Monday, 1 April 2019

David Gilmour's guitar collection

Some of you may have seen the news that David Gilmour of Pink Floyd is selling off his guitar collection to raise money for charity. Not a new idea as Eric Clapton has done this before but uniquely, I feel, is that Dave has basically put the entire auction up for sale at once!

I talked with my son about it and he noticed a comment that there would be viewings available. I signed up to Christie's mailing thing and they did indeed send out info.  Even better - they were free!!!  Like seriously!

Last week Son-of-Furtheron and I met at lunchtime in Victoria and took a walk past Buck House via the Mall into Mayfair to go look.  (Btw just a trip to London if you follow my other blog you'll know with my health issues is a major achievement!)

And this is some of  what we saw.
Let's start with some of the icons....

Gold top Les Paul - used on the solo to Another Brick in the Wall Part 2

1954 Strat with serial number 001

Red Strat as used through the 80s basically the most used guitar in the post Roger Water's Pink Floyd.

The Martin D-35 he used for most acoustic recording - inc the famous Wish You Were Here intro solo.

Okay all of these had high reserves.

But you could split the collection into three really - the famous iconic pieces like those above.  Some incredible early model guitars and then a bunch of other stuff, mostly just stock guitars.

Some early bits that caught my eye.

1954 first year of production strat in incredible condition.

One of many early 50s Tele's in nocasters and broadcasters

 A 57 custom colour with gold hardware - again as though it was new almost!

 A 59 Les Paul Custom... drool!  I love customs anyway but also think they are a bargain - this was estimated about $65,000 - at least half the cheapest you'd find a 59 Standard for ... and you get an extra pickup! 

Some others...
A stock strat that was used on a set with John Martyn (who I'm also a huge fan of).  Low estimate.... like from $1,000!

A rare Doug Wilkes with rails pickups - clever idea again low estimate $1,000 up

My son took a shine to this.  Fitted with EMGs like the red strat but with a roland synth pickup too.  This was used at Live Aid in 1985 when he played in Bryan Ferry's band.  Only for the first song but with an estimate of only $3,000 - $5,000 again a real piece of music history... I mean... Live Aid!!!

Couple of rare Ovations - never seen a 12 string in the flesh... both like $1,000 or $2,000.

Only mandolin I think in the collection but sadly the four string version... not so keen but...

One of several early prototypes from the Fender Custom shop when Dave was working with them on the replica of his Black Strat. 

Which brings us to the star of the show.

The iconic black strat - estimate from $165,000.   But here's my thinking on this....  He bought this 69 strat from manny's in NYC in 1970 when an airline helpful lost or destroyed the telecaster he'd come with and he had a tour to start and no guitar.  So he's owned it a long time.  He played it famously on Live at Pompeii, it was used extensively all over the albums from the 70s.  He played it at the last ever Pink Floyd gig and the one and only reunion of the famous line up at Live 8 in Hyde Park.  However - that was this guitar granted but the one on Live at Pompeii...?   Let me explain.  Originally it had a large headstock rosewood fingerboard neck.  The neck on this is a custom V57 as per on his red Strat - this is at least the fourth neck on the guitar at one point it had a Charval neck.  Electronics - at least replaced three times.  In mid 70s around Animals he was using Dimarizio FS-1 in the bridge at least.  These electrics were put in when he had it restored after getting it back from Hard Rock Cafe.  Bridge - this is at least the third on it.  Now back with a classic six point screw one similar to that fitted on it originally with the shortened arm he favours.  But during it's life it had a Khaler fitted to it.  You can see the big rout out behind the current bridge that was grafted in to allow the vintage style to be refitted.   So ... how much of this is the guitar on Echoes?  Well about 90% of the body - the rest of it not!

Go back to the red strat...

A 57 reissue fitted with EMGs.  This is the exact guitar he used throughout about 20 years but only $15,000 estimate.  I just find it funnny that the black one will catch all the headlines etc. but ... well that's me.  Oh also Dave himself admits the custom shop replicas which he has used on recent tours are more reliable for tuning stability and electrics etc. hence why he's letting the original go anyway.  You can get one of them today for about £4,000.... hmmm...

Here's a short video of some of the exhibits.