The guitars of famous musicians hold a special place for music fans. Like religious relics of old, these instruments command vast sums. And when they are on public display, like Hendrix’s 1968 Stratocaster, they attract a large number of pilgrims who want to catch a glimpse of their hero’s guitars. We have rounded up the world’s most expensive guitars ever sold and it reads like a list of rock royalty.
1) Reach out to Asia Fender Stratocaster: $2.7million
On Boxing Day 2004 one of the largest and most devastating Tsunamis ever known struck fourteen countries in the Indian Ocean and killed just under 300,000 people. To help raise money for those affected, the world’s most famous musicians auctioned off a Fender Strat. This humble guitar did not have any heritage, but it did have the autographs of over 18 rock legends such as Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Liam Gallagher and the members of Def Leppard.
2) Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 Stratocaster: $2 million
Unlike the Reach out to Asia Fender Stratocaster, this guitar has some serious rock pedigree. This Fender Strat was played by Hendrix at Woodstock in 1969. Microsoft’s Paul Allen bought this famed guitar and it can be seen at the Experience Music Project (EMP) Museum in Seattle, Hendrix’s hometown.
3) Bob Marley’s Washburn: $1.2 million
Classed as a national treasure by the Jamaican Government, Bob Marley’s Washburn is thought to be one of the first electric Washburn guitars ever made. Marley didn’t own many guitars, but he gave this one to his guitar tech Gary Carlsen, perhaps because, reportedly, he rarely played it.
4) Bob Dylan’s Fender Stratocaster: $965,000
Folk legend Bob Dylan played this guitar at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. It sold at Christie’s auction house for just short of $1 million. The iconic guitar had been in the possession of a New Jersey family for 48 years. Dylan apparently left the Fender on a private plane, and though the pilot notified Dylan’s record company, he never received a response.
5) Eric Clapton’s Blackie Stratocaster: $959,000
Blackie is truly a unique guitar. Eric Clapton created it after buying some vintage Strats in Texas. He disassembled the guitars, took the best parts and assembled Blackie. He used the iconic guitar for 15 years. Clapton auctioned Blackie in 2004 to raise money to support a drug and alcohol centre he founded, bringing in just under $1 million.
Your guitars may not be worth a cool one million dollars (you never know, they might be one day) but they’re no doubt very important to you and can be expensive and difficult to replace. Insure4Music offers insurance on guitars and equipment for UK musicians at market-leading rates. Get a music insurance quote today or call 08000 469 859 to speak to a member of our team.