Guitar Center has done the unlikely. The world’s largest musical-instrument retailer rounded up three heavyweights — Fender, Gibson and Martin — to honor another heavyweight, Eric Clapton, and his iconic guitars.
Guitar Center introduced the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection Tuesday morning at its 14th Street location in New York City. The limited-edition collection features five Clapton tribute, replica and signature guitars, all of which will be available in North America at Guitar Center stores and at GuitarCenter.com starting March 21.
The collection includes a replica Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton “Brownie” Tribute Stratocaster, a Gibson George Harrison-Eric Clapton “Lucy” Les Paul and Eric Clapton Signature Martin 000-28 and 000-45 models, plus Eric Clapton “Crossroads” guitar straps by Ernie Ball.
Proceeds from the sale of each guitar will benefit Clapton’s Crossroads Centre in Antigua, which was created to provide treatment and education to chemically dependent people. "The motive behind the making of the guitar is 100 percent right," Clapton said. "They are beautiful guitars; from the inlays to the rosewood they are unique from one another. One would be inclined to take care of and be in awe of them.”
Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton “Brownie” Tribute Stratocaster
Best known as the “Layla Stratocaster” and featured on the back cover of that pivotal album, “Brownie” was the first Strat ever owned by Clapton, purchased in May 1967. The 2-Color Sunburst guitar has a heavily worn maple neck, dated from 6-56, and was first seen in Clapton’s hands bolted to a Telecaster body during Blind Faith.
Gibson George Harrison-Eric Clapton “Lucy” Les Paul
Owned by Clapton and then given to George Harrison, who nicknamed it “Lucy," the George Harrison-Eric Clapton “Lucy” Les Paul has an awesome pedigree. At the invitation of Harrison, Clapton played the cherry red LP on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Played by Harrison on the White Album and Let It Be, the guitar can be seen in the Let It Be film and the promo clip for "Revolution."
Martin Eric Clapton “Crossroads” Signature Guitars
• Martin 000-28EC “Crossroads” Madagascar Rosewood
• Martin 000-45EC “Crossroads” Madagascar Rosewood
• Martin 000-45EC “Crossroads” Brazilian Rosewood
Based on the 14-fret 000 body style first introduced in 1934, these guitars are uniquely appointed with “Crossroads” pearl inlays and bear the personal, hand-written signatures of Clapton and Chris Martin on the Certificate Of Authenticity and sound hole label.
Ernie Ball Crossroads Collection Straps
Ernie Ball's Crossroads Collection Straps feature premium Italian leather and hand-stitched threading for maximum appeal. Putting a primary on performance and comfort, these straps also feature a thin layer of padding and and an ultra-rich suede back. These limited edition straps are a must have for any Clapton aficionado, or any guitar player seeking a high-quality strap that's built to last.
For more information on the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection, visit guitarcenter.com/Clapton.