Skip to main content

Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page and many more sign guitar for charity auction

(Image credit: courtesy of Gardiner Houlgate)

Some of the biggest names in rock, including Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, have signed an electric guitar to be auctioned in honor of Jerry Donahue, who suffered a catastrophic stroke in 2016.

Donahue is best known for having played with British folk-rock acts like Fairport Convention and Fotheringay. Later on, he co-founded the Hellecasters and became an in-demand session guitarist.

He’s noted for his wicked string bending technique, with Tele man Danny Gatton once referring to him as the “string-bending king of the planet”.

Other artists who have signed the guitar to be auctioned include Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Steve Winwood, Mark Knopfler, Pete Townshend, Albert Lee, David Gilmour, Joe Brown, Richard Thompson and Dave Pegg.

You can see a 'map' of the many signatures that adorn the guitar below.

(Image credit: Gardiner Houlgate)

Said Pegg, who played bass in Fairport Convention, “To have so many famous signatures on this guitar is a fantastic achievement. We know that the guitar will raise many thousands of pounds and all the money raised from the auction will go towards Jerry's rehabilitation in the USA.

The guitar, Donahue’s own Vintage Signature V58, was built to his own specifications as a collaboration with specialist guitar and hardware designer Trevor Wilkinson and JHS Managing Director Dennis Drumm.

Features include a maple fingerboard and neck and an American alder body finished in Ash Blonde.

The V58 was donated by John Hornby Skewes Ltd.

(Image credit: Cropredy Festival)

According to another friend, Matt Worley, additional signatures are still coming in, including "Tony Iommi, Jeff Lynne, Martin Barre [and] John Paul Jones, and we’ve just squeezed in Brian Wilson and Al Jardine from the Beach Boys".

Worley continued, "The guitar is more or less full now, so we are moving on to the guitar case.”

The V58 will be auctioned on December 11 at Gardiner Houlgate’s Bath Auction rooms.

For more information, head to Gardiner Houlgate

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.