Guitar heroes: Celebrity music instruments on auction block

NEW YORK - Ever wanted to play a guitar like one of your musical idols? An auction of high-profile instruments played by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton and Tom Petty could give you that chance. (Unfortunately, talent and fame not included.)

Guernsey's is offering those instruments as well as amplifiers, tapes of musical performances and even the shirt of jazz great Thelonious Monk.

The "Legendary Guitars and Musical Treasures" sale is scheduled for Dec. 2 in New York. Those interested can attend in person or make telephone and online bids.

The offerings include a 1963 Fender Precision Bass that Springsteen used for two songs on his debut album, "Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.," with a starting estimate of $40,000, and an acoustic guitar that Petty played on tours in the early 1980s, starting at $20,000.

"There's not much that would be described as ordinary in the sale," said Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's.

The catalogue also includes a 1989 Gibson L4 that David Bowie played with his band Tin Machine in the late 1980s, starting at $30,000, and a 1967 Electric Guild Starfire V played by Jimi Hendrix, starting at $140,000. The proceeds from the sale of the Hendrix guitar are going toward philanthropy.

Non-instrument offerings include a set list written by the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and live recordings of performances by a slew of artists such as The Beach Boys, Linda Ronstadt and Liza Minnelli.

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This story has been corrected to show the surname is spelled Minnelli, not Minelli.


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