Duane Allman's Gibson SG and Graham Nash's Woodstock Martin D-45 sell at auction
Our top 100 most valuable guitars listing added two more famous guitars last week, when Duane Allman's 1961/1962 Cherry Gibson SG fetched US$591,000 and the Martin D-45 that Graham Nash played at Woodstock fetched $162,500.
The price achieved by Heritage Auctions for Allman's guitar makes it one of the 20 most valuable guitars ever sold. Duane Allman (November 20, 1946 – October 29, 1971) died at just 24 years of age in a motorcycle accident, well before his time.
He is generally regarded as one of the best guitar players of all time. In 2003, he was ranked second to Jimi Hendrix in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest guitar players of all time, with a subsequent Rolling Stone listing compiled by a different panel ranking him in ninth place in 2011.
This 1961/1962 Cherry Gibson SG guitar was Allman's favorite, and is the guitar he played on the live recording of Statesboro Blues, the opening track of the first live album by the Allman Brothers Band, At Fillmore East.
Subsequent to Allman's death, the guitar was purchased by Graham Nash, who had risen to stardom as a member of The Hollies, and then joined with David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Neil Young to form one of the first "supergroups", Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
Nash subsequently assembled a collection of the guitars of famous artists such as Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash and Don Everly, and this was the foundation guitar of that collection.
Speaking of the guitar, Nash said: "This is the famous From One Brother to Another guitar, traded between Dickey Betts and Duane on all their live shows, [like at] the Beacon Theatre in New York. This is a very special guitar. Duane was obviously one of the great guitar players in the world. To be able hold his guitar and humbly play A minor, that's about the best I can do. I don't want to play slide. Who would want to do that? This a great guitar. Somebody is going to be able to hold this guitar and feel the same thing that I do. It's a passion for music, for the instruments that made that music."
The other guitar that sold at the same Heritage Auctions Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction on July 20-21, was the 1969 Martin D-45 Acoustic that Graham Nash played at Woodstock, which fetched $162,500.
That guitar narrowly missed a spot in our 100 most valuable guitars of all-time, coming in at #102.
Other guitars that sold during the auction included Johnny Cash's 1937 Martin 000-28 ($32,500), Johnny Cash's 1934 0-17 Martin acoustic guitar ($27,500), Willie Nelson's Acoustic Guitar signed by many superstars ($27,500), Don Everly's 1963 Gibson J-180 Black Acoustic Guitar ($22,500), Buddy Holly's 1951 Gibson J-185 Sunburst ($21,875), a 2005 Paul Reed Smith (PRS) Custom Solid Body Electric Guitar used by Dan Spitz of Anthrax ($5,000), a 1950 Fender Broadcaster used by Nash, a 1954 Fender Sunburst Stratocaster used by Nash ($36,250), a Blonde 1952 Fender Black-Guard Telecaster used by Nash ($36,250), a Gretsch 6120 owned and played by Stephen Stills while he was a member of Buffalo Springfield, a 1960 Fender Esquire Custom Sunburst played by Nash at the very last Crosby, Stills & Nash concert ($27,500), and one of the first Les Paul Custom guitars made in 1954, and used by Nash in the Hollies ($25,000).