Three of Eric Clapton's highest-profile guitars -- including "Blackie," the Fender Stratocaster that was his primary instrument from 1970 to 1985 -- set record prices in an auction that generated about $7.5 million for the musician's Crossroads Centre rehab facility.
"Blackie," which Clapton said had "become part of me," brought $959,500, nearly doubling the auction record set five years ago by "Brownie," another Stratocaster that Clapton sold as part of a 1999 fundraiser for the Crossroads facility in Antigua, West Indies.
That was among 88 guitars, most of them Clapton's but including many donated or once owned by Carlos Santana, George Harrison, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Pete Townshend, B.B. King and others among Clapton's musician friends.
Thursday's auction total, combined with nearly $2.5 million generated by an all-star concert that drew 46,000 people to Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas as the climax of the three-day Crossroads Guitar Festival earlier this month, boosts the take for the Crossroads Centre to nearly $10 million.
-- Randy Lewis