“They all meet a sticky end, my guitars”: Mark Knopfler reflects on auctioning off the bulk of his guitar collection for charity

“I’ve got some left, but I’ve also given dozens of them away”

Mark Knopfler on stage playing a red Stratocaster

Image: Francesco Prandoni / Getty

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

Mark Knopfler has been trimming down his guitar collection significantly of late, the guitarist has not only raised money to help teenagers affected by cancer with the release of his Guitar Heroes single, but he’s also been giving away many of his axes to charitable causes. So much so that in a new interview with Uncut, it’s noted that his home studio only has one guitar left in it – a Gibson Country Gentleman.

Back in January, 120 of his instruments and amps were put up for auction via Christie’s, which earned a total £8,000,000. 25 percent of the proceeds went to charity. But why is Knopfler happy to give away so much gear?

For those who are bonded for life with their favourite guitars, the idea of parting with them could put them in a cold sweat, but for Knopfler, he feels that giving away his instruments feels like a healthy thing to do.

In the latest print edition of Uncut, Knopfler says: “They all meet a sticky end, my guitars… most of them do anyway. I’ve got some left, but I’ve also given dozens of them away. I try to give guitars to people I’m playing with over the years too… so that’s a lot of guitars.”

He later adds, “It is partly a sloughing off of skin, just wanting to get lighter,” he continues. “I’ve been becoming a person who writes more than plays – I’ve been neglecting playing a lot and just writing more.”

Knopfler has previously spoken about his pivot to writing rather than playing, noting that the COVID-19 pandemic left him feeling “rusty”, though he assured he certainly hasn’t “forgotten” how to play.

He now tells Uncut, “I think you’d have to agree with me [that I’m more of a songwriter], if you saw how pathetic I’ve become on the guitar after Covid. There’s been quite a bit of a lay-off [in my ability] which I think people would notice onstage. It’s not as big a deal as you’d think.”

Find out more about Mark Knopfler’s Guitar Heroes.

Related Artists

Related Tags


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

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.