“Blackie”, Eric Clapton’s favorite mid-career modified Strat has been surpassed in value and is no longer the most expensive guitar ever, despite that it was bought for $950,000 USD in 2004 by a guitar archaeologist.The latest most expensive electric guitar in the world dethroned its predecessor at an auction in Doha, Qatar on November 16th, 2005
The Strat was signed by several rock musicians to benefit a tsunami charity, ‘Reach out to Asia’. It was bought by Qatar’s royal family for a million dollars and donated back to the Asia Program, bringing in $2.7 million USD at the most recent auction, whose attendees included Former President Bill Clinton. Technically, the guitar has generated a total of $3.7 million USD, making it the most expensive guitar yet.
Canadian singer/guitarist Bryan Adams and members of the Qatari royal family were joined by guests including the likes of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, British entrepreneur Richard Branson, Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx, famous actor Jet Li and CNN presenter Richard Quest.
“I decided to launch a fund-raising event to benefit those who had been affected by the disaster,” Adams said. “I asked my peers to sign one single guitar, which could be auctioned in aid of the cause, with the guitar acting as a kind of symbol of hope and solidarity.”
According to Adams, the result was “overwhelming.” As singer/guitarist commented, the donation from Her Highness Sheihka Miyyassah Al Thani, as well as the donation of the Stratocaster guitar from Fender allowed the financial support for two crucial projects – the re-building and equipment supply for a school in Thailand and the building of a village sports center, providing facilities for seven village schools in Sri Lanka. Adams also went on to give his sincere thanks to all of the musicians for their “time, generosity and kindness.”
The guitar itself is a typical white Fender Stratocaster, similar to the one late guitar icon Jimi Hendrix used to play back in the day. Similar to Hendrix, but in a different way, the guitar was turned from a standard model to something very special, and although Reach Out to Asia Strat didn’t help deliver such timeless classics as “Purple Haze” or “Voodoo Chile,” it did help those that were in need, which should count just as much.
Signees of this expensive electric guitar included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend, Mark Knopfler, Ray Davis, Liam Gallagher, Ronnie Wood, Tony Iommi, Angus & Malcolm Young, Paul McCartney, Sting, Ritchie Blackmore, Def Leppard, and Bryan Adams, the coordinator of the project.