Colts owner Jim Irsay already owns a collection of guitars and musical instruments probably unrivaled outside the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Now, he’s adding a really choice piece — the 1969 black Fender Stratocaster (aka “The Black Strat”) played by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour on iconic albums such as “The Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall.”
Such a rarity didn’t come cheap — Irsay paid $3.975 million for the guitar at the Christie’s New York auction Thursday. That’s an auction record for a guitar. But as owner of the Colts (estimated value: $2.4 billion), Irsay can afford some really expensive toys. As Pink Floyd noted in their 1973 hit, “Money,” “Get a good job with good pay and you’re OK … Think I’ll buy me a football team.”
While the auction officials had estimated the guitar would fetch somewhere between $100,000 and $150,000, some serious bidders drove the price up. Irsay shared his joy after his winning bid.
“The incomparable David Gilmour … the greatest ‘phrasing’ guitarist in the world!!” Irsay tweeted. “Honored to bring The Black Strat to the public. The most expensive guitar EVER purchased. And for charity!!!”
The incomparable David Gilmour.. the greatest “phrasing” guitarist in the world!! Honored to bring The Black Strat to the public. The most expensive guitar EVER purchased. And for charity!!!
— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) June 20, 2019
Gilmour, regarded as one of the greatest guitar players in rock history, auctioned off 120 of his guitars to benefit ClientEarth, an environmental organization. Irsay bought two more pieces from Gilmour’s collection — a 1969 Martin D-35 acoustic guitar ($1.095 million) and the case for “The Black Strat” ($175,000).
Irsay’s collection includes around 200 guitars, with instruments played by Elvis, John Lennon, Prince, Bob Dylan and others. He even employs a caretaker for his collection. And Irsay’s always on the lookout for other iconic items; earlier this year he purchased Lennon’s “Sgt. Pepper” piano for an estimated $719,000.