One of the most iconic symbols of American rock 'n' roll is the electric guitar. It revolutionized the sound of music in America and across the world. The electric guitar was at the center of rock culture and provided the basis for many of music's most iconic images. Whether it is Jimi Hendrix lighting a Stratocaster on fire at the Monterey Pop Festival or Jimmy Page shredding on a double-neck Gibson to "Stairway to Heaven," nothing says rock 'n' roll like the electric guitar. As such, it is no wonder that guitars are one of the most popular collector's items. Every so often an electric guitar tied to one of rock's greatest legends will show up at a collectibles auction and blow everybody away. In honor of the instrument, here is a list of some of the most expensive electric guitars to ever hit the block.
Reach Out to Asia Fender Stratocaster
This white Fender Strat was auctioned off in Qatar in order to raise money to aid victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The final sale price of $2.7 million was the result of the guitar being signed by some of the biggest names in music. Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Sting, Pete Townshend, Bryan Adams and Jimmy Page are just a few of the superstars who autographed the charity piece.
Jimi Hendrix's Fender Stratocaster
Like the most expensive guitar ever auctioned, the second most expensive guitar is also a Fender Stratocaster. Unlike the previous list entry, this guitar was actually played before it was auctioned off. The 1968 white strat was played by the legendary Jimi Hendrix during his set at Woodstock. Having been used by one of the biggest names in rock 'n' roll is enough to make the guitar sell for $2 million at auction.
Bob Marley's Custom Washburn
Reggae icon Bob Marley was only known to have owned seven guitars during his career – a tiny amount when one considers that's pretty much the average number of guitars The Who's Pete Townshend would destroy on any given night. One of Marley's prized guitars was a custom-made Washburn 22 series Hawk. The musician gave the piece to his technician Gary Carlsen, who auctioned it off for a grand total of $1.2 million.
These million-dollar guitars go to show just how valued the instruments can be to collectors. Be sure to check out iCollector for a listing of music memorabilia auctions happening across the globe.