Guitar Shop TV attended Eric Clapton‘s 2011 Crossroads Guitar Auction at Bonham’s Auction House in New York, and it was a sight to behold. The Auction was established to aid The Crossroads Centre in Antigua, an addiction recovery facility founded by Clapton in 1998.
According to Clapton’s website: “two viewing rooms in New York City were jam-packed with bidders, as was theLos Angeles salesroom which participated by a simulcast. Additionally, there were bidders online and on the phone. Competition to acquire guitars, amplifiers, gold records and awards from rock legend Eric Clapton and instruments donated by musician friends Jeff Beck, JJ Cale and Joe Bonamassa was fierce. The sale was 100% sold and the hammer price for all lots totaled $1,767,977. The Bonham’s auction was held in association with Wallace & Hodgson, who worked on both the 1999 and 2004 Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Auctions.
Included in the sale were instruments and amps by Fender, Gibson, Marshall, Martin, and Music Man. Highlights included one of Clapton’s main stage guitars from 2005, which formed one of a pair he used during the Cream Reunion Shows in London and New York – a custom built black Fender ‘Eric Clapton Signature’ Stratocaster; and a pair of circa 1970 Marshall vintage basketweave speaker cabinets, used during the 1970s while with Derek & The Dominos. This is the first time that such a large and interesting collection of amps – all of which helped created EC’s legendary sound – was offered on the auction market.
Many items went for double their high estimate, with others selling for outstanding multiples. What was most surprising were the amounts garnered by the gold record awards and BMI certificates. The RIAA Certified Gold Discs for Me And Mr. Johnson and Journeyman each sold for an astounding $32,000 as did the Special Citatation of Achievement presented to Claptonfor “Tears In Heaven.” Of Clapton’s guitars on offer, the key items were the following:
2008 Martin D-12-28 – $58,000
2005 Zemaitis Custom Acoustic – $50,000
2005 Semaitis S22BP 3S – $62,000
1948 Gibson L5P – $68,000
2008 Daphne Blue Fender Stratocaster Eric Clapton Signature Model – $42,000
From the group of guitars donated by his musician friends to support the Crossroads Centre, Joe Bonamassa’s Fender Stratocaster with gold sparkle finish was the highlight, selling for $30,000. Of the amplifiers in the auction, a pair of 1988 Soldano SLO-100 with Pete Cornish Routing System and Marshall 1960B speaker cabinets netted $27,000. A 1957 Twin Amplifier sold for an astounding $32,000. A Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010 Limited Edition Poster printed on wood and autographed by 19 of the musicians who performed at the festival sold for $8,000.