Celebrity Owned Guitars

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Celebrity Owned Guitars

Postby (Kiddwad57) » Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:59 pm

What is the attraction of celebrity owned guitars? I understand being influenced in buying decisions based on the gear artists use; the sound, playability, look and association make sense to me to a degree, but the need for owning the actual guitar escapes me. Any insights?
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Re: Celebrity Owned Guitars

Postby (jps) » Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:34 pm

Status symbol? Or, cymbal, in the case of owning a favorite drummers gear?
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Re: Celebrity Owned Guitars

Postby (collin) » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:28 pm

Owning a tangible piece of history, perhaps? Close connection to greatness?

There isn't a pragmatic, logical reason to buy a celebrity-owned guitar, it's entirely emotional. If you need to ask, it's not worth looking for the answer.


Personally, I have a much bigger objection to autographed items. Proof that somebody great held an item and signed it means nothing to me. I've even removed signatures from gear that I've bought because it had no relevance (or value) to me. :shock:
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Re: Celebrity Owned Guitars

Postby (rkbsound) » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:02 pm

One guess is that it's mostly collectors that own celebrity guitars. People that play guitar may want to get the same model as their "hero" but not the actual guitar because of the value. And gear gets stolen - especially if you're telling everyone that Eddie Van Halen used to own it. I do think celebrity owned guitars can be very cool, but I don't think I would set out to get one. Certainly not as an investment.
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Re: Celebrity Owned Guitars

Postby (Kiddwad57) » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:31 pm

I do know that seeing celebrity instruments can be cool. Rkbsound is correct in that it seems like it could be a PTA to actually own one. What Collin wrote about autographs reminded me of a couple of stories.

A fan was really into Richie Havens and asked him to autograph his new Ovation. Havens responded by taking a ballpoint pen and scratching his autograph across the whole top of the guitar. Although I remember this as an actual event, it could be urban legend. He did play in Peoria and that's where I remember someone telling me about it.

The other was when Entwistle was scheduled to play a concert at Eastern Illinois University back in the mid-seventies. My friend and I drove down from Peoria to see the concert. I took the pickguard off my bass and brought a marker but it turned out the concert was cancelled (Entwistle in Charleston? Possible; Frampton's Camel played there.), so no autograph after all. Worse yet, no show. But I had thought through the concept thinking I could always put a different p.g. on there if I wanted to. Ended up doing that anyway.

It was the Zappa twelve string auction mentioned on another thread that got my mind wondering. Status cymbal to a percussionist makes sense. A drummer friend of mine snagged a chunk of Moon's bass drum from their first series of shows at the Fillmore East. Maybe people think the vibe or talent is transferable through the guitar? Perhaps it could inspire more practicing just knowing the level of musicianship of the previous owner? That's why I ask.
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Re: Celebrity Owned Guitars

Postby (iamthebassman) » Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:19 pm

In the mid-70s I was a huge fan of the Elton John Band. I totally dug the bass playing of Dee Murray. He was my singular inspiration to take up the bass guitar.

Ten years ago or so, I got word that his widow(now also deceased) was selling off some of his basses. I purchased his Steinberger that was used on several albums and world tours in the 80s.

I cherish it, it has its own shrine in our home.

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Re: Celebrity Owned Guitars

Postby (Kiddwad57) » Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:57 pm

Thanks for your response Mr. Eggman. Many people would have similar motivations and your reply helps me understand that.
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Re: Celebrity Owned Guitars

Postby (Kiddwad57) » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:06 am

And of course I meant Mr. Bassman. My apologies.
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