Among the countless instruments to be played by individuals and races all around the globe, in all this years since the dawn of music, guitar has somehow managed to emerge as the one unchallenged winner in the popular department. At any given time there are more guitar players in the world than any other. Piano is haunting, the flute is breezy, but the allure of guitar music is just something else. Whether it is the loud wailing of the most electric guitars or the gentle plucking of the acoustic, guitar has always been the most romantic musical instrument.
Read on to find out about the most popular and the most expensive guitars that were ever bought or sold in the world. Many of these guitars have been pre owned by stars; others have a newer manufacturing date but were sold for a good cause.
List of the world’s top 10 most expensive electric guitars in 2018
10. Doug Irwin ‘Wolf’ (Price – $789500)
Doug Irwin manufactured a very limited number of guitars and. This particular guitar was used by Jerry Garcia who used it to play ‘Wolf’. After the death of Jerry Garcia the guitar was supposed to be returned to the manufacturers as per his will along with three of his other guitars. These led to a very ugly legal battle between the members of the Grateful Dead and Doug Irwin. They settled the matter between them when the parties decided to take two guitars each. The company immediately auctioned off its share, selling Wolf for $ 189500).
9. Gibson 1964 ES335 TDC (Price – $847, 500)
This expensive electric guitars belonged to Eric Clapton and was the second guitar ever bought by him. It’s also one of the two guitars on this list. He has used this guitar throughout his career. He has used it with the Yardbirds, Blind Faith, and also throughout his solo career. The cherry red was a stage guitar and was used by other stars too. Although there is another camp that claims the ES335 was not the one used in this concert and is a gross misinformation published and promoted by Burst Bros.
8. Doug Irwin Tiger (Price – $957500)
The other Doug Irwin guitar used by Jerry Garcia, Tiger was also given to the company from the managers of the late singer as a settlement offer from the legal team of the Grateful Dead. While the other camp got ‘Rosebud’ and the headless ‘wolf jr’ the Irwin camp had won with ‘Tiger’ and ‘Wolf’. It was sold at a price of $ 957500 and that time it was the highest price ever paid for a guitar at an auction.
7. Fender ‘Blackie’ Stratocaster (Price – $959500)
When Eric Clapton switched from Gibson guitars to Fender guitars,he named his guitar Blackie because of its brown Sunburst finishing. It was first played in 1973 and had been used for many years off and on stage since. Blackie was a custom made guitar. It was built by using parts of three of six guitars Clapton had bought to build it.
6. Fender 1964 Stratocaster (Price – $965000)
The expensive electric guitar had been mysteriously missing for a long 47 years and it was just recently found in the home of New Jersey resident Dawn Peterson who had no idea until a group of PBS researchers told him so. The guitar, belonging to Bob Dylan was present during the turning point of his career. It was with this guitar Bob Dylan transformed from a protest folkie to a rebel genius. A lot of researchers were sceptical of the authenticity if the guitar at first because even though handwritten songs were written about the guitar, it was implausible that Dylan had just lost it in an airplane.
5. Gibson 1959 Les Paul Standard (Price – $1 million)
It’s the holy grail of all electronic guitars owned by Keith Richards. It’s one of the 500 guitars to be played by the Rolling Stones man. He has claimed to play about every guitar there is under the sun. But it was his most fabled. It was bought from a Farmers Music store and had seen the ups and downs of the musician’s career. It was sold to a private collector at a price of $1 million.
4. Washburn 22-Series Hawk (Price – $1.2 – $2 million)
The guitar was custom made for Bob Marley; it was one of the only seven guitars ever owned by the reggae legend. It is listed as a government asset by the Jamaican government. Since it was a government takeover, the government prices have never been revealed. The public estimate is within $1.3 to $2 million.
3. Fender 1968 Stratocaster (Price – $2 million)
A list of famous guitars cannot but have a Jimi Hendrix item on the list. The Olympic white guitar was played at the world renowned Woodstock festival in the summer of ’69. It was bought by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen and is the second priciest guitar previously owned by an established artist in this list.
2. Gibson 1962 J-160E (Price – $2.4 million –exception)
It’s such a famous guitar that, Gibson acoustics released to the world at the request of Yoko Ono to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the legend. The guitar has a history with the singer. Since Lennon didn’t have the money to buy the guitar for himself, he made a singed purchase with the manager of The Beatles Brian Epstein who had also bought George Harrison’s guitar too. The long lost guitar was found and sold for a record shattering $2.1 million at a live concert. This is the only guitar in the list that is acoustic.
1. Fender ‘Reach out to Asia’ Stratocaster (Price – $2.7 million)
This guitar was signed by 19 artists including Bryan Adams, the mastermind behind this idea. The guitar was sold at a charity auction to support and raise money for the victims of the tsunami that rocked the Asian plates in 2004. The auction was called reach out to Asia and fulfilled its purpose. It was held in Qatar.
These guitars are often only afforded by affluent collectors. But even for the new boy looking at a poster of Jimi Hendrix before going to his guitar class, these guitars are dreams guitarified.