Another Holiday, Another Giggle

It sure looks like Eric's but all red 64s look like Erics-it's a mass produced guitar not a handmade luthier piece. It was shipped two weeks later so it isn't even that close in serial number but the seller still wants $100,000 for it. Do you think he'll get it? I don't think so.

Wow. Check this out on Ebay! I had already written today’s blog entry but I put it aside for this bit of news. It’s a very nice 64 stoptail that’s in wonderful condition and all original too. I would sell you this guitar for around $16,000 or $17,000 but this seller wants…wait for it…A HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS!! Why do you suppose it would command that kind of money? Was it played by a very, very famous musician? Nope. Is it a custom made for somebody famous? Maybe it’s NOS-never left its case in 47 years? Nope. It’s…it’s (gasp) 92 serial numbers away from the Clapton 335. Seller says it’s EXACTLY like Eric’s. But then, so is just about every other 64. OK, if it was one number away on either side, then maybe a premium. But I can tell you from experience that close don’t count. I had the 64 23 numbers from Claptons and that one was shipped the very same day as Clapton’s. Did I get a premium when I sold it? Not even close. I mentioned it but didn’t tack on a $84,000 extra just because it’s within 2 weeks of the Clapton 335. The truth is that any 64 commands a small premium precisely because EC played one. That’s why they run slightly more than big neck 63s. ¬†They are great guitars, make no mistake about it. Most of my regular readers know that my all time favorite is a red 64. And just to be accurate, the guitar being sold isn’t exactly like the Clapton 335 because the Clapton 335 had some changed parts. Do you suppose if the seller put a patent number bridge on his and a “custom” truss rod cover that he might get $125,000? Still a relative bargain when you consider what Eric’s sold for. But it didn’t sell for $800K+ because it was a 64 335. It sold for that because it was THE guitar that he performed with on stage for many years-even if it isn’t the “Crossroads” guitar. Noteworthy provenance works like this: If an item was owned by someone notable or famous, the item will accrue additional value. But look at it this way, if I paid $772,500 for President Kennedy’s golf clubs (Arnold Schwartzenegger owns them) and you wanted to sell the golf clubs that belonged to his dog walker, you’d get about the same premium that this guitar deserves. Maybe even more because JFKs dog might have peed on them. OK, I’m being pretty cynical here (which shouldn’t surprise anyone) but really, $100K because it was made 2 weeks after a guitar that’s famous? I don’t understand what some people are thinking sometimes. I know Ebay is full of dreamers and nutcases but here’s a guitar that I would actually buy if he put a sane price on it. And I’m not necessarily calling the seller a nutcase. I’ll just call him a dreamer. There has been an alarming trend in the past 10 years that seems to say that it is OK to dream as big as you want because dreams can and do come true. The truth is they come true for someone else.

2 Responses to “Another Holiday, Another Giggle”

  1. Michael says:

    I’ve been reading your blog now for a while, and I applaud your relentless efforts to price-check some of these..uhhh…”dreamers”, ’cause Lord knows they need it. The vintage bubble burst about..what is it..3 years ago or so now, and there STILL seems to be an awful lot of people that just didn’t get the memo at all. By the way, what’s the cut-off point on the “xx numbers away from Clapton’s” anyway? This guy says 92…is it 100? …200? Anyone know?

  2. OK Guitars says:

    The cutoff point in my mind is the adjacent number either way. One more, one less. Maybe the same day ship might tickle someone who’s a big fan. It’s not like the guitars knew each other. On the other hand any 64 ES-335 is probably worth a little more than it might otherwise be because Eric played one.

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