Rory Gallagher's iconic Fender guitar to go on sale at auction

-Credit: (Image: Govert De Roos)
-Credit: (Image: Govert De Roos)


Rory Gallagher's iconic Fender Stratocaster is to go on sale at auction so that it can be "enjoyed by others".

A collection of the legendary Co Donegal guitarist's instruments will go up for auction Bonhams on 17 October in New Bond Street, London.

The collection will consist of guitars, amps and accessories from Rory Gallagher’s life and career, including his 1961 Fender Stratocaster.

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Rory Gallagher bought the guitar for £100 on credit from the owner of Crowley’s Music Store in Cork, Ireland in 1963, and it has become one of the world's most iconic guitars due to its worn finish.

His brother Dónal Gallagher said: “After nearly 30 years since my brother Rory’s passing, I now believe it’s time for other people to cherish Rory’s ‘orphaned’ 1961 Fender Stratocaster and the rest of his incredible instrument collection.

"Since 1995, I have always felt that there was a mission to be fulfilled to cement Rory’s legacy and further widen the knowledge of his music.

"So, following much deliberation and reviewing of all options, in what is one of the most difficult and sensitive decisions to reach, I have decided to facilitate the release of his instruments for sale, so that these emblems of his legacy can be enjoyed by others.

"It is difficult to separate or even begin to quantify the depth of relationship Rory had with his instruments, this decision is one I recognise as challenging for some, however, with the proceeds raised from this instrument sale we will continue to do further good for Rory’s name and legacy, as well as assisting good causes, that my brother would have supported.”

Claire Tole-Moir, Head of Bonhams Popular Culture department, commented: “Rory Gallagher’s 1961 Fender Stratocaster is one of the world’s most recognisable guitars. It was an enormous part of Rory Gallagher’s life and was with him from the very start of his career right until the end.

"It could be said that it was on this guitar that he carved out his legacy of being one of the greatest guitarists of all time. It has been treasured by Dónal Gallagher, Rory’s brother and former manager, and the Gallagher family ever since Rory’s passing in 1995. Bonhams is honoured to be entrusted with bringing this iconic Stratocaster to auction and is excited to announce the landmark sale of Rory Gallagher’s extensive collection.”

Speaking of Rory Gallagher’s Stratocaster Sir Brian May commented: “He was one of a very few people at that time, who could make his guitar do anything it seemed, it just seemed to be magic…I remember looking at this battered Stratocaster and thinking “how does that come out of there?”. Brian May has also said that “One of the reasons I do what I do is because of Rory.”

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