Although guitar legend Eric Clapton has auctioned off instruments from his personal collection before, next year's sale will mark the first time that he's made some of his amps available, too. Players looking to grab a slice of Slow Hand tone, fans of the man they called God, or music memorabilia collectors will all get the chance to bid on over 70 of the icon's own guitars and 70 of his amps. Donations from other famous musicians will also go under the hammer, with all profits going to the substance abuse center in Antigua that Clapton founded in the late 1990s.
Bonhams has announced that the third Eric Clapton auction in aid of the Crossroads Centre – a non-profit facility founded by Clapton for the treatment of alcohol and other drug addictions – represents a first outing for selected amplifiers from his own collection. Amongst the famous brands on offer are guitars and amps from Fender, Gibson, Marshall, Martin and Music Man.
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According to the auction hosts, "some of the historic amps are associated with Clapton's career from the 1970s to the present day," giving bidders a unique opportunity to delve even further into the sound that has helped shape rock for over four decades. Highlights include a custom-built black Fender Signature Strat that he used during the Cream Reunion shows in London and New York in 2005, and a pair of vintage Marshall basket-weave speaker cabs from around 1970.
The famous auction house added that there will be something to suit all budgets, with estimates on items ranging from a few hundred dollars right up to a few hundred thousand dollars. Music fans will also get the chance to bid on items donated by other famous musicians, such as Clapton's Yardbirds replacement Jeff Beck, influential songwriter and musician JJ Cale and modern guitar hero Joe Bonamassa.
Pre-sale viewing is being arranged for New Bond St, London during January and West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles in February. The sale itself, held in association with Wallace & Hodgson, will take place on March 9, 2011 at Bonhams New York on Madison Avenue.
More details will appear on the Bonhams website shortly.