Clapton's Guitar Sells for Nearly $1M

By | June 28, 2004 at 12:00 AM

One of Eric Clapton’s prize guitars sold for a record $959,500 at an auction that raised more than $7.4 million for a drug treatment center, auction house officials said.

“Blackie,” the black-and-white Fender Stratocaster that served as Clapton’s sole stage and studio guitar from 1970 to 1985, was the most expensive ever sold at auction, Christie’s said in a statement. In 2002, a guitar belonging to Jerry Garcia sold for $957,500.

The buyer of Clapton’s guitar – one of 56 he offered Thursday – was not disclosed.

Proceeds will go to the Crossroads Centre in Antigua, an addiction treatment center Clapton established in 1998. Clapton overcame a heroin addiction years ago.

“I am thrilled at the result, which is going to be of enormous help to us in achieving our long-term aims at the Centre,” Clapton said in a statement.

Bidding was fierce for several other guitars, too. Clapton’s 1964 cherry-red Gibson ES-335, along with its case, sold for $847,500, which Christie’s said was a world auction record for a Gibson.

“Lenny,” the guitar Stevie Ray Vaughan played from the 1970s until his death in 1990, sold for $623,500, Christie’s said. The guitar was donated by Vaughan’s estate.