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Watch Kenny Wayne Shepherd play Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb on David Gilmour's Black Strat

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays David Gilmour's Black Strat
(Image credit: Matt Bowen/Indianapolis Colts)

Back in 2019, David Gilmour's iconic black Fender Stratocaster was sold at auction for an eye-watering $3,975,000, making it (at that time) the most expensive guitar ever sold at auction.

The buyer was Indianapolis Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay, whose collection of famous vintage guitars and rock memorabilia – at least in terms of sheer monetary value – has few parallels. 

Last Friday (September 9), in celebration of the recent kickoff of the Colts' 2022 season, Irsay summoned a laundry list of electric guitar greats – among them John Mellencamp, Buddy Guy, John Hiatt, Tom Bukovac and Kenny Wayne Shepherd – to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for a free, all-star concert. 

Irsay partially used the show as an opportunity to showcase his legendary collection, with Shepherd taking Gilmour's Black Strat for a spin during a cover of Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb. You can see footage of the performance – and, above that, a rehearsal of the song – below.

In a nod, perhaps, to the piece of guitar history in his hands, Shepherd's take on Gilmour's climactic lead turn – which was voted by Guitar World readers in a 2021 poll as the third greatest guitar solo of all-time – is a faithful one that shows deference to the original throughout.

The band behind Shepherd also included session legend Kenny Aronoff on drums, R.E.M.'s Mike Mills on bass guitar, and Danny Nucci and Mike Wanchic on guitar.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays David Gilmour's Black Strat

(Image credit: Matt Bowen/Indianapolis Colts)

“At the end of the day, last Friday night’s concert and exhibit was about bringing our fans together and treating them to a night of celebration – a celebration of football, music and our Indianapolis community,” Irsay said of the concert in a statement. 

“I don’t own any of these items. I’m just the steward of this collection, and it’s my dream for as many people as possible to experience and become inspired by this history.”

For more on Irsay's gear collection, and its comings and goings, visit JimIrsayCollection.com (opens in new tab).

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.