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Eric Clapton 'Blackie'


Eric Clapton 'Blackie'

Most associated with:

Eric Clapton
Born March 30, 1945

Current Ownership:

Guitar Center
(Auction 2004)

Previous Ownership:

Eric Clapton

Eric Claptons most famous Strat guitar used by him post-Cream era. Blackie is probably the only guitar that can stand the test of high legend-status to Gilmours 'Black Strat'.

Blackie is a composite/partcaster assembled together using parts from three Pre-CBS 50's Stratocasters.

While on tour with the Dominoes, Clapton went to a store in the Broadway distric in Nashville called Sho-Bud. that mainly sold Steel Guitars and that closed around 1983.

In there they had about six 50's Stratocasters sitting on a rack in the backroom. At the time, Stratocasters had become slightly out of fashion and Pre-CBS could be bought used for about $200-300. He took all six guitars for $100 each and brought them back to England. He gave three away. One to George Harrison, one to Steve Winwood and one to Pete Townshend.

The last three guitars, he decided to do something he only did this once and never done since. he decided to take them apart and re-assemble using the best parts to make one for him to play. The neck had a hard 'V'-shape that was dated '57. The V-shape has since been tied up to him and been his favourite to Eric, and on many places on the web it is been dubbed "the Clapton "V" The rest of the parts he gave to a luthier called Ted Newman Jones to use.

Eric Clapton Blackie
Eric Clapton with Blackie. Photo from Fender FMIC

The guitar Eric had put together was nicknamed 'Blackie'. This became his main guitar for over ten years from '74 to '85 and featured on pretty much every album and tour during those years. All his hits from this period features Blackie's tones. like "I shot The Sheriff" -his only number one hit. in 1985 the neck eventually became so worn down that he decided to retire it. The guitar was still playable, but the neck had such rounded edges that it had shrunk in width and had problems accommodating new frets to deal with the round edges. They planned to have a new neck made for it, but decided to just retire the guitar. On a couple of occasions he has pulled it out again until he eventually decided to auction it off.

Apart from several refrets, he manage to break the nut in two when he triped and fell face down over the guitar. The guitar came out fine, but the nut was cracked and needed to be replaced.

in June 2004, he decided to run his second auction. (first was in 1999) And much of his collection were sold to fund his Crossroads Centre Antigua project. Blackie was one of them. It fetched US$959.500 bought by Guitar Centre. The sum was a world record at the time exceeding his other "Brownie" sold in 1999 for US$497,500

Blackie became the template for the first issue Eric Clapton signature Stratocaster released by Fender.

Sources and Links:

Christies | Fender | Wikipedia


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