Guitar used by Chuck Berry sells at auction for more than £20,000

Johnny B. Expensive


Image: Gardiner Houlgate

An ultra-rare 1964 Gibson Firebird used by Chuck Berry, has been sold at auction for over £20,000.

According to Gardiner Houlgate, the auction house hosting the event in Wiltshire, England, the guitar sold for £21,488 – including fees. This price puts it over £4,000 more than the estimated selling price of £17,000.

The guitar was sold by a private collector, who purchased it from the family of its owner, Terry Gibson. Gibson, whose real name was Terry Clemson, was a renowned guitarist who performed with revered artists such as Gene Vincent and Bo Diddley.

The two-tone Firebird V was once handed to the rock and roll legend, during a concert in Wembley in 1972 after he broke a string on his own guitar. You can see Terry Gibson who is the former owner to the guitar pass his axe to Berry at the one hour 16-minute mark below:

As stated on the listing, Gibson purchased the guitar in 1964, back when it had its original sunburst finish. At some point between then and 1972, the guitar was refinished in black and remains so today. The strap included in the sale is also thought to have been worn by the Johnny B. Goode artist.

It is not uncommon to see unique, coveted and quirky guitars go under the hammer. American rock band The War On Drugs recently announced they were teaming up with Julien’s Auctions to host an upcoming charity auction – featuring items from Dave Grohl, Kim Gordom and Nine Inch Nails.

The War on Drugs’ auction, which took place earlier this week, saw huge rises in winning bids compared to the estimated cost, such as a signed Fender Strat which went for $6,500.


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