News Entertainment Eric Clapton's 'Wonderful Tonight' Guitar: A Musical Legacy
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Eric Clapton

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Eric Clapton's 'Wonderful Tonight' Guitar: A Musical Legacy

May 13, 2024

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For sale, a vintage guitar with a storied past and undeniable heritage. This acoustic guitar, believed to be the very instrument Eric Clapton used to compose his timeless ballad, "Wonderful Tonight," is about to hit the auction block next month. Its guide price? A staggering $500,000.

The Marks of History

Among its distinguishing features are the faint burns etched into the headstock—remnants of Clapton's habit of tucking cigarettes under the strings during his creative sessions. These imperfections tell a tale of late-night inspiration and musical magic.

A Journey Through Time

Eric Clapton, the legendary guitarist who graced the stages with The Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, and more, acquired this 1974 000-28 Martin acoustic in the mid-1970s. It became his trusted companion, accompanying him through the highs and lows of his illustrious career.

It was on this very guitar that Clapton penned "Wonderful Tonight," a heartfelt ode to model Pattie Boyd. Legend has it that he composed the song while waiting for her to get ready for a party—a moment frozen in time, forever captured in the delicate chords of this instrument.

A Sticker with a Story

Adorning the guitar's side is a cryptic sticker that reads, "She's in Love with a Rodeo Man." A nod to Texas-born country star Don Williams, whose hit song inspired the enigmatic label.

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

Now, music enthusiasts and collectors have the chance to own a piece of history. Bonhams, the esteemed auction house, will present this iconic guitar at their "Rock, Pop & Film" auction in London on June 12. The estimated price range is £300,000 to £400,000 ($376,590 to $502,120).

Claire Tole-Moir, head of Bonhams' Popular Culture department, sums it up: "Clapton is one of the greatest living guitarists of all time, and so to have a guitar from such a pivotal moment in his career—one linked to an unforgettable song—is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Don't miss your chance to own a piece of musical history. Visit Bonhams from June 9 to 11 to view this extraordinary instrument before it finds its next home.

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