How Many Guitars Does Eric Clapton Own? Revealing the Legend’s Collection

Eric Clapton, the legendary guitarist known for his profound impact on rock and blues, has long been associated with an extensive collection of guitars. His passion for the instrument is evident in his meticulous selection and the variety he has acquired over the decades.

Fascination about Clapton’s guitar ownership is not just about numbers but also about the rich histories and stories each guitar carries. This interest has been fueled by the various auctions Clapton has held, where he has sold off parts of his collection for charitable causes, revealing a side of his private collection to the public.

While the exact number of guitars that Clapton owns has varied over time, stories about his favorites, such as “Blackie” and “Brownie,” have become almost as famous as his music. The unique sound and feel of these instruments have played a key role in Clapton’s musical journey.

Beyond his personal collection, Clapton’s influence extends to his collaborations with major guitar manufacturers, resulting in signature models that have been coveted by guitarists worldwide. These instruments not only reflect Clapton’s choice in guitars but also his impact on the design and development of guitars, influencing what musicians and collectors seek today.

Key Takeaways on How Many Guitars Does Eric Clapton Own?

  • Eric Clapton’s guitar collection is sizable and steeped in musical history.
  • Signature models designed with Clapton’s input highlight his influence on guitar craftsmanship.
  • Auctions of Clapton’s guitars offer insight into his collection and support charitable causes.

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Eric Clapton is revered not just for his unparalleled skill as a guitarist but also for his impressive guitar collection. Over decades, he has gathered approximately 150 different guitars. This array comprises a multitude of models, ranging from vintage Fender Stratocasters to unique custom-made instruments, reflecting his esteem in the guitar collectors’ community.

Guitar TypeNotable Feature
Fender StratocasterOften a go-to choice for Clapton
Vintage GuitarsA showcase of guitar history and craftsmanship
Custom-Made ModelsTailored specifically for Clapton’s play style

Clapton’s journey as a collector began earnestly in the 1960s and he has since become synonymous with certain iconic guitars. His collection, which has evolved into one of the most iconic in the music world, signifies his passion not only as a player but also as a connoisseur of the instrument.

His holdings are fluid, as Clapton has been known to sell pieces from his collection, such as the notable auction of 70 guitars to benefit his Crossroads Centre. Clapton’s selections are not just for show; they have been played on stages worldwide, recording studios, and are a testament to his dynamic career.

Each guitar in Clapton’s collection narrates a tale of musical lore, marked by his own personal touch and the history that accompanies vintage guitars. Industrious collectors and enthusiasts continuously seek out instruments once owned and played by Clapton, signifying their immense value both in monetary and historical terms.

Notable Guitars and Their Stories

In the annals of music history, few guitar collections are as vaunted as that of Eric Clapton. His instruments are not mere tools but pivotal characters in the story of rock and blues. Here, we focus on some of the most storied guitars that have passed through his hands and left an indelible mark on music history.

1. The Legendary Blackie

Eric Clapton’s affection for his Fender Stratocasters is no secret, and among them, Blackie stands as a legend. Created from the best parts of three vintage 1950s Stratocasters, this guitar became Clapton’s main workhorse throughout the 1970s and 80s. Renowned for its rich, bell-like tones, Blackie was a constant on stage and in the studio, contributing to some of Clapton’s most celebrated recordings.

2. 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard

The 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard has a vaunted place in Clapton’s history, known for its sunburst finish and powerful, sustaining sound. It was a catalyst in Clapton’s transition from blues purist to rock pioneer during his time with bands like John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and Cream. With this Les Paul, Clapton’s fiery, emotive solos became a signature sound that influenced a generation of guitarists.

3. The Brownie Stratocaster

Affectionately named “Brownie” due to its sunburst finish, this particular Fender Stratocaster became famous after Clapton used it to record “Layla” as part of Derek and the Dominos. Acquired in 1967, this 1956 Strat was another catalyst in Clapton’s sound, helping to cement his legacy as a guitar icon.

4. The Auctioned Treasures

Over the years, Eric Clapton has auctioned off many of his guitars for charity. Notable among these is a sale held at Bonhams where numerous sought-after instruments, including Stratocasters, Gibson SGs, and ES-335s, found new homes. The auctions have not only provided fans with a piece of history but also supported causes dear to Clapton’s heart.

Eric Clapton’s Impact on Guitar Brands

Eric Clapton’s storied career has had a profound influence on the reputation and popularity of several guitar brands, including Fender, Gibson, and Martin. His personal choice of instruments and his signature models have become legendary in their own right, influencing countless musicians and guitar enthusiasts.

Signature Models and Collaborations

Fender has been notably impacted by Clapton’s association with the brand. The Eric Clapton Stratocaster is a distinctive signature model that incorporates his preferences for tone and playability. The model is notable for its active mid-boost circuitry and “V” shaped neck. Clapton’s choice of Strats, particularly the famous “Blackie,” significantly elevated the Stratocaster’s profile worldwide.

Gibson also capitalized on the Clapton effect. The Gibson Byrdland, a model Clapton used during his tenure with Cream, saw a surge in popularity due to his association. Moreover, the Eric Clapton 1964 Firebird I reissue pays homage to the guitar he wielded during Cream’s farewell tour, displaying Gibson’s reverence for Clapton’s influence.

Influence on Guitar Manufacturing

Clapton’s close relationship with Martin led to the birth of several Eric Clapton signature Martin models. These collaborations not only affirmed Clapton’s personal stamp of approval but also revitalized interest in particular guitar styles, such as the 000-body style acoustic.

His signature acoustics from Martin are known for their exceptional craftsmanship and responsiveness to the blues genre that Clapton is synonymous with.

Over the years, the Fender Telecaster also benefited from Clapton’s magic touch. Although less commonly associated with him than the Stratocaster, Clapton’s early use of the Telecaster contributed to the solid-body electric’s enduring legacy.

Clapton’s long standing relationship with these brands and his personal touch on the guitars that bear his name speak volumes to his influence in the guitar-making industry. His exacting standards and legendary status continue to drive the appeal and relevance of these guitars for both seasoned musicians and new players.

The Connection Between Music and Instruments

Eric Clapton, known for his work with bands like Cream, The Yardbirds, and Derek and the Dominos, demonstrates a profound connection between a musician and their instruments. This relationship resonates in each recording session and performance, while his extensive guitar collection contributes to his charity work and legacy.

Recording Sessions and Performances

In recording studios and during live performances, Clapton’s selection of guitars serves as an extension of his musical expression. With The Yardbirds and Bluesbreakers, he developed his distinctive blues tone, which continued to evolve in bands like Cream and Blind Faith.

Notably, Layla, one of his most revered works with Derek and the Dominos, was defined by its unique guitar sound. His guitar collection, including notable instruments like his famous Stratocaster named “Blackie”, has been crucial in achieving the sounds that made Clapton one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

Charity Work and Legacy

Eric Clapton’s guitars have not only shaped his music but also his philanthropic efforts. The Crossroads Centre, a facility he founded, has benefited greatly from auctioning parts of his guitar collection, underscoring how these instruments go beyond music to impact lives. E

very guitar tells a story of the blues and is a testament to Clapton’s journey as a musician, echoing his legacy through the strings and frets that were played on some of the most iconic tracks in rock history.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Children Does Eric Clapton Have

Eric Clapton, a guitar legend, has owned an extensive collection of iconic guitars and gear throughout his career. These are some of the most common inquiries about his well-curated selection and usage.

What are some of the iconic guitars owned by Eric Clapton?

Eric Clapton’s collection includes several Gibson models like the Les Paul, SG, and ES-335, as well as Fender’s renowned Telecaster and Stratocaster. Notably, his Fender Stratocaster “Blackie” is among the most celebrated.

Which guitar is known as Eric Clapton’s favorite?

His Fender Stratocaster, often referred to simply as “Blackie”, is known to be Eric Clapton’s favorite guitar, which he used extensively during the 1970s and 1980s.

Can you list the gear used by Eric Clapton during his time with Cream?

During his time with Cream, Eric Clapton used a Gibson SG, famously known as “The Fool,” and a variety of Marshall amplifiers which contributed to his legendary guitar tones.

What amp does Eric Clapton prefer for his performances?

Eric Clapton has largely favored Fender and Marshall amplifiers throughout his career, with a notable preference for the clean yet powerful sound delivered by Fender’s Twin Reverb.

Has Eric Clapton ever sold a significant portion of his guitar collection?

Yes, Eric Clapton sold off 70 guitars from his collection in 2011 to support his Antigua drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.

Who are the notable purchasers of Eric Clapton’s guitars at auctions?

While specific names of purchasers are often undisclosed, collectors and musicians around the world have acquired Eric Clapton’s guitars during various auctions, with many willing to pay premium prices for a piece of music history.

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