Guitars Played by U2’s the Edge, David Gilmour, Amy Winehouse Sell Big at Auction

Music

Guitars owned by U2’s the Edge, Eddie Van Halen, Elvis Presley and Eric Clapton were among the highest-bid items at a rock-themed auction that raked in over $5 million this weekend.

Julien’s Auctions’ Icons & Idols: Rock N’ Roll event also featured David Gilmour’s stage-used guitar from Pink Floyd’s Momentarily Lapse of Reason era ($200,000, doubling its pre-auction estimate) and Amy Winehouse’s Fender Stratocaster, which the late singer played onstage in and in the “Take the Box” music video; that guitar sold for $153,000.

Despite the controversy surrounding Clapton’s stance on vaccination mandates and Covid lockdowns, people still really like the song “Layla,” as Clapton’s stage-used acoustic guitar from his time with Derek & the Dominoes sold for an auction-high of $625,000, beating its $500,000 pre-auction estimate. (Clapton’s handwritten lyrics for “Layla” sold for $37,500, however, the low-end of its pre-auction estimate.)

The Edge’s 1976 Gibson Explorer Electric Guitar — used during U2’s The Joshua Tree tour — reached a high bid of $437,500, while Bono’s 2005 Gretsch Irish Falcon — played live when U2 performed “One” and “Walk On” — sold for $115,000.

(However, some of the auction’s more notable, previously announced items — like Kurt Cobain artwork and Robert Plant’s handwritten lyrics for Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” — never made it to the auction block for unspecified reasons.)

It wasn’t just instruments that hit surprisingly high bids that exceeded expectations: This terrifying painting of a clown by Frank Sinatra in 1991 somehow sold for $56,000, five times its pre-auction estimate. The mask featured on the cover of Quiet Riot’s Metal Health LP scored a $50,000 high bid, and the Go-Go’s Belinda Carlisle’s own Germs t-shirt — the punk band she was a member of prior to her own Rock Hall-inducted outfit — sold for a whopping $22,000, over 20 times its expected sale price.

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