David Gilmour needs little introduction and nor does his love the electric guitar. A keen collector during his professional career, he has amassed an extensive collection of vintage instruments as well as ones that he bought new. One particular guitar that is synonymous with Gilmour helped cement him as one of Rock's most prolific artists and also took on it's it's own mystique: The Black Strat.
After 50 years this legendary instrument and some 120 others from his collection are going up for auction in June. Christie's in New York are running the auction and all the proceeds will be going to charitable foundations.
Those of you with extra deep pockets and a love of all things Floyd should definitely take a look to see what is offer. For the rest of us we can dream...
Let's go over some of the highlights
Between 1970 and 1986, The Black Strat was Gilmour’s primary performance and recording guitar, and was key to the development of the Pink Floyd sound. It was played in the recordings of landmark albums such as the 1973 masterpiece The Dark Side of the Moon, which includes the track Money and is widely regarded as one of the greatest LPs of all time; Wish You Were Here (1975), featuring the track Shine on You Crazy Diamond, which Gilmour reveals ‘came out of’ The Black Strat; Animals (1977); and The Wall (1979), which features Gilmour’s legendary guitar solo on Comfortably Numb.
The Black Strat, which has been extensively modified over the decades to accommodate Gilmour’s evolving style and performance requirements, can also be heard on his critically acclaimed solo albums including David Gilmour (1978), About Face (1984), On an Island (2006) and Rattle that Lock (2015).
This iconic, solid-body electric guitar (estimate: $100,000-150,000) will be a highlight of The David Gilmour Guitar Collection
Another important guitar offered in the June sale is Gilmour’s 1954 White Fender Stratocaster #0001 (estimate: $100,000-150,000). Gilmour acquired ‘The #0001 Stratocaster’ in 1978 and it has been used on several recordings including Another Brick in the Wall (Parts 2 and 3).
Additional collection highlights include a 1955 Gibson Les Paul, famous for Gilmour’s guitar solo on Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) (estimate: $30,000-50,000), and an incredibly rare Gretsch White Penguin 6134, which was purchased for his private collection (estimate: $100,000-150,000).
Further Fender highlights include the 1957 ‘Ex-Homer Haynes’ Stratocaster, with gold-plated hardware and finished in the rare custom colour of Lake Placid Blue (estimate: $60,000-90,000), and a Candy Apple Red 1984 Stratocaster 57V (estimate: $15,000-25,000), which became Gilmour’s primary electric guitar during the 1980s and ’90s, and was used during recording and touring of the Pink Floyd albums A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994).
It's not just limited to his electric guitar collection, the acoustic fans among you are well catered for:
Gilmour’s early musical influences included the Everly Brothers and Bob Dylan, and reflecting this the collection also offers several acoustic guitars. Examples include a 1969 D-35 Martin purchased on the streets of New York in 1971, and used as both Pink Floyd and David Gilmour’s main studio acoustic, notably on Wish You Were Here (estimate $10,000-20,000); a Gibson J-200 Celebrity (1985) acquired from John Illsley of Dire Straits (estimate $3,500-5,500); and a unique Tony Zemaitis (1978) custom acoustic bass guitar (estimate $15,000-25,000).
A global tour of the collection will launch in London at Christie’s King Street (27-31 March), where the full collection will be on display. Highlights will then go on view in Los Angeles (7-11 May) before the New York sale preview (14-19 June). Sennheiser will be providing the sound experience at all the pre-sale exhibitions.