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Clapton guitar tops US$600,000 in rock memorabilia auction


A Martin D-45 acoustic guitar, previously owned and played on stage by Eric Clapton, sits on display at Julien’s Auctions and Public Exhibition media preview at the Hard Rock Cafe at Times Square in New York City November 15, 2021. —  Reuters pic
A Martin D-45 acoustic guitar, previously owned and played on stage by Eric Clapton, sits on display at Julien’s Auctions and Public Exhibition media preview at the Hard Rock Cafe at Times Square in New York City November 15, 2021. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Nov 22 — A vintage Eric Clapton guitar sold for US$625,000 (RM2.6 million) in New York at a weekend auction of rock memorabilia that fetched nearly US$5 million in total, Julien Auctions announced.

Heralded as the highlight of the sale that concluded late Saturday at the city’s Hard Rock Cafe and which also took bids online, the acoustic 1968 Martin D-45 instrument was played by Clapton in 1970 during the debut live concert of his band Derek and the Dominos.

The group was behind the classic song Layla.

Julien’s had estimated the instrument would sell for US$300,000 to US$500,000.

While outperforming expectations, the price came up well short of the record US$6 million that was paid in 2020 for the acoustic guitar that late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain strummed during a famous “MTV Unplugged” appearance in 1993.

The 76-year-old Englishman Clapton, a rock and blues legend, in recent years has made a very public turn to far-right conservatism, taking ardent stances against Covid-19 vaccination and lockdown measures and facing accusations of racism.

Other guitars that went under the hammer include a 1976 Gibson Explorer stage-played by U2’s lead guitarist The Edge that brought US$437,500, and a Fender Stratocaster used by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, which sold for a cool US$200,000.

Nearly 1,000 lots of memorabilia were sold in the “Icons & Idols: Rock ‘N’ Roll” auction, which featured objects owned or connected to The Beatles, Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Elvis Presley, and the Rolling Stones. — AFP

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