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A guitar signed by Keith Richards, Slash and many more is up for auction to benefit New York Dolls' Sylvain Sylvain

(Image credit: Tyla)

Back in April 2019 New York Dolls electric guitar player Sylvain Sylvain revealed he was undergoing treatment for cancer, and a GoFundMe (opens in new tab) page was set up to help offset the cost of medical bills. To date, almost $70,000 of the $80,000 target has been raised.

Now, musicians and bands ranging from Keith Richards and Slash to Skid Row, Faster Pussycat and others have signed a one-of-a-kind Gretsch electric guitar, hand-painted by Dogs D’Amour frontman Tyla, to raise additional funds for Sylvain.

The charity guitar is the brainchild of Tyla and his friend and business partner, Alan Hampton.

Hampton, who owns a bar that has hosted performances from Sylvain and Tyla, had the idea of purchase the Gretsch, a model played by both artists, and then have it painted and auctioned off.

Tyla secured a Gretsch Electromatic guitar, donated by the company’s Mike Taft, hand-painted an original New York Dolls design on it and reached out to artists for autographs.

(Image credit: Tyla)

To combat the costs of shipping the guitar around the world, all artists wishing to take part provided authenticated handwritten signatures, which were then process-printed onto the back of the guitar. The original signatures are included in the auction.

Said Tyla, “I was gutted when I heard about Sylvain. Cancer’s horrific for anyone, but most musicians struggle to get insurance and in the US it’s even worse.

“The Dolls inspired so many of us and we just felt we wanted to do something. It was Alan’s idea. The least I could do was do one of me paintings on it and get in touch with a few old mates. I never expected so many to get involved. It’s great, innit?

"We’ve set a reserve, but to be honest I hope it’ll go for a lot more and it may come close to helping him hit his target. He’s almost there.”

The auction, which includes the one-off guitar, guitar case and the original handwritten signatures, is currently live, with a top bid of £3,045 (approx. $3,940). 

For more information, head to eBay (opens in new tab).

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Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.