Guitars take Centre Stage

TW Gaze’s Musical Instrument Sale is Hitting a High Note

By Elizabeth Talbot

My colleague Edward Taxil-Webber is counting in the next Musical Instruments sale, Friday 27 July…his fingers are drumming, his toes are tapping…there is rhythm, but definitely no blues!

The Musical Instruments sale is designed to accommodate all instruments for making music, including percussion, string and wind. However, already consigned are three major private collections of guitars, spanning from the 1930’s through to the present day. It is noticeable how popular guitars continue to be; whether that popularity is driven by musical preference, cultural influence, investment opportunity or fashion it is hard to be certain, but the cumulative effect is ensuring guitars stay firmly in the spotlight of a favourable market. 

Ed notes “Unlike most other instruments, guitars provide instant musical gratification, even to the most modest of budding musicians for whom the merest strum suggests promise of a sell-out gig at Wembley. Guitars can be enjoyed quietly and privately or in the fellowship of others in a band; they are perfect for modern small-space living and are very portable.”

“Some highlights of this sale include a 1970’s Fender Telecaster, a Gibson Cromwell acoustic and a Gibson SG double neck Hotel California special, one of only 100 ever made. It comes with all documentation and its original case and carries an estimate of £4,000 – 5,000.”

In 1976, The Eagles released what would become one of the best-selling albums of all time, “Hotel California”.  From it came the hit song “Hotel California” which was released as a single in February 1977. It was written by guitarist Don Felder. Both the beautiful twelve string guitar part throughout the song and the epic duel guitar solo at the end from Felder and Joe Walsh have been endlessly transcribed, air-guitared, frequently been named in polls for the “world’s greatest guitar solos”, and listed at Number 49 in Rolling Stone magazine’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. In tribute, Gibson Custom Shop released two limited edition models in 2010, the Don Felder “Hotel California” Doubleneck, and the Don Felder “Hotel California” 1959 Les Paul. 

In the studio, Felder played the intro on a Takemine 12-string and the solo on his 1959 Les Paul Standard. However, from the very beginning it was very different for live performances: Don Felder always played the hit song on a Gibson EDS-1275 Double Neck, in order to give live renditions their maximum impact; performing the haunting 12-string introduction on the guitar’s top neck (routed through a Leslie rotating speaker unit) and switching to the lower 6-string neck for the epic soloing duel with Joe Walsh.

Speaking in an interview given to Guitar World in 2012, Felder said “We got to the sound stage to rehearse that song to go on the road for the first Hotel California tour and I couldn’t figure out how I was gonna play the introduction and the solo stuff at the same time without literally changing guitars back and forth. So I got the idea of using a double-neck, the Gibson EDS-1275”

With the original guitars now in safe storage, (the 1275 is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio), Felder tours playing Gibson Custom guitars and “honestly can’t tell the difference between the originals and the copies”. So, if you have ever aspired to play like The Eagles, TW Gaze could provide an opportunity for your California dreaming to come true.

Whether it is the “Ed Sheeran phenomenon”, boundary-pushing Muse or the influence of vintage greats which gives you a buzz equivalent to static feedback, fret not, there should be a lot to interest you during viewing on Thursday 26 July 2-8pm and on the morning of the sale from 8.30am.

For further auction details please see If you require help and advice about the valuation and sale of musical instruments, please make contact on 01379 650306 or

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