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The 5 Rarest and Most Expensive Electric Guitars

How much would you spend on a special guitar?

One of the great things about electric guitars is their affordability. No matter what your financial status is, you can usually find a guitar that suits your needs. The more money you have, the higher quality materials and craftsmanship you can invest in.

Here are some guitars, however, that can be had only by a small percentage of people. Their exquisite craftsmanship or rarity can fetch quite a premium. In this article, we will go over some of the most expensive electric guitars in the world. We are going to stick with guitars sold at auctions, as the prices of these guitars can be confirmed.

The “Reach Out to Asia” Fender Stratocaster

This one-of-a-kind axe was used to generate a large contribution to benefit victims of the tsunamis in 2005. What made this guitar unique? It was signed by a virtual who’s who of legendary musicians including Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian May, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend, Mark Knopfler, Ray Davies, Liam Gallagher, Ronnie Wood, Tony Iommi, Angus & Malcolm Young, Paul McCartney, Sting, Ritchie Blackmore, Def Leppard, and Bryan Adams. The guitar was purchased by the royal family of Qatar for US $1 million, and then donated to the Reach Out to Asia charity, which auctioned it for an additional $2.7 million!

The “Dylan Goes Electric” Stratocaster

Bob Dylan’s infamous appearance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival with a full-blown electric band caused a seismic shift in how folk music was perceived and performed and is considered one of the most important events in 60s music. The guitar he used on that fateful night in July of 1965 was a Fender that fetched $965,000.

Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” Stratocaster

Of all the guitars Clapton has played over the years, his favorite was a hybrid of parts from three different Fenders. He used it extensively throughout his early solo career on such famous albums as “61 Ocean Boulevard” and “Slowhand.” He sold it at auction to benefit his Crossroads Rehabilitation Center and raised $959,500.

Jerry Garcia’s “Tiger”

The legendary singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the Grateful Dead had a handful of guitars custom-made for him by master luthier Doug Irwin. Irwin’s “Tiger” was the primary axe used by Garcia from 1979 into the late 1980s. When his then-current guitar started having problems during a show on July 9, 1995, Garcia switched back to his Tiger to finish the set. This would be Garcia’s last performance before his death the following month. The Tiger was auctioned in 2002 and fetched a whopping $957,500.

Eric Clapton’s 1964 Gibson ES-335 TDC

This hollow-body electric guitar was used by both Eric Clapton and Chris Dreja of the Yardbirds and then used extensively by Clapton during his stints with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, and Blind Faith. It continued to be used occasionally on stage and in the studio as late as 1996. It was expected to sell for between $60,000 and $80,000, but far exceeded everyone’s expectations when it sold for $847,500.

Would you if you could?

Given the legendary status of these axes, would you buy one of these guitars if you could? The question that begs to be asked, of course, is, would you play it?

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