Chris Cornell’s “Superunknown” Jazzmaster sells for $125k – but Clapton’s $1m 1954 Strat fails to attract bids

Chris Cornell's Jazzmaster sells; Eric Clapton's Strat does not
(Image credit: Gotta Have Rock and Roll)

In the past week we’ve seen Eddie Van Halen and smashed Kurt Cobain electric guitars nab impressive sale prices at auction. But not every instrument attached to a rock icon manages to sell – especially when it has an outsized price tag attached to it. 

Auction house Gotta Have Rock and Roll recently offered up Eric Clapton’s 1954 “Slowhand” sunburst Fender Strat, heavily used by the guitar great between 1979 and 1985. The stage and studio hardtail model had a starting price tag of $1 million – more than the $959,500 Clapton’s coveted “Blackie” Strat sold for back in 2004.

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Richard Bienstock

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.