A 1958 sunburst Gibson Les Paul owned and played on stage by Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts has hit the auction block.
According to Gotta Have Rock and Roll, the auction house hosting the listing, the electric guitar – which requires a minimum bid of $500,000, but is expected to sell for between $800,000 and $1.2 million – started life as a Goldtop, and Betts had Gibson refinish it with a sunburst look some time in the early ‘70s.
Betts was reportedly the primary owner and player of the guitar between 1968 and 1978, before giving it to his Allman Brothers Band bandmate Dan Toler in 1979. Toler continued to play the guitar while a member of the ABB, and went on to use it with the Gregg Allman Band and in various other gigs through 1998.
The winning bidder will receive, alongside the guitar itself, a detailed notarized letter of authenticity from William H. Perkins of Macon, Georgia’s Republic Artist Management – tour manager for the Allman Brothers Band from 1970 until 1976 and co-personal manager for Gregg Allman from 1983 to 1989.
Additionally, the guitar – the condition of which is described as “very good” – comes with printouts of photos of both Betts and Toler playing the guitar, as well as a Gotta Have Rock and Roll certificate of authenticity.
For more information, head to Gotta Have Rock and Roll (opens in new tab).
Six-strings played by iconic guitarists continue to command astronomically high prices. Earlier this month, a 1973 Fender Mustang played and smashed onstage by Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain sold for nearly $500,000.
This week, a 1968 Fender Rosewood Telecaster built for and played by Elvis Presley – sister guitar to the one championed by The Beatles’ George Harrison – was listed for sale on Reverb with a price tag of $295,000.
In fact, instruments selling at these kinds of prices is so common that back in May, we compiled the 11 most expensive guitars ever sold at auction, featuring Kurt Cobain’s Martin D-18E acoustic, which in 2020 sold for an eye-watering $6,010,000, and David Gilmour's 1954 Fender Stratocaster, which in 2019 went for $1,815,000.