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Alex Lifeson partners with Julien's Auctions to sell over 100 items of used guitar gear and Rush memorabilia

Alex Lifeson's electric guitars
(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A plethora of used guitar gear and other memorabilia belonging to Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson is set to go on sale via Julien's Auctions in May.

Commencing May 20, the sale – dubbed Property from the Archives of Alex Lifeson – will take place Sunday, May 22 at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York and online at the company's website (opens in new tab).

Heading up the 100-plus-lot sale is a custom-built “Whitey” Gibson ES-355TD, which Lifeson describes as the “main guitar” he used throughout his decades-spanning tenure in Rush. 

It can be heard on 16 of the band's studio albums – from their 1974 self-titled debut to 1996's Test for Echo – and seen in several music videos. Lifeson also brought the guitar on the road extensively during the band's career. The “Whitey” Gibson ES-355TD is expected to fetch between $200,000 and $300,000.

“I purchased this guitar in 1976,” Lifeson says. “It was custom-built in Kalamazoo just for me. It has been my main guitar and is the iconic Alex Lifeson guitar.”

Alex Lifeson

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

Another highlight of the auction is a 1980 custom-built Hentor Sportscaster electric guitar, used during the recording of several Rush albums, in particular on 1984's Grace Under Pressure, where it was Lifeson's main recording guitar.

The guitar is reportedly Lifeson's favorite guitar for soloing, and was used to record the solo for Rush's 1981 hit, Limelight (from Moving Pictures, released the same year). It also appears in the music videos for Vital Signs, Countdown and The Enemy Within.

The guitar is expected to sell at auction for between $100,000 and $200,000.

Alex Lifeson Hentor Sportscaster

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

The auction will also play host to a 1976 Gibson Dove acoustic guitar – which was used to write several songs from 1977's A Farewell to Kings, including Closer to the Heart – and a 1970 Gibson Les Paul acquired by Lifeson during Rush's inaugural tour in 1974. Both are expected to fetch between $100,000 and $200,000.

Other guitars featured in the Property from the Archives of Alex Lifeson auction include a 1976 Gibson J-55 acoustic used by Lifeson to compose Rush's 1976 platinum-selling album 2112; a 1990 Fender Strat which appears on the majority of latter-day Rush albums; and a 2015 limited run Gibson EDS-1275 double-neck guitar created specifically for Rush's 40th Anniversary R40 tour. These three instruments are expected to sell for five figures each.

There's also a 1992 PRS CE bolt-on neck guitar – which was heavily used on Rush's 1993 album, Counterparts, and its accompanying tour – which is expected to fetch between $50,000 and $70,000.

“This was my main '90s-era Paul Reed Smith guitar,” Lifeson says. “I still use it a lot because of the 24 frets. It was a real workhorse and I loved it.”

Special exhibitions will be held in Los Angeles and New York for the public to view highlighted items from the auction the week commencing April 11. The Property from the Archives of Alex Lifeson auction will be split into two sessions, occurring at 10 a.m. ET and 1 p.m. ET on May 22. For more information, head to Julien's Auctions (opens in new tab).

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Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).