excess: own something owned by someone famous, for crazy money

Nile Rodgers is auctioning a bunch of guitars. I don’t think he’s selling his famous white Fender Stratocaster “the Hitmaker,” which I couldn’t afford anyway. It reminded me that I meant to blog about David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd’s) record-breaking guitar auction.

Obviously “The Black Strat” he played on their hit albums and on tour was going to go for $$$$$$$, and it did, for $3.975M!! But even utter non-entities like an Ovation 12-string acoustic bought from the factory along with several other models, that he never composed on, never recorded, never played on tour, estimated to sell for $1,500 tops, sold for $93,750, 60 times its estimate! You can buy the same guitar from a nobody for $750, tell friends it sat in a cupboard in David Gilmour’s home, and donate the $93,000 you saved to your own charity of choice. There are enough wealthy geezer fans who want a conversation piece on the wall for prices to be ridiculous. Meanwhile there are local guitar makers who will make a beautiful handmade thing to your own specifications for 1/10th the cost.

David Gilmour's "The Black Strat"
the iconic instrument of a great musician
a generic Ovation Pacemaker
an instrument a great musician left in a cupboard

“Something owned by a famous person of whom I’m a fan” doesn’t appeal much. I’d be as happy with a signed Scritti Politti record sleeve of the greatest B-side ever.

Interesting but not valuable

The prices attained by these Ovation guitars are crazy, but they’re decent interesting instruments in their own right. I even owned one. I blogged about them in The rise and fall of Ovation.

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