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GUITAR CENTER’S HOLLYWOOD
ERIC CLAPTON’S ORIGINAL BLACKIE® GUITAR
AS THE COUNTDOWN TO “BLACK FRIDAY” CONTINUES
— First public appearance of the original BLACKIE® since
it was sold to
Guitar Center for $959,500 at a 2004 Christie’s auction —
— 185 recreations of Clapton’s beloved guitar available
Friday, November 24th from
Guitar Center as part of Tribute Series from Fender® Custom Shop
— Eric Clapton’s beloved BLACKIE® Stratocaster recreated
by Fender’s Custom Shop now on display at 46 select Guitar Center
locations nationwide —
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, November 17, 2006 —
As Black Friday (November 24th) quickly approaches, guitar enthusiasts
and collectors have begun to inundate Guitar Center, Inc. (NASDAQ: GTRC),
the world’s largest musical instrument retailer, with phone calls
and inquiries, all trying to get the latest information on BLACKIE®.
One of the world’s most influential electric guitars, the Fender
Stratocaster® guitar once owned by Eric Clapton and affectionately
known as BLACKIE®, has been recreated by Fender’s renowned
Custom Shop and will be made available to the general public on November
24th. Available in the U.S. exclusively from Guitar Center at an MSRP
of $24,000, 185 of the instruments are being offered with a portion
of the proceeds benefiting the Crossroads Centre, Antigua.
On Friday November 10th, Guitar Center began a nationwide
display of the recreated BLACKIE® guitars, kicking it off at GC’s
Hollywood store with the unveiling of the original BLACKIE® —
which has not been seen in public since it was sold to Guitar Center
for $959,500 at a 2004 Christie’s auction.
The original BLACKIE® will be on display at the Hollywood
store through April 2007 while the recreated BLACKIE® guitars are
currently on display at 46 select GC locations including Austin, Atlanta,
Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York
City, Richmond, San Francisco and Seattle. For other locations please
Photo Caption: Tony Motta, Fender/Guitar
Center National Accounts Representative, is pictured holding the recreated
BLACKIE® which goes on sale November 24th, standing next to Eric
Clapton’s original BLACKIE® in a bulletproof display case.
Photo by Michael Doyle. (This photo is the property of Guitar Center
and may be used by the media only for the purpose of one-time reproduction.
Unauthorized use, alteration or reproduction of this photograph is strictly
…ends 216 words
BLACKIE®, a mid-1950s Fender Stratocaster guitar pieced together
by Clapton himself from numerous individual guitars, was Clapton’s
main instrument throughout the 1970s and ’80s. Clapton’s
albums 461 Ocean Boulevard, Slowhand, No Reason To Cry and Just One
Night, among others, were all recorded with BLACKIE®. And in addition
to memorable solo tours, Clapton and BLACKIE® shared the stage with
the likes of Pete Townshend, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters
and The Band.
This historic addition to the Custom Shop Tribute Series replicated
BLACKIE® down to the smallest of details — from the worn-to-the-wood
body, to the neck re-shaped by Eric’s hand as he played a thousand
heartfelt solos, to the unmistakable cigarette burns on the headstock.
About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the leading United States retailer of guitars, amplifiers,
percussion instruments, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment.
Our retail store subsidiary presently operates more than 195 Guitar
Center stores across the United States. In addition, our Music &
Arts division operates more than 90 stores specializing in band instruments
for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors
and students. We are also the largest direct response retailer of musical
instruments in the United States through our wholly owned subsidiary,
Musician's Friend, Inc., and its catalog and website, www.musiciansfriend.com.
More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company's
web site at www.guitarcenter.com.
The Guitar Center logo is a registered trademark of Guitar
Center, Inc. Other brand or product names may be trademarks of the respective
companies with which they are associated.
MEDIA CONTACT: Robert Clyne, Neilson/Clyne at (615) 662-1616