The Holy Grail…

…of Les Pauls is probably this one, once owned by Peter Green who sold it to Gary Moore for very little money, shortly before his descent into being a recluse.

This months cover story in Guitar & Bass Magazine is the rather sad story of a falling out between our Gaz and the recent buyer of said instrument Phil Winfield of Maverick music. Apparently Mr Moore is pissed because he always thought he was selling it to a private collector. He wanted a discreet sale to someone who was gonna lock it away in a vault and not use it for…….. er… tasteless commercial purposes.

Wheras Mr Winfields stance is its his guitar and he can do what he jolly well likes with it. This is to include Gibson making a limited run of reproductions of the instrument and displaying it at guitar shows where people can pay their respects.

Their was also a pullout lifesize pornographic wall poster of the LP’s body in a recent issue of Vintage Guitar Magazine for those of you who like to drool over such things (it wasn’t wipe clean as far as I’m aware).

Currently it’s for sale at Maverick music, with an asking price of a cool $2 million dollars. Not a bad return on the estimated £400,000 + he payed for it. A pretty good return for Gary Moore who allegedly payed £125.00 for it back in the days when I was a white blood cell in my old man’s left nut.

While I love Gary’s playing as much as I love his facial gurning. I cannot help that he’s been a little naive about how people make their money out of guitars. The two Americans with bad hair who run Guitar Centre in America bought several iconic instruments of Clapton’s at auction in 2004. Yeah the money went to old Slowhand’s Crossroads Drug Treatment centres, but that was far from their only motivation.

Given that a Gibson reproduction of Claptons Cream era 335 sells for around £9000 and that Fender are about to launch a Custom Shop repro of “Blackie” this Novemeber.  It’s safe to say that the so called “Burst Brother’s” have made some considerable money on their investments.

Back to Mr Moore as someone who has always seemed like such an authority on the instrument. I’m suprised he never saw this coming. Surely his management, guitar tech or the alleged Vintage dealers he approached to put word out he wanted to sell it, surely could have warned him of the likely prospect of someone wanting to buy the guitar and exploit it in this way.

In fact wouldn’t it have been cleverer to do it himself?  Float the guitar to a group of private investors and let them exploit every tasteless marketing/re-issue angle possible. Gary would have probably had to play some cheesy guitar shows and do some promotional work/ videos etc, but I reckon he’d have made more than £400,000, still get to play the guitar when he wanted to, and not be so angry that someone took advantage of him.

On a last note if you look up Gary on Wikipedia, you’ll see in the first photo he’s playing a PRS Custom 24. Given the value attaching itself to early “handmade” (well not done by C3PO anyway) PRS Custom’s maybe he should give Mr Winfield another call;)

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