Eric Clapton‘s six-string 1964 custom ‘Summer of Love’ Gibson SG guitar has sold at auction for $1,270,000.00 last week via Julien’s Auctions in Nashville.
Getting its name from the Dutch art collective ‘The Fool,’ the legendary musician used the instrument to record his former band Cream’s 1967 album ‘Disraeli Gears’.
As history would have it, Clapton gifted the guitar to his Cream bandmate George Harrison – who passed away in 2001 – and following the Beatle’s death at the age of 58, it’s had a couple of owners.
About the recent sale, Darren Julien, President/Chief Executive Officer of Julien’s Auctions stated:
“Eric Clapton’s The Fool, one of the most important guitars in all of rock music history has made history once again tonight at our auction.” “To have this legendary guitar that created and defined the classic rock sound that is an art masterpiece and symbol of the psychedelic ‘Summer of Love’ era go to Jim Irsay’s renowned memorabilia collection is another great privilege and hallmark of my career and a highlight of Julien’s Auctions twenty-year anniversary celebration this year.”
A portion of the income generated at auction will benefit Kicking The Stigma, The Indianapolis Colts and Irsay Family’s mental health awareness program.
Throughout the years, Eric has gifted a number of guitars, and Ed Sheeran was one of the recipients whose instrument had to be restored after being “burnt to a crisp” in a fire at his studio.
Sheeran and Clapton have been friends for six years, and appearing on the YouTube show ‘Hot Ones’ in 2021, Ed stated:
“My hero is Eric. When I was 11, I heard Layla, picked up a guitar and went from there. I got to know him in 2015 and we’ve been friends ever since.” “I went to his house, and he took his guitar off the wall and just gave it to me. He signed the back and said, ‘Keep my guitar’. I was like, ‘F. Cool.’ “It was the only guitar in my studio at home and I was on tour and the person looking after my house phoned me up and said, ‘Your music studio is on fire’, and I was like, ‘F! The guitar is in that studio.’ “The guitar comes out and it’s burnt to a crisp.” “He brought it back totally restored, but now it smells like a burnt house.” “But it plays amazing, looks amazing, actually kind of smells amazing and it still has Eric’s signature on it. That’s my favorite guitar.”
Restored by Monty’s Guitars in 2019 after the fire, a written post on the company’s Instagram site stated “Once we had looked it over it became apparent that, structurally, the guitar was pretty much sound and the damage was largely cosmetic.” “Luckily the back with EC’s signature was really the only thing not resembling a charcoal briquette, so we decided he best thing to do was strip it, spray it and rebuild it…” “We were really proud to be part of the project and thrilled that Ed was happy with the guitar!”