Clapton Auction to Benefit Drug Center

By | June 24, 2004 at 12:00 AM

Eric Clapton will auction off 56 of his guitars in New York on Thursday to raise money for a new drug treatment center in Antigua and Barbuda, a manager of his center said.

Proceeds from the auction at Christie’s will go toward the recently completed 16-bed Bevon House, a center for recovering patients that is an expansion of Clapton’s Crossroads Center, said Kim Martin, the center’s marketing manager.

More than $500,000 is need to finance the construction, and money raised through the auction also will go toward paying for patients who can’t afford the program, Martin said.

Clapton, who overcame his own heroin addiction years ago, underwrote the Crossroads Center, which opened in 1998 in the Caribbean country where the guitarist has a home.

According to Martin, the rock star described the guitars up for auction as “the cream of my collection.”

Clapton auctioned off other guitars in 1999 and said in a statement that the ones being sold now are guitars he didn’t want to let go of in the last sale. “I kept them back from the first auction because I seriously couldn’t consider parting with them at that point,” he said.