“Brownie” Fender Stratocaster:
Eric Clapton recently allowed a camera crew into his London home for an intimate talk. The purpose was to demonstrate a new series of high-priced, limited-edition reproductions of some of his most famous guitars, which will soon go on sale to benefit his Crossroads Centre in Antigua. But as Rolling Stone noted in a recent online piece, the conversation went much deeper.
In the video above, Clapton tries out a replica of an early sunburst Fender Stratocaster, nicknamed “Brownie,” that he purchased in 1967 and played with Derek and the Dominoes. The original guitar, which had a heavily worn maple neck that Clapton attached to a Fender Telecaster body during his days with Blind Faith, was sold at auction in 1999 for $497,500. The replicas were made by the Fender Custom Shop and will sell for $15,000. In the video, Clapton plugs the guitar into a 1950s-era Fender “Tweed Twin” amplifier and tries it out, playing a few blues lines and reminiscing about his early Stratocaster-playing influences: Buddy Holly, Buddy Guy and Jimi Hendrix.
Martin 000-28 and 000-45:
Above, Clapton tries out a pair of acoustic guitars made in his honor by Martin & Co. He talks about his early infatuation with Martin guitars, which he developed after hearing other musicians talk about them and after seeing footage of Big Bill Broonzy playing the 000-28 model. Unlike the other “Crossroads Collection” guitars, the Martins were apparently not modeled after individual guitars Clapton once played, but were instead handmade to his specifications. The Crossroads model 000-28 will sell for $6,000 and the 000-48 will be offered in two editions made with different materials, one for $13,000 and the other for $50,000.
“Lucy” Gibson Les Paul:
Perhaps the most interesting of the three videos involves a guitar Clapton is not usually associated with: a Gibson Les Paul. The guitar is a reproduction of a heavily worn 1957 cherry-red guitar Clapton bought in about 1967, when he was touring America with Cream. He gave the guitar to George Harrison of the Beatles, who nicknamed it “Lucy” and played it on the White Album and Let it Be. When Clapton accepted Harrison’s request to play lead guitar on the recording of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” he played it on Lucy. In the video, Clapton reminisces about the Beatles session and talks about the amplifier he used during his days with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and the ones he used afterwards. Harrison briefly loaned the original Lucy Les Paul back to Clapton, who played it during his famous Rainbow Concert in 1973, but the guitar still belongs to the Harrison estate. The Gibson-made replicas will sell for $15,000 each.
via Rolling Stone