Alex Lifeson Auctions His Legendary Guitars
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Alex Lifeson is set to put up his most legendary guitars for bidding at the Julien’s Auctions “Music Icons” event.
Along with his instruments, Lifeson will also include wardrobe, gear, and memorabilia he owned and used. The items will be available to the public for the first time at the event dubbed as Property from the Archives of Alex Lifeson.
Darren Julien, President/Chief Executive Officer of Julien’s Auctions said in a press release:
“Julien’s Auctions is proud to present this magnificent collection of coveted artifacts of rock history directly from the legendary guitarist and pioneer, Alex Lifeson of Rush, the most influential and innovative progressive rock metal band of all time.
“Lifeson’s mind blowing creativity, musical virtuosity and raw power will take center stage here in this epic auction of his legendary guitars, instruments, and rare memorabilia representing his enduring legacy as one of the godfathers of progressive rock metal music.”
The Rush rocker’s lot will be the centerpiece of the Music Icons event. The sale starts on May 20 and the ceremony will take place Sunday, May 22 at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York and live online at JuliensAuctions.com.
The most precious piece of Lifeson’s collections is his 1976 “Whitey” Gibson ES-355TD electric guitar, which he used as his main instrument from the early ’70s to 2015. The guitar was featured on a total of 16 Rush albums, beginning with their 1974 self-titled debut and ending with 1996’s Test for Echo.
“Whitey” was seen in several Rush music videos and on tour over the years. It is expected to bring in $200,000 to $300,000 at auction. Lifeson said in a statement:
“I purchased this guitar in 1976, it was custom-built in Kalamazoo just for me. It has been my main guitar and is the iconic Alex Lifeson guitar.”
Another highlight of the auction, Lifeson’s 1980 custom-built Hentor Sportscaster electric guitar. It was created specifically for Rush’s 40th Anniversary tour. This was Lifeson’s favorite guitar to use during the recordings of his solos in several Rush albums, including their 1981 hit Limelight from Moving Pictures, and in 1984’s Grace Under Pressure.
The guitar also appears in the music videos for Vital Signs, Countdown and The Enemy Within. It’s estimated to sell at auction for between $100,000 and $200,000.
Other Lifeson’s guitars going under the hammer include a 1970 Gibson Les Paul electric guitar played on every Rush album from Fly By Night to Hemispheres; 1971 Jose Ramirez classical acoustic guitar used on the 1978 album Hemispheres; 1976 Gibson Dove acoustic guitar used on the 1977 album A Farewell to Kings; 1976 Gibson J-55 acoustic used by Lifeson to compose Rush’s 1976 platinum-selling album 2112; 1981 Gibson Howard Roberts Fusion electric guitar used on the 1981 Moving Pictures tour (among others); 1990 Fender Strat which appears on the majority of latter-day Rush albums; and a 2015 limited run Gibson EDS-1275 double-neck electric guitar created especially for Rush’s 40th Anniversary R40 tour.
Also up for bidding is a 1992 PRS CE bolt-on neck guitar, which was heavily used on Rush’s 1993 album, Counterparts, and its accompanying tour. It is expected to sell between $50,000 and $70,000.
“This was my main ’90s-era Paul Reed Smith guitar. I still use it a lot because of the 24 frets. It was a real workhorse and I loved it.”
See photos of the guitars below and check more information on these items at the Julien’s Auctions website.