Signed Strat Fetches Record $2.8M at Auction
Rocker Bryan Adams to donate proceeds to tsunami-torn Asia
$2.8 million Stratocaster: A new world’s record.
Photo by Bryan Adams
An autographed Fender Stratocaster® guitar auctioned off on Nov. 16 in the tiny Middle Eastern kingdom of Qatar fetched an astounding $2.8 million, shattering the previous world record for a guitar sold at auction.
Auctioning the guitar was the work of internationally acclaimed Canadian songwriter/musician/photographer Bryan Adams and Fender Europe Artist Relations Manager Jamie Crompton, who both wanted to find a way to raise money for Asian disaster relief in the wake of last year’s deadly Indian Ocean tsunami.
The buyer was Her Highness Sheihka Miyyassah Al Thani, heir to the throne of Qatar and chairwoman of Reach Out To Asia, a fund-raising campaign dedicated to supporting numerous relief efforts on the Asian continent, with a special focus on promoting global responsibility for basic, quality education to children and adults throughout Asia and the Middle East.
The previous world-record price for a guitar sold at auction was held by Eric Clapton’s famous “Blackie” Stratocaster, which went for $959,000 at Christie’s in New York on June 24, 2004.
The auction was part of that evening’s gala charity dinner at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Doha, the inaugural event in Reach Out to Asia’s planned yearlong campaign of high-profile fund-raising events for the 10-year (2005-2015) Fund For Asia. Adams and members of the Qatari royal family were joined by guests including former U.S. President Bill Clinton, British entrepreneur Richard Branson, Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx, actor Jet Li and CNN presenter Richard Quest.
“I decided to launch a fund-raising event to benefit those who had been affected by the disaster,” said Adams, who also gave a short performance at the event. “I asked my peers to sign one single guitar, which could be auctioned in aid of the cause, with the guitar acting as a kind of symbol of hope and solidarity.”
Early in 2005, Adams, acting under the banner of his own Tsunami Guitar Project, procured from Fender an Arctic White Standard Series Stratocaster, which he then had signed by a veritable who’s who of rock royalty. In addition to Adams himself, the guitar was eventually autographed by Clapton, Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, Brian May, Liam and Noel Gallagher, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Ray Davies, David Gilmour, Tony Iommi, Mark Knopfler, Angus and Malcolm Young, Paul McCartney and Sting.
Another member of Qatar’s royal family bought the guitar from Adams at an auction in early 2005 for $270,000. Adams surprised guests at the Nov. 16 event in Doha by announcing that the original buyer was donating the instrument to Reach Out to Asia for re-auction, after which it soon reached its world-record price.
“The result was overwhelming,” Adams said. “With the donation of a Stratocaster guitar from Fender and a very kind donation from Her Highness Sheihka Miyyassah Al Thani, we will finance two very important projects: the re-building and supply of equipment for a school in Thailand and the building of a village sports center to provide facilities for seven village schools in Sri Lanka. My sincere thanks to all of my fellow musicians and friends for their time, generosity and kindness.”
Adams said the project was exciting and added that he is “delighted to be able to support the efforts of those involved in the Reach Out to Asia campaign.”
The first concert event in the Reach Out to Asia campaign will be a performance by Adams in Doha on Feb. 1, 2006.
Visit Reach Out to Asia online at www.reachouttoasia.qa/output/page1013.asp.
Visit Bryan Adams online at www.bryanadams.com.