Mark Knopfler Is Selling 120 Music Gears Including Iconic Les Paul Guitar
via Mark Knopfler/YouTube
Mark Knopfler, the well-known guitarist and lead vocalist of Dire Straits, is going to auction off an extensive collection of over 120 instruments and equipment, with a quarter of the earnings going to charity.
Among the notable items up for grabs is the 1983 Gibson Les Paul that Knopfler used to record the chart-topping hits Money For Nothing and Brothers In Arms, a guitar that also graced the stage during the iconic Live Aid performance in 1985.
Expressing his hope for the instruments to continue making music, Knopfler stated to the BBC:
“I hope they all get played. I don’t think they do too well living in a case all their lives.”
The auction, scheduled for January 31 at Christie’s in London, features items with a range of price points. For instance, a 1959 Gibson Les Paul with a sunburst finish is estimated to be valued between £300,000 to £500,000, while a mandolin previously owned by blues legend Yank Rachell is available for approximately £300 to £500. Knopfler emphasized:
“I like the cheap ones as much as the expensive ones.”
Knopfler on the Bittersweet Decision
When asked about the decision to part with his instruments, Knopfler attributed it to the passage of time, stating:
“I think it’s just age. I’m looking now at about 20 guitars that I use to make records and there are at least 100 other ones that aren’t going to get played. We’ve had great times together, so I am sad to see some of them go – but I’ve got enough left to play. More than enough.”
Prior to the auction, the guitars and amps will be exhibited in both London and New York. The proceeds from the sale will be donated to several charitable organizations, including the Red Cross, Tusk (wildlife conservationists), and Brave Hearts of the North East (children’s charity).
In an additional revelation to the BBC, Knopfler disclosed that he is currently working on his 10th solo album. He shared:
“I’ve had a bit of a writing jag and I’ve got quite a lot of songs, so I’m hoping that I can get an EP out as well as an LP.”
Acknowledging the possibility of reinvesting some of the proceeds into new guitars, Knopfler humorously admitted:
“There’s every danger. I guess I’m not impervious to temptation. It’s quite possible I can have my head turned. In other words, what have I learned? Not a lot.”