Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits is selling 120 pieces of gear – including the 1983 Les Paul he used on Money For Nothing and Brothers in Arms

25 percent of the proceeds will be split between the Red Cross, wildlife conservationists Tusk and children’s charity Brave Hearts of the North East.

Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler. Credit: Elena Di Vicenzo/Getty

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Dire Straits frontman and guitarist Mark Knopfler is auctioning off more than 120 pieces of gear, with 25 percent of proceeds going to charity.

The collection of guitars and amps spans  includes the 1983 Gibson Les Paul that Knopfler used to record the hits Money For Nothing and Brothers In Arms, which he also played on stage at Live Aid in 1985.

“I hope they all get played,” Knopfler tells the BBC. “I don’t think they do too well living in a case all their lives.”

The auction will take place on January 31 at Christie’s in London and the items have a variety of price points. One 1959 Gibson Les Paul with a sunburst finish is estimated to be worth between £300,000 to £500,000, while a mandolin that was previously owned by blues legend Yank Rachell, is going for around £300 to £500.

“I like the cheap ones as much as the expensive ones,” says Knopfler.

Mark Knopfler
Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits. Credit: Francesco Prandoni/Getty

When asked why he decided to part with the instruments, he adds: “I think it’s just age.

“I’m looking now at about 20 guitars that I use to make records and there are at least 100 other ones that aren’t going to get played. We’ve had great times together, so I am sad to see some of them go – but I’ve got enough left to play. More than enough.”

Before the guitars and amps are sold, they will go on display in both London and New York. The proceeds from their sale will be donated to charities including the Red Cross, the wildlife conservationists Tusk and children’s charity Brave Hearts of the North East.

Knopfler also revealed to the BBC that he had started work on his 10th solo album. “I’ve had a bit of a writing jag and I’ve got quite a lot of songs, so I’m hoping that I can get an EP out as well as an LP,” he says.

He also admitted that there’s “every danger” some of the money might be re-invested into new guitars. “I guess I’m not impervious to temptation. It’s quite possible I can have my head turned. In other words, what have I learned? Not a lot.”

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