Sir Paul McCartney’s bass guitar has sold at auction for a record-breaking $496,100.
The 79-year-old musician used the Yamaha BB-1200 in the studio and on tour with Wings, and when it was sold at the weekend, the instrument smashed the previously-held record highest selling price of a bass guitar, which was set last year when a 1969 Fender Mustang belonging to former Rolling Stones rocker Bill Wyman sold for $384,000.
And that wasn’t the only record broken at the auction, which was organised by U2’s The Edge and producer Bob Ezrin for their Music Rising charity.
A Lake Placid Blue Fender Telecaster destroyed by Eddie Vedder during a gig was sold for $266, 200, making it the most expensive smashed guitar ever sold at auction.
Instruments from the likes of U2, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, Johnny Marr, Green Day, Sir Elton John, Joan Jett, Kings of Leon, Rush and Radiohead were also part of the auction.
The sale managed to raise over $2 million for the charity, which aims to “benefit musicians in the Gulf South,” following “the devastation the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought on musicians and musical communities”.
The Edge said afterwards: “We want to thank everyone involved in this amazing auction including the artists who generously gave their personal instruments and the bidders from around the globe who helped us break world records.
“The proceeds Music Rising earned will help bring live music back to life in a part of the country whose musical culture has been hugely influential in the world.
“We are indebted to all of the supporters of Music Rising who have given us a great opportunity to return to our roots and help those musicians in need.”
Bob added: “We are so thankful to all of the artists, supporters and bidders who helped make Guitar Icons an auction for the history books. New Orleans musicians are the custodians of a unique music heritage, passing it down through the generations and influencing so many genres of music we enjoy.
“The proceeds from this auction will help musicians from the region who suffered financially through this pandemic.”
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