Eric Clapton’s “Fool” guitar sells for $1.27 million at auction

The six-string was famously used by Clapton to create his famed “Woman Tone” that characterised early Cream recordings.

Eric Clapton “The Fool” guitar

Credit: VALERIE MACON / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

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One of Eric Clapton’s most iconic electric guitars, the “Fool”, has topped a recent music auction with a selling price of $1.27 million.

This is the first time Slowhand’s guitar has crossed the seven-figure mark at an auction, setting the world record for the most expensive Clapton guitar ever sold.

Often celebrated as an enduring symbol of the psychedelic era in music, the 1964 Gibson SG earned its name from the Dutch art collective that gave it its striking finish.

Hailing from Clapton’s Cream days, the guitar made its debut as the band played their first show in the United States on 25 March 1967 at the RKO Theatre on 58th Street, Manhattan. Clapton used the guitar for most of Cream’s recordings after Fresh Cream, particularly on Disraeli Gears, until the band broke up in 1968.

As it stands, the wild-looking six-string was what Clapton used to create his famed “Woman Tone” – which could be heard on tracks like Sunshine of Your Love, White Room, I Feel Free and many more.

The instrument was acquired by The Jim Irsay Collection in Indianapolis, one of the world’s most renowned vintage guitar collectors. Darren Julien, president and CEO of Julien’s Auctions, described the Fool as “one of the most important guitars in all of rock music history”.

“To have this legendary guitar that created and defined the classic rock sound that is an art masterpiece and symbol of the psychedelic ‘Summer Of Love’ era go to Jim Irsay’s renowned memorabilia collection is another great privilege and hallmark of my career and a highlight of Julien’s Auctions’ 20-year anniversary celebration this year,” he said.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Fool guitar will go towards Kicking The Stigma, the Indianapolis Colts and Irsay family’s mental health awareness initiative.

The auction also saw other items from rock n’ roll heavyweights go under the hammer, including a stage-played Charvel owned and used by Eddie Van Halen which sold for $117,000.

Check out the full Worn & Torn: Rock N Roll Iconic Guitars And Memorabilia collection at Julien’s Auctions.

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