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  HOME | Arts & Entertainment

David Gilmour’s Legendary Black Strat to Go under the Hammer

LONDON – Over 120 guitars from David Gilmour’s legendary guitar collection are set to go on auction in June as the guitarist, vocalist and Pink Floyd songwriter parts with his treasured collection.

In an interview with EFE on Wednesday, Kerry Keane, music specialist at Christie’s, said the auction house would present Gilmour’s spectacular guitar collection at a New York sale in June.

“This is without a doubt the deepest, broadest collection of guitars from a pop star that’s been offered at auction in many, many years,” Keane said.

“The collection spans a wide birth of guitar making styles though predominantly electric guitars as David Gilmour was an electric guitarist.”

The value of the guitars on offer ranges hugely, from an affordable $300 to guitars worth $150,000, giving people the opportunity to purchase a guitar Gilmour actually played onstage, Keane said.

“Many of the guitars in this sale are guitars that have given me a tune, so a lot of them have earned their keep, you might say,” the Pink Floyd lead singer said in a film made with the auction house.

“These guitars have given so much to me, and it’s time for them to move on to other people who hopefully will find joy, and perhaps create something new,” Gilmour added.

Highlights would include Gilmour’s 1969 Black Fender Stratocaster also known as the Black Strat, which the musician bought in New York in 1970 and later became an instrument that defined his career.

“He never thought it was precious, for him it was a platform for him to produce music, so he altered it, he worked on it, he tinkered with it to always fulfill the tonal timbre that he had within his heart and head,” Keane continued.

Gilmour used the Black Strat for 16 years as his main guitar and it was instrumental in creating Pink Floyd’s trademark sound.

Most of the British group’s most iconic albums, including “The Dark Side of the Moon” (1973), “Wish You Were Here” (1975), “Animals” (1977) and “The Wall” (1979) – featuring Gilmour’s mesmerizing solo on the “Comfortably Numb” track – were all produced and performed with the Black Strat.

Gilmour temporarily loaned the guitar to the Dallas Hard Rock Cafe in the US for charitable purposes, but the instrument made an unexpected comeback for the Live Aid concert in July 2005 which saw the legendary band play together again after a 24-year plateau.

Gilmour used a different Stratocaster during the first days of rehearsals for the Hyde Park concert that over 3 billion people tuned in to worldwide.

The band decided to use the Black Strat on the third day of rehearsals cementing it as the progressive rock band’s singer’s favorite instrument.

The guitar, which was also Gilmour’s chosen instrument for several of his solo albums, will be one of the sale’s highlights and is expected to fetch anywhere between $100,000 and $150,000.

Another highlight of the sale was a White Fender Stratocaster with a 0001 serial number.

The guitar, Gilmour tells Christie’s, was given to Rex Gallion by Leo Fender.

Gallion suggested Fender sculpt the body of the guitar in order to make it more comfortable to play, giving it its soft, curved appearance.

“It is one of the nicest guitars I’ve ever had and played, it’s got a beautiful tone,” Gilmour said.

“There’s really been no improvement on the Stratocaster and on the electric guitar since that guitar came out in 1954.”

All proceeds of the sale would go to Gilmour’s charitable foundation.

“The David Gilmour Guitar Collection” will be touring London between March 27-31, Los Angeles from May 7-11 and New York from June 14-19.

The sale is set to take place at Christie’s New York branch on June 20.


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