• David Gilmour displays his guitar collection at Christie’s in London

    David’s huge guitar collection, or at least the 120+ guitars he’s auctioning away this summer, is at display at Christie’s in London. A video with a short presentation was shared yesterday.

    What are your thoughts on David getting rid of all these guitars? If you had the money, which guitar would you get?

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38 Responsesso far.

  1. Sean says:

    Thank you Bjorn for providing this site for fans of David and musicians to gather and share thoughts, experiences, etc. I live in Los Angeles and was fortunate enough to sneak out of work yesterday and drive to Beverly Hills and spend an hour or so standing next to / staring very closely from all angles / forcing myself not to gently touch just once / taking pictures of the 10 guitars on display here (Black, Red, 0001, gold Les Paul, Martin d-35, etc). I wanted to bring one of my rock and roll friends to join me to share this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, all are Floyd fans, having seen Floyd and David and Roger live at various times, but no one was available on such short notice, so I went alone. I then remembered this site and am glad to have someplace to share my thoughts, as most of my friends or wife probably won’t fully understand what this meant to me personally. So here goes…

    As a guitar player and lifelong fan of David and the Floyd since 10 years old (now in my 50’s), when I first heard of the sale I was heart broken, as I immediately thought the same – was he sick? Retiring? Why sell the Black Strat? Yes I know he always said they are just tools, especially Black, with all that has been done to it, but to think of all the music that has come out of those tools, and life-changing and mind-bending and spiritual moments that millions have experienced, both on record and live, I just worried that some rich hedge fund douchebag will buy it and be doing lines of coke off it in his NY penthouse with his friends, listening to Money in quadrophonic stereo. But the more I thought about it and listened to David’s explanations, and after the experience of being so physically close with the actual guitars yesterday, it became clear to me, this is absolutely in keeping with the man and his character, and his knowledge of how our spirits transcend materiality. I am glad to hear there is confirmation he is not sick or retiring, although that will come for all of us one day, but for now it’s not at all about that. He wants to do good in this world while he can, and he knows time for all of us is short. That’s the sting we feel in our hearts, letting go of things we love. He has always said he has a bit of a fatalistic view of life. Our mortality is certain. What comes after, who knows? But we know we are here now, and it’s that same moral clarity and sense of magic and purpose of life that his music has always represented to me, now manifested in taking action while he still can. If you look at the video on the Christies website, the track is “Short and Sweet.” I’m sure knowing his attention to detail he hand-picked this track. Read the lyrics and it will tell you all you need to know. Rick is gone, Bowie is now gone, and so many other friends. Plus, he probably doesn’t want them to be fought over when he is gone, or collecting dust in a museum, so at least the potential good they can create is totally consistent with their spiritual meaning. And the truth is, he doesn’t need them as much as people need the money they can bring. I have heard he has one of the largest rare guitar collections in the world, so parting with 120 of them at this stage in life for worthy causes, and to set an example to all of us not to cling so much to material possessions, and instead put people first, is exemplary and noble. Plus, to get the max value out of all of them individually, by attracting the global attention needed, he had to include many of the most historically significant models. Plus, as others have said here, he can pick up any guitar and still sound like himself. The magic is in him, and all of us, and what we choose to do with it, and not the physical tools we use.

    I learned my own version of this with my own black strat a few years ago. A close friend died very young and totally unexpectedly. I had been eyeing the Custom Shop models for some time, and thought shit, life is so damn short. He loved Floyd too. So I went out and bought a 2012 NOS model that weekend, and named it after him. Knowing David’s never-ending quest for tonal perfection, I assumed that guitar would be the end-all of all guitars for me. And that guitar was so beautiful, and gave me several years of joy, and laid down some mean tracks on my upcoming self- published album, but at the end of the day, the neck was always too thin for me, and I just couldn’t get the right grip on the higher notes to bend how I wanted. The neck was just too slick, and I had learned on more of a baseball bat of a neck. My neighbor, who happens to be an English musician and producer of many records, said something once when we were talking guitars and looking at it, that had stuck in my head – he didn’t know why people put so much value in other people’s instruments instead of just learning to play the ones they had and becoming the best version of themselves. That always stuck with me. So I finally admitted to myself, only David is David, and I can learn from him but don’t want to be and never will be him, I don’t play in a Floyd cover band, and so I sold my 2012 NOS and took the money and found a Custom Shop relic ’52 tele with a U carve neck that fits my hand just perfectly. That is now my version of the Black Strat to me.

    Fast forward to yesterday, I have all these feelings as I said above, as I am standing right next to these guitars, and basically alone, no glass between us, nothing but a string around them. I have been fortunate enough to see David play many of them many times, the Red on the 80’s and 90’s tours, two times from less than 10 rows back, as well as the Black on the On an Island and Rattle That Lock tours, and always incredible moments. When I think of all the solos in my headphones in my youth, and all those critical formative years as a teenager, a budding musician, and a stoner, to be literally inches away from those guitars after all this time was just beautiful, and like coming full circle in life in some ways. In that sense, I have to thank David for making them available for anyone with the off chance / good fortune to be in the right town to see them and for free. I stood in front of the gold top as Another Brick part 2 blasted on the stereo in Christie’s, staring at the very frets where the solo was played as I listened to it. I listened to Wish You Were Here while standing all alone, just inches from the Martin, just taking it in. It was incredible. It’s hard to describe how they look in person, they are obviously so perfectly maintained, and yet the dinks and scratches and dust are all there. They are just so… crystallized into themselves. The wear and aging on the necks and fretboards is just stunning. From the side, you can see the necks are so perfectly flat and straight, the action so low yet not touching, they are just flawless. You know just looking at them up super close there is simply no better intonation & setup achievable in a guitar. They are like gems. Pretty damn cool. But at the end of the day, they are not David.

    I said one last goodby to the Black Strat, and walked out feeling both blown away, and yet unsure of how I felt, realizing I would likely never see them again, let alone up that close. I was sad for our collective mortality, and totally satisfied and eternally grateful for the experience, all at the same time. Much like a Floyd song or live show can leave you feeling.

    I got in my car to drive home, and wondered if there really were “magic objects” in this world, or if they were just pieces of wood and metal and wire, and if was really the music and what it can, and has done for people, that was more important than the physical objects themselves. It seemed to me that David was making a very bold statement about his thoughts on all of that in the act of letting them go to strangers, to help strangers… but I still wasn’t sure I agreed or would have been able to do it myself.

    I turned on my ignition, and the local classic rock radio station KLOS was totally randomly playing Hey You, right in the middle of one of my all-time favorite solos of his. I cranked it up to max, as tears rolled down my cheeks, and I laughed at the same time at the irony of the universe, as I pulled into traffic, knowing I had my answer, directly from the band and that guitar itself, coming thru my radio in real time. It was always about, and always will be about, the music. It’s not about the “stuff.” The music will survive as long as humanity does. And I think that’s the point. Now I understand where he is coming from.

    “Together we stand, divided we fall.”

    Thanks for letting me share my story.

    Sean

  2. 4poketrade 4poketrade says:

    For me the important matter is that David Gilmour continuous to play….with him, for certain, even a bullet squier sounds great……

  3. J. Hart says:

    I’m surprised that the description for the sunburst Strat with the synth pickup doesn’t mention that he played it at Live Aid!

  4. Bruce McIntosh says:

    I’d wondered if he was keeping the Gretsch. That’d really have been the only one I’d have been interested in.

  5. Daniel Mistri says:

    Hi Bjorn! I took a lot of photos at Christie’s in London, If you want to have a look at some close up pictures of the 0001 Strat and the Red Strat amongst others, check out my Instagram- danielmistri. I’m still posting pictures every day or so.

  6. christophe guy says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_cBnWcFiSg&t=81s
    I made a video reuniting all the lots on sale if you’re interested ???

  7. Vincent says:

    Any bet for final prices for black strat and white #0001 ?
    My guess is between 800-1000k$

  8. JGravy says:

    My first ever gig was seeing Pink Floyd at the Docklands Arena in 1989 and I had been introduced to their music by a friend via A Momentary Lapse of Reason and from there worked my way back through the albums. Based on this original starting point I would buy the white steinberger which was used to record Sorrow and then used with Kate Bush at the Secret Policeman’s Ball. Great memories.

  9. Kevin Betts says:

    I watched the video earlier today (April 1st) and was struck by the number of iconic instruments David appeared to be giving away. I know he regards them as tools and as such they may not carry much sentimental value but it still must be difficult to part with some of those things. Although in my experience it’s easier to give away a treasured item than it is to sell it.

    If I had the money I’d have the red Strat with the EMGs. It has everything I need from a guitar and may be the basis for a replica I’m planning on having built later this year.

  10. Ta Kha says:

    The red strat is often viewed as the ” new” strat cause it’s a reissue and got emg which make it look and sound more modern than the black strat.
    But if you think about it the red strat is 35 year old this year about the same as the black strat when he played the live 8 show, so it’s also an old lady.

  11. Adam Wallander says:

    There are two types of people: Those who would go for the Black Strat, and liars

    • Bjorn says:

      Ha ha! Actually, I can go and buy the Black Strat replica. Wouldn’t be much of a difference, which is why David is selling his. Yes, I know… bullshit right and yes of course I’d like to have it haning on my wall, but I’m serious. If I were to pick one, it would be either the Charvel San Dimas or the white Gretsch Falcon. The San Dimas was used on my favourite version of Comfortably Numb in 1986 and the Falcon… well, it would secure my retirement :)

      • Adam Wallander says:

        Oh wow, listened to it just now and it’s a lovely version indeed. But considering what the Black Strat has helped give to this world, I couldn’t possibly say no to it. And just maybe, I could help it along contributing more ;).

        I’ve put in lowball bids for a few things going under the gavel, I mean how cool wouldn’t it be having my Strat in the same case Gilmour used? I feel all of the estimates are incredibly low though. I wouldn’t mind paying a hell of alot more than the highest estimates for any of those guitars. Hopefully I can keep up and manage to snag atleast one of them, High Hopes for a student :)

  12. Alex says:

    Hi Bjørn! I appreciate that his selling them for charity. And the “loss” of his guitars won’t affect his sound on upcoming recordings or shows … So, when I first heard about it, I was kinda shocked. But after thinking about it for a minute, it makes perfectly sense. An applaudable decision by Gilmour! On the other hand I totally dislike the idea that most of these guitars won’t be bought by musicians but rich businessmen … We will not see them on stage anymore … Unless Bonamassa decides to get one … Greetings from Germany, Alex

  13. Panagiotis Panagiotatos says:

    I would bid for the white strat or the Martin acoustic.

  14. Frank Bizzoco says:

    IF I had the money I would go for his tele with the rosewood neck, and sunburst body he used on the 77 tour. Dogs might be my favorite song he played. From his tone, to the nuances of his playing. That tone on the dry solo on those bootlegs just cut through your body like a hot knife on those 77 bootlegs. Granted it’s the combo of a big muff, power booster and a super loud Hiwatt, but the fact that was the guitar he used is an easy sell for me. I do have a baja telecaster with the same color palette, and loads of pickup configurations, but it would be something else if I had the one he used.

    • J. Hart says:

      Like I said, I think it’s very interesting that the sunburst Tele is not for sale!

      • Frank Bizzoco says:

        I was looking for the sunburst tele over on the 3d showroom, and the list if guitars for sale. I think it’s very curious that he is keeping the workmate, and sunburst tele, but selling the actual black strat, and white 001 strat.

        • Bjorn says:

          Well both the BS and 0001 can draw a lot of money, which is the goal with this auction. The BS can be replaced with a Replica, which he has stated that he really likes and has used on several occasions. The 0001 is perhaps harder to understand, as he has said that it’s a perfect guitar and the one he enjoy the most. Again, it can draw a lot of funds. The Workmate is too unique and special for him I think and he seems to be favouring it a lot lately. The sunburst… I don’t know. It was last spotted in 2006 I think so it may be sold or, he wants to keep it for other reasons.

          • Frank Bizzoco says:

            I thought the sunburst tele was on “Their mortal remains” tour. Maybe he just doesnt want to sell it I guess. I mean I get why hes selling the 001 strat, and black strat, but my brain just cant comprehend it I guess. I’m still curious where that sunburst tele went. If I recall you said (or someone said in an interview )Phil taylor added it to the lineup of the 06 tour, bit the pickups weren’t working right. Where did that sunburst tele go? Lol

          • Daniel Mistri says:

            The Sunburst Telecaster Custom was at the Their Mortal Remains exhibition in 2017 so he might have kept it and I only saw one 80s 52 Tele reissue at Christie’s which means he probably still has the other one.

  15. KIm Foster says:

    All I can say is WOW!!!
    And although this is for a great cause I find it a little sad to see all this iconic guitars going away from their master.
    Will be interesting to see what some of them bring $$$$

  16. Alex says:

    ’55 Goldtop for sure, I don’t own any guitars with P90s and it’s a beautiful guitar.

  17. I don’t know how to feel about any of it but I do know that video is unwatchable. Also, how do you make money being a “guitar expert?” He basically just says “this is a strat. Sometimes they had V-necks but mostly in ’57.”

  18. christophe guy says:

    it’s amazing I still can not believe it and I can not believe that the black strat and the red strat will no longer be in the hands of david and many other guitars

  19. J. Hart says:

    I think what’s more interesting is which guitars he’s keeping…

    The famous “Workmate” Esquire/Tele
    The sunburst Tele from the ’74-’77 tours
    The white Custom Shop Tele
    The sunburst Strat that has the Black Strat’s original maple neck
    The Gretsch DuoJet
    The 24-fret Bill Lewis guitar
    The P-bass with the Gibson ‘mudbucker’ pickup
    The red Jedsen lap steel
    The Gibson lap steel
    The Fender lap steel
    The Fender pedal steel
    The Weissenborn…

    • Wim says:

      Yes, I was looking at that as well! Quite interesting indeed. He also seems to be holding on to the ’56 Les Paul with Bigsby? There is an LP with Bigsby in there, but they list is as 1953 and it looks like a different guitar.

  20. Arya Boustani says:

    Thanks for posting this. Great story! I love the part about David buying the acoustic guitar on the street on his way to Manny’s. :)

  21. WHY are the cameras focused on the commentators instead of the GUITARS????
    EGOCENTRIC!!!!

  22. Hrvoje says:

    Red 57 with EMG DG20! I am modest person :) ! And already have Custom shop Black Strat. ?

  23. Fabrizio says:

    Probably none of them, and that is just because I would be feeling horrible thinking that an average player like me own DG guitars, when someone else with the real talent could use them way better then me.
    Then again if these thoughts above wouldn’t hit my mind, then I would have picked the gold top Les paul with p-90 and the white strat 0001.
    Finaly if I would really owned these 2 guitars my life would it be ruined by the urge of becoming a great player and have to practice at list 8 hours per day, in witch case I would lose, my job, my family, and the reality around me, so how you can see, it will be indeed a very though decision to just put it in few words.
    As always, I admire your work and dedication Bjorn, you are truly amazing, and of course I love Airbag.
    Cheers!

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