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Guitar Center, the world's largest musical instrument retailer, in partnership with Eric Clapton, proudly announces the launch of the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection. The limited-edition collection will feature five Eric Clapton tribute, replica and signature guitars to be sold in North America exclusively at Guitar Center locations and online at GuitarCenter.com beginning March 21, 2013.
All guitars in the one-of-a-kind collection were developed in partnership with Eric Clapton, Guitar Center, Fender, Gibson and Martin Guitar, drawing inspiration from the guitars used by Clapton at pivotal points throughout his iconic career. The collection includes a replica Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton "Brownie" Tribute Stratocaster guitar, Gibson Harrison-Clapton "Lucy" Les Paul, and Eric Clapton Signature Martin 000-28 and 000-45 models, as well as Eric Clapton "Crossroads" guitar straps from Ernie Ball.
Creating the Eric Clapton Crossroads Collection
The Eric Clapton Crossroads Collection is the result of a unique and significant history between the music retailer and famed guitarist. Guitar Center has co-sponsored each of Eric Clapton's four Crossroads Guitar Festivals and been a strong supporter of The Crossroads Centre charity, having purchased several of Eric's most famous guitars including his "BLACKIE" Stratocaster and the CREAM Gibson 335 at The Crossroads Guitar Auction in 2004. Clapton has also graced the cover of the Guitar Center Buyers Guide. Coming together to develop this special collection was a natural continuation of the music retailer and music icon's longstanding relationship. Well known amongst his peers for being a great musical collaborator, Clapton invited Guitar Center to create a collection of guitars from the most prestigious manufacturers. The result of this incredible collaboration is two tribute replica guitars with rich ties to Clapton's career as well as three new Eric Clapton signature guitars that will launch in conjunction with Clapton's upcoming U.S. tour and Crossroads Guitar Festival.
"We have always admired Eric Clapton as one of the all-time great guitarists, singers and songwriters and for his extraordinary influence on musicians around the world for over 50 years," said Michael Doyle, Senior Vice President of Guitar Merchandising. "We were honored to be invited by Eric to collaborate with him on this unique collection of guitars which have been the inspirational tools of his trade throughout his career."
Giving Back Through the Eric Clapton Crossroads Collection
Not only is the construction of and history behind the Eric Clapton Crossroads Collection of guitars notable, but a significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of each of the guitars in the collection will be donated to benefit Eric Clapton's Crossroads Centre. The Crossroads Centre, Antigua was created to provide treatment and Education to chemically dependent persons. Treatment is provided through residential care, family and aftercare programs. The pathway to recovery is founded on the movement toward a change in lifestyle.
"It's been my experience that the proper guitars, like those in this Collection, are just made for playing - the motive behind the making of the guitar is 100% right," said Eric Clapton. "They are beautiful guitars; from the inlays to the rosewood they are unique from one another. One would be inclined to take care of and be in awe of them."
About Guitar Center's Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection
Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton "Brownie" Tribute Stratocaster
About "Brownie": Best known as the "Layla Stratocaster" and famously featured on the back cover of that pivotal album, "Brownie" was the first Strat ever owned by Eric Clapton, purchased in May 1967. The 2-Color Sunburst guitar has a heavily worn maple neck, dated from 6-56, and was first seen in Clapton's hands bolted to a Telecaster body during Blind Faith. The (entire!) guitar was featured on the front cover of his first solo album Eric Clapton, and featured throughout Eric's stint with "Delaney & Bonnie" and "Derek And The Dominos." With a winning bid from Experience Music Project (EMP) of $497,500, "Brownie" was sold at Eric's first guitar auction in June 1999.
In collaboration with Eric Clapton, Guitar Center and EMP, the Fender Custom Shop started work on a "Brownie" replica in the summer of 2012, using the original guitar as a reference. The project was led by Todd Krause, Senior Master Builder for Eric Clapton's personal Stratocaster guitars, who reproduced the original guitar to the minutest detail. Offered in a limited edition of just 50 domestic and 50 guitars worldwide, the "Eric Clapton "Brownie" Tribute Stratocaster" guitar will be offered in America exclusively through Guitar Center in March / April 2013, coinciding with the 2013 Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival. The Fender Eric Clapton "Brownie" Tribute Stratocaster will retail for $14,999 msrp.
Gibson Harrison-Clapton "Lucy" Les Paul
About "Lucy": Owned by Eric Clapton and then given to his best friend George Harrison who soon nicknamed it "Lucy", the "Gibson Harrison-Clapton "Lucy" Les Paul" has unequalled pedigree. At the invitation of George, Eric played the cherry red Les Paul on the Beatles classic, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Played by George on The Beatles' White Album and Let It Be, the guitar can also be seen in the Beatles film Let It Be and the promo film Revolution. Loaned back to Eric in 1973, Eric played the storied guitar again at his comeback Rainbow Concert.
Still owned and cherished by the Harrison estate, the guitar originally a 1957 Gold Top, refinished by Gibson in 1967 in "cherry red" was meticulously measured and inspected by Gibson Custom in 2012, from which a stunning replica was made. A remarkably lightweight mahogany body, unusually slim '50s neck (thanks to the refinishing in 1967) and PAF humbuckers make this a great playing Les Paul. And the offset seam on the maple top along with screw holes for the previously removed Bigsby vibrato and "Custom" truss rod cover are among the details which are authentically recreated.
In collaboration with the George Harrison Estate and Eric Clapton, this historical guitar will be a limited edition of just 100 guitars worldwide, available in America exclusively through Guitar Center in March / April 2013, coinciding with the 2013 Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival. The Gibson Harrison Clapton Les Paul will retail for $14,999 msrp.