“One of the world’s most recognisable guitars”: Rory Gallagher’s iconic ’61 Fender Stratocaster is heading to auction

“One of the world’s most recognisable guitars”: Rory Gallagher’s iconic ’61 Fender Stratocaster is heading to auction

Rory Gallagher’s famed ‘61 Stratocaster – easily one of the most iconic instruments in rock ‘n’ roll history – is heading for auction.
The guitar will be sold via Bonhams as part of “The Rory Gallagher Collection”, which will also see the sale of a selection of other items from the blues virtuoso’s collection, including other guitars, amps and accessories.

READ MORE: Rare Guitars: Rory Gallagher’s 1961 Fender Stratocaster

Naturally, Gallagher’s ‘61 Fender Strat is the highlight of the collection, and is expected to fetch between £700,000 and £1,000,000 when it goes to auction on October 17.
Back in 2019, Rory’s nephew Daniel Gallagher told us the story of how the now-iconic ‘61 Strat came into his uncle’s possession.
As the story goes, the leader of another Irish showband, Jim Conlon, ordered in a Fender Stratocaster. Reportedly, it was to be the first Strat ever to land in Ireland. However, despite ordering the model in Fiesta Red, the guitar that showed up sported a Sunburst finish.

Conlon did make use of the model regardless and completed a tour with it, before the Fiesta Red model he originally ordered turned up six months later, and he put the original Sunburst model on sale at Crowley’s Music Store in Cork, Ireland.
The store was just down the street from where Rory Gallagher was living with his mother at the time, and so according to his nephew, he obtained it on a “hire-purchase” agreement.
“He had a beat-up old Italian Rosetti that was his first guitar and so he traded that in, got the guitar, and was doing the showband stuff with it, and yeah, he just saved up all his wages and paid it off in instalments,” Daniel says.
Most visually characteristic of the guitar is its heavily-relic’d finish, which came mostly as a result of heavy use throughout Gallagher’s career. Gallagher played it so much and so vigorously, in fact, that according to Daniel, the blue from his jeans actually dyed the wood.

“It’s almost like a piece of driftwood and Rory was the ocean on it – it’s so worn to him!” Daniel told Guitar.com in 2019. “Obviously, there’s the paint going and the divots where his pick and hands were wearing into it, but for me, it’s the back… it’s just the smoothest bit of wood, really beautiful to touch, and that’s just from rubbing against him.
“The blue from his jeans is actually dyed into the wood! And the neck… it’s just the sweetest thing – it’s so perfectly worn, your hand just slides up it – it’s quite light, and it’s so playable! When you pick up another Strat it’s like, ‘Oh okay, this is nice and everything…’, but this just fits into you. I’m maybe a touch taller and bigger than he is, but for someone of his size and height, you can see how it would just fit absolutely perfectly. And he never took it off after he got it in 1963.”
Since Rory Gallagher passed away in 1995, the guitar has been in the possession of his brother and former manager, Dónal, who has now made the decision to let the famed instruments change hands.

“Since 1995, I have always felt that there was a mission to be fulfilled to cement Rory’s legacy and widen the knowledge of his music,” Dónal says. “So, in what is one of the most difficult and sensitive decisions to reach, I have decided to facilitate the release of his instruments for sale, so that these emblems of his legacy can be enjoyed by others.”
Adds Claire Tole-Moir, Head of Bonhams’ Popular Culture Department: “Rory Gallagher’s 1961 Fender Stratocaster is one of the world’s most recognisable guitars. It was an enormous part of Rory Gallagher’s life and was with him from the very start of his career right until the end.
“It could be said that it was on this guitar that he carved out his legacy of being one of the greatest guitarists of all time.”
The Rory Gallagher Collection goes live via Bonhams on October 17. Head to the Bonhams website for more information.
The post “One of the world’s most recognisable guitars”: Rory Gallagher’s iconic ’61 Fender Stratocaster is heading to auction appeared first on Guitar.com | All Things Guitar.

read more

Source: www.guitar-bass.net