat with Gretsch. Initially, the guitar was called the 'Broadcaster' but Gretsch had a drum set called the 'Broadkaster' with a name it had registered, so Fender simply removed the 'Broadcaster' decals and shipped off the few remaining models. These guitars became known as the 'Nocaster' which ultimately, in , became the Telecaster.

This specific guitar was presented to Les Paul by Leo Fender who has autographed it on the back of the headstock. This video shows the actual auction of this guitar. Note that the final hammer price at auction is not the final price paid by the purchaser as a "buyer's premium" is traditionally added. This list is calculated using the total price paid by the purchaser, including premiums and commissions. Provenance : The Bigsby Solid Body is, arguably, the first solid body electric guitar ever made. Paul Bigsby made approximately 23 electric guitars and most are accounted for. This is number 4.

Very little is known about the history of this guitar and conflicting historical evidence prohibits speculation. What is known is that it is an original Bigsby built in Most of the early models were built for specific customers and while numbers 1, 2, 3 and 5 etc.

But of the creator of this guitar, Paul Bigsby , much is known. He was, essentially, a designer. Before working in music he was a motorcycle racer known as "P. The overhead-valve cylinder head for Crockers' first V-twin motorcycle was a Bigsby design. However, it was his design of the of the first successful vibrato tailpiece — or "whammy bar" as it's often called — for the electric guitar where he really made his name.

The Bigsby Vibrato was so successful that, to this day, his device is still in production and known simply as "a Bigsby. Provenance : The guitar which was used by Merle Travis throughout most of his career. Country artist Merle Travis purchased the third Bigsby Birdseye Maple Solid Body Electric Guitar from luthier, engineer and inventor Paul Bigsby in and was so impressed by the neck on the guitar that he asked Bigsby to replace the neck on his Brazilian Rosewood Martin Dreadnought D with something similar.

Travis used the resultant guitar throughout most of his career, also using it to compose such hits as one of the top selling songs and most-recorded songs of all time, Sixteen Tons , and Dark as a Dungeon. It was the first guitar re-necked by Bigsby and as with the quality of everything he touched in his illustrious career including the famed Crocker motorcycle , it immediately created an insatiable demand. Country performers such as Hank Thompson , Lefty Frizell , Zeke Clements and a host of other celebrity performers approached Bigsby with re-necking requests.

Jimi Hendrix owned this guitar for almost three years and his girlfriend at the time, Kathy Etchingham, recalls the acoustic Epiphone "was used very, very heavily, continuously, all the time. Jimi had music coming out of every pore. One minute he'd be eating his breakfast, the next he'd say 'hey' and pick up the guitar and play the riffs in his head - only he could hear what he was hearing - and he would go through the words as well. Manager Chas Chandler remarked that Jimi was so attached to his guitar that he would even take it to the bathroom with him. Ours was fully tiled and had no window but a beautiful echo, a good sound that Jimi liked so he would sit on the loo and play!

He constantly played it to work out riffs and song arrangements including his own version of Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower". Provenance : The most expensive classical guitar ever sold at auction, this guitar was used by Eric Clapton in the promotional video for ' Tears in Heaven '.


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  • 1 | Dave Gilmour's 'Black Strat' | 1969/1983 Fender Stratocaster.

It was also the guitar used by Clapton 18 hours a day during his period of grieving after the death of his son, and the guitar on which he wrote 'Tears in Heaven. The auction notes click the 'Lot Notes' tab tell the full story of the purchase of this guitar in Clapton's words — worth a read. The guitar was made by Juan Alvarez at his workshop in downtown Madrid, and although made in Spain it is not a Spanish guitar, but a true Classical guitar and this interview with Juan Miguel Alvarez may shed some light on the differences. There are two inscriptions on the guitar, both in black felt pen and both from Clapton.

Clapton gifted the guitar to Armani who, in turn, donated the guitar to the landmark Crossroads charity auction. The second inscription reads, simply, "no more tears in heaven. Dave Mason also borrowed Ivan on at least one occasion. Mason played it on stage with Clapton at the Dr.

Spock Concert, at the Lyceum in London 14 June, When Clapton met Tony Zemaitis in the mids, he asked Zemaitis to "make a string for me, bigger than he'd ever done before and inlaid with silver. I wanted it to be incredibly ornate. I wanted to explore everything we could.

The most valuable guitars ever sold at auction

The heart shape and the four-leaf clover on the headstock were my ideas. So he made this guitar. It probably took about a year. Nicknamed "Ivan The Terrible," this string guitar turned out to be, in Clapton's words, " Massive. It's reputed to be the biggest string in the world. It's about the same dimensions as a mariachi bass.

In , Zemaitis started experimenting with placing metal shields on the top of his guitars to eliminate microphonic noise generated by guitar pickups. The shiny surface of the guitar created great interest in the guitar world and when he got gun engraver Danny O'Brien to engrave the metal surfaces, a custom order guitar business for "the rich and famous" burgeoned. Ironically, this guitar is not quite the original string that Zemaitis made for Clapton. In Clapton's own words, " I was involved in a very, very, stormy relationship at the time [ Alice Ormsby-Gore ].

During one of our big rows, I took the guitar and I demolished it. I took it by the neck and I banged it against the wall until there was nothing left. Then about five years later I still had the neck, I took it back to Tony and [said to him] 'I've got to tell you a terrible story, forgive me I can't bear to be without it,' and I apologized and made all the excuses I could think of So this is Mark 2 — the first one was destroyed, but the neck is original So this guitar is not percent original.

But the neck is. During his 39 years of production, Zemaitis had a policy of never making any two guitars the same, while at the same time limiting himself to the production of only 10 guitars a year to ensure the quality of each individual model. Gilmour later used the guitar during a recording session for Bryan Ferry's Olympia album and Gilmour can be seen playing this guitar in the documentary film The Making of Olympia , which was released with the Deluxe and Collector's editions of the album.

McCartney showed up with his Rex guitar also on this list and "showed him Lennon a few chords he didn't know. It "broke" in and was left in the care of Lennon's Aunt Mimi, who, on his death, and after getting the guitar repaired, gave it to a disabled boy and when he died it was passed on to a disabled girl. The guitar was auctioned in with the proceeds going to safeguard her future. When authenticating the guitar prior to auction , Sotheby's called on Rod Davis, one of the original Quarrymen, who remembered that when the band played that famous fete, " John took the skin off the edge of his index finger while playing " and when Davis changed one of the strings on Lennon's guitar, he noticed a spot of blood inside.

Davis recounted that story to Sotheby's and advised them to look inside for the spot. It was still there. The guitar was auctioned bearing a brass plaque which Lennon's Aunt Mimi had mounted on the headstock with the advice she once gave to a young Lennon: "Remember, you'll never earn your living by it. The Gibson J Celebrity was produced in a limited run of just 90 instruments to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Gibson Company in Gilmour liked the J Celebrity so much that he set out to acquire a second example in This J Celebrity was used extensively during the recording sessions for Pink Floyd's album The Division Bell, and it was used extensively in the intervening years see the lot essay for details before its most significant public performance on July 2, , when it was used in Wish You Were Here , broadcast live to an estimated 1.

Provenance : This guitar was sold accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Steve Parish, the Grateful Dead's guitar tech and equipment manager from to , which stated that this guitar was the third most played by Garcia, behind "Tiger" and "Wolf. This is number This guitar was first seen on 13 December, , at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California and it was played by Garcia at more than ninety shows in the late 70s. It features an aluminum neck a design pioneered by Bean , three single-coil pickups and Garcia's onboard effects loop. This guitar was the first to employ the onboard effects loop, which was later incorporated into all of Garcia's guitars.

Garcia was not a musician who owned a lot of guitars. Garcia said, in a interview with Guitar Player , " I'm the kind of player who generally plays one guitar at a time so I can learn its idiosyncrasies No other production guitar is like that — they're all completely different. That level of consistency in the Beans means a lot to me. As far as I'm concerned, the Travis Bean is the finest production guitar on the market. I'm trying to have a guitar built. Gilmour explained the unusual tuning in an interview with Guitar World magazine in September … I thought it was something new that I had invented.

One day, I was on holiday in Greece and I had an acoustic guitar with me. I just decided to tune the bottom string down to D and continued to experiment until I arrived at that tuning. Then I mucked around a bit and "Poles Apart" fell out of it a few minutes later. Provenance : In , Gibson began producing the Les Paul Standard model, which retained most of the features of the Goldtop, though the finish became a cherry-red version of the Sunburst finish long used on Gibson's flat-top and archtop acoustic and hollow electric guitars. Production ended in , when Gibson redesigned it to feature a double cutaway body, subsequently becoming the Gibson SG.

Around 1, instruments were made in the first series, and these are now highly valuable.

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Production was resumed in due to public demand, and continues to this day. This is the guitar used by Elvis Presley in his triumphant return to the live performance on July 31, , and the subsequent rejuvenation of his career. After years of films and soundtracks and TV specials, his comeback venue was the new International Hotel in Las Vegas later to become the Las Vegas Hilton , and on opening night he did what he did best, mesmerising an audience of 2, that included Cary Grant, Fats Domino, Sammy Davis Jr.

He received a standing ovation before he sang a note, another after his closing number and a third followed his encore song, "Can't Help Falling in Love. Newsweek wrote, "there are several unbelievable things about Elvis, but the most incredible is his staying power in a world where meteoric careers fade like shooting stars. The guitar was sold with a letter of authenticity from Jonathon Taurog, son of Norman Taurog. Johnny Winter once described this guitar thus: "it's really the closest thing I've found to sounding like a Strat and feeling like a Gibson.

I like the sound of a strat, but just can't play one. It just doesn't feel right to me. If I pull the strings, I don't get as much out of it as I put into it. I can put the same effort into a Gibson and get back twice as much. With the Lazer I get both. Provenance : This series of guitars was a collaboration between Gretsch and U2's Bono and this particular guitar was used on U2's 'Vertigo Tour. Bono chose the color "Everygreen" and designed the gold scratch plate that bears the inscription "The Goal Is Soul," in black letters.

Provenance : This guitar was played by Eric Clapton in the studio, and used as a back-up stage guitar during the Reptile tour of It was played on stage at least on a couple of occasions, one of which was for the song Layla in the last concert of the first leg of the US Tour at Madison Square Garden on 23rd June, According to Fender Custom Shop's Lee Dickson, "Roy's hot rod was really brown, orangey and gold at the front, and the back went into peacock blues and dark blues — we chose the rear end of the car for the color.

Provenance : The Martin D was manufactured in limited quantities from to , and again since The first series of Ds was made with sides and backs of Brazilian rosewood now endangered and illegal to trade and only 91 instruments were made. David Gilmour acquired this guitar direct from Fender in early and kept it for home and studio use.

Provenance : The Hofner violin bass guitar is synonymous with Paul McCartney and he's been playing them continuously since purchasing his first in in Hamburg before The Beatles were famous. This particular guitar was built specifically for McCartney in , and is one of three he has owned. The first was lost, the second a model he still plays, and this is the third. Provenance : Used by Bob Dylan in many live performances and LPs from the late s through to Sold as part of the auction benefiting Music Rising.

David Gilmour purchased this guitar in December from Frank Lucido of California Guitar in Ventura, California, during a brief interlude between completing final recording and mixing sessions for The Wall at Producer's Workshop in Los Angeles in November and beginning rehearsals for the upcoming The Wall Tour in January Purchased to replace an identical guitar that had been stolen in , Gilmour kept this guitar for studio use.

Now this may be false memory, because memory gets a little unreliable these days, but that is my memory and I did want to get one of those, and in fact I did get one of those eventually. I think it got stolen, but I then did find another one which is the one we have now and is being sold. Purchased in late by David Gilmour's longtime guitar technician Phil Taylor from Frank Lucido's California Guitar, Ventura, California, during the final recording and mixing sessions for Pink Floyd's album The Wall in Los Angeles, the guitar was subsequently sold to David Gilmour in and kept for studio use.

Hendrix passed away two months later but was known to have been working in his studio for 10 days of those two months on his posthumous album 'The Cry of Love. This is likely the first Les Paul recording model ever made. This guitar, and Paulverizer are featured on pages and of Les Paul's autobiography.