Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection

Eric Clapton and Guitar Center introduces the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection, featuring instruments from Fender, Gibson and Martin.

Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection

Here is something you don't see everyday, rivals like Gibson and Fender, together in one billing. Eric and GC pulled it off and even got C.F. Martin to help, resulting in a collection that boasts of instruments from three prestigious guitar brands.

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The special collection features five instruments based on guitars that Clapton used at specific pivotal points in his career. There are two replica electric guitars in this collection, a replica Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton “Brownie” Tribute Stratocaster guitar and a Harrison-Clapton Gibson “Lucy” Les Paul. For acoustics, the collection features new Eric Clapton Signature Martin 000-28 and 000-45 models.

Guitar Center is a known supporter of Clapton, they have co-sponsored Eric Clapton's four Crossroad Guitar Festivals, they support his Crossroads Centre Charity and they have even purchased Eric's famous guitars including his "Blackie" Stratocaster and his Cream Gibson 335. Having a partnership with Clapton was simply the next step, and to make sure its big news they got the help of big-name guitar manufacturers to create limited edition instruments.

Michael Doyle, Senior VP of Guitar Merchandising, was quoted saying: “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. 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.”

Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton "Brownie" Tribute Stratocaster

This custom shop strat is based on Calpton's "Layla Stratocaster", as featured on the back cover of the Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs album. The original Layla was purchased by EC in May of 1967 and it was his first ever Strat. Here are the details from the press release:

The 2-Color Sunburst "Brownie" 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

This tribute guitar is based on a historic Les Paul that was owned by two iconic guitarists - Eric Clapton and George Harrison. It was originally bought by Eric in New York, back in the '60s and was given to his friend George Harrison, who gave it the name "Lucy". Here are the details from the press release:

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.

Martin Eric Clapton "Crossroads" Signature Guitars

C.F. Martin commissioned three new signature models for the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection, these models are based on Martin's most popular acoustic guitar models, hand-crafted to Eric's personal specifications. Here are the details from the press release:

Based on the legendary 14 fret 000 body style first introduced in 1934, these exquisite guitars are uniquely appointed with “Crossroads” pearl inlays and bear the personal, hand-written signatures of Eric Clapton and Chris Martin on both the Certificate Of Authenticity and sound hole label. Constructed from the finest and rarest tone woods, they are available in three versions: a 000-28EC Madagascar Rosewood (retail price: $5,999 MSRP); a 000-45EC Madagascar Rosewood (retail price: $12,999 MSRP); and a 000-45EC in Brazilian Rosewood (retail price: $12,999 MSRP). Due to the exotic tone-woods and hand-crafted construction quantities are necessarily limited and Guitar Center is the exclusive retailer in the USA. The two 000-45EC models are available for pre-sale via special order effective immediately, with first deliveries starting in March / April 2013.

The price tags of the guitars in this collection aren't unfortunately within the reach of the average buyer, however part of the sale of each instrument is going to be donated to the Crossroads Centre. This is a treatment and education facility for chemically dependent persons, they provide tretment via residential care, family and aftercare programs.

Eric Clapton commented: "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. 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."

The Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection are sold exclusively at Guitar Center stores, and is expected to be available starting on March 21, 2013. For more information and details on the guitars, you can head over to Guitar Center.

Related News:
Ultimate Eric Clapton Fan Prize Package
2013 Crossroads Guitar Festival and Clapton US Tour

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