“I charged him £200 for it. It’s worth about two million now”: Andy Summers recalls how Eric Clapton “begged” to buy his Les Paul

Clapton called Summers “relentlessly” in desperate pursuit of the Les Paul.

Andy Summers and Eric Clapton when they were younger. Summers is captured with a Telecaster, and Clapton is playing a Les Paul.

Images: (Left) Gijsbert Hanekroot and (right) David Redfern / Getty

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more.

Andy Summers of The Police has recalled how Eric Clapton once “begged” him to sell his 1959 Gibson Les Paul to him after his own got stolen.

The guitars were purchased by both artists respectively back in the ’60s from Rose Morris, a music shop on London’s iconic Denmark Street which has run for over 90 years.

Summers shares the story in his newly released interview with musician, producer and guitar YouTuber, Rick Beato. In the video, Summers begins by explaining how Clapton was in awe of the axe when he saw Summers turn up with it at a gig.

“Eric went and got [the other]. So, now he copies. So, we both got Les Pauls, okay? So, time moves on. Eric’s Les Paul gets stolen, and he knows I’ve got the other one. He starts calling me relentlessly,” he explains (via Rock Celebrities).

“Now, weirdly, this is history. I had moved over to a ‘58 White Telecaster. That’s what I was playing. I liked it more than the Les Paul for some reason. I don’t know, pickup set up, whatever. And he knew I had that as well. I put it under the bed. It was in a case, under the bed.

“But, he kept calling me. ‘I don’t want to sell it. I don’t want to sell it.’ But I felt a little bit weird about it because it seemed like the back pickup didn’t work. Because none of us knew shit about electronics. A guy could have just fixed it; one tweak and it was fine,” he says.

“I kept resisting it. But finally, he called me so many times that I actually agreed to sell it with some, you know, forgiving. I didn’t feel great about it, but he just really wanted it. So, we agreed on a price.”

Beato then asks how much that amount was: ”I charged him 200 pounds for it,” he admits. “It’s worth about two million now. Who knew?”

Watch the full interview below:


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.