Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour recently auctioned his entire guitar collection at Christie’s New York for a cause about which he’s passionate, global warming. Benefits from the sale benefitted ClientEarth, an environmental legal advocacy group.
And ClientEarth is happy today, because most of the axes went for prices far beyond the pre-sale estimates. Of the 125 instruments, 58 of them sold for $100K or more and 20 of them are among the most expensive ever sold at auction. One man shelled out almost 24% of the auction’s take: Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts and a well-known Floyd fanatic.
Irsay’s prizes include the legendary Black Strat set the Guinness record for the most expensive guitar ever sold by any means, fetching $3.975 million–the estimated sale was $100,000-$150,000. This was Gilmour’s primary performance and recording guitar on every Pink Floyd album from 1970 to 1983 plus all four of his solo albums. (It’s the one you hear on “Comfortably Numb”). The Martin D35 heard on “Wish You Were Here” is one that Gilmour bought that on the street back in ’71 and made his go-to acoustic, it sold for $1.5 million.
While there has to be an element of the bittersweet for Gilmour, he’s looking ahead and not back; insisting that the sale isn’t an indicator that he’s headed for retirement. “I’m not at that moment,” he says, and indicates that Fender’s replica model might be his next axe of choice. He allows that the guitars are important, but they’re the “tools that I use“ and and the Black Strat’s presence in the auction helped to bring attention to the sale and to “…the greatest challenge that humanity will ever face….We need a civilized world that goes on for all our grandchildren and beyond in which these guitars can be played and songs can be sung.”