Guitar Center, the world’s largest musical instrument retailer, in partnership with Eric Clapton, proudly announces the launch of the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection. The limited-edition collection will feature five Eric Clapton tribute, replica and signature guitars to be sold in North America exclusively at Guitar Center locations and online at GuitarCenter.com beginning March 21, 2013.
All guitars in the one-of-a-kind collection were developed in partnership with Eric Clapton, Guitar Center, Fender, Gibson and Martin Guitar, drawing inspiration from the guitars used by Clapton at pivotal points throughout his iconic career. The collection includes a replica Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton “Brownie” Tribute Stratocaster® guitar, Gibson Harrison-Clapton “Lucy” Les Paul, and Eric Clapton Signature Martin 000-28 and 000-45 models, as well as Eric Clapton “Crossroads” guitar straps from Ernie Ball.
Creating the Eric Clapton Crossroads Collection
The Eric Clapton Crossroads Collection is the result of a unique and significant history between the music retailer and famed guitarist. Guitar Center has co-sponsored each of Eric Clapton’s four Crossroads Guitar Festivals and been a strong supporter of the Crossroads Centre charity, having purchased several of Eric’s most famous guitars including his “BLACKIE” Stratocaster and the CREAM Gibson 335 at the Crossroads Guitar Auction in 2004. Clapton has also graced the cover of the Guitar Center Buyers Guide. Coming together to develop this special collection was a natural continuation of the music retailer and music icon’s longstanding relationship. Well known amongst his peers for being a great musical collaborator, Clapton invited Guitar Center to create a collection of guitars from the most prestigious manufacturers. The result of this incredible collaboration is two tribute replica guitars with rich ties to Clapton’s career as well as three new Eric Clapton signature guitars that will launch in conjunction with Clapton’s upcoming U.S. tour and Crossroads Guitar Festival.
“We have always admired Eric Clapton as one of the all-time great guitarists, singers and songwriters and for his extraordinary influence on musicians around the world for over 50 years,” said Michael Doyle, Senior Vice President of Guitar Merchandising. “We were honored to be invited by Eric to collaborate with him on this unique collection of guitars which have been the inspirational tools of his trade throughout his career.”
Giving Back Through the Eric Clapton Crossroads Collection
Not only is the construction of and history behind the Eric Clapton Crossroads Collection of guitars notable, but a significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of each of the guitars in the collection will be donated to benefit Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Centre. The Crossroads Centre, Antigua was created to provide treatment and education to chemically dependent persons. Treatment is provided through residential care, family and aftercare programs. The pathway to recovery is founded on the movement toward a change in lifestyle.
“It’s been my experience that the proper guitars, like those in this Collection, are just made for playing – the motive behind the making of the guitar is 100% right,” said Eric Clapton. “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.”
For more information on the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection please visit HERE.
Eric Clapton’s exclusive Guitar Center interview on the Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton “Brownie” Tribute Stratocaster
Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton “Brownie” Tribute Stratocaster
About “Brownie”: Best known as the “Layla Stratocaster” and famously featured on the back cover of that pivotal album, “Brownie” was the first Strat® ever owned by Eric 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. The (entire!) guitar was featured on the front cover of his first solo album Eric Clapton, and featured throughout Eric’s stint with “Delaney & Bonnie” and “Derek And The Dominos.” With a winning bid from Experience Music Project (EMP) of $497,500, “Brownie” was sold at Eric’s first guitar auction in June 1999.
In collaboration with Eric Clapton, Guitar Center and EMP, the Fender Custom Shop started work on a “Brownie” replica in the summer of 2012, using the original guitar as a reference. The project was led by Todd Krause, Senior Master Builder for Eric Clapton’s personal Stratocaster guitars, who reproduced the original guitar to the minutest detail. Offered in a limited edition of just 50 domestic and 50 guitars worldwide, the “Eric Clapton “Brownie” Tribute Stratocaster” guitar will be offered in America exclusively through Guitar Center in March / April 2013, coinciding with the 2013 Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival. The Fender Eric Clapton “Brownie” Tribute Stratocaster will retail for $14,999 msrp.
Eric Clapton’s exclusive Guitar Center interview on the Gibson Harrison-Clapton “Lucy” Les Paul
Gibson Harrison-Clapton “Lucy” Les Paul
About “Lucy”: Owned by Eric Clapton and then given to his best friend George Harrison who soon nicknamed it “Lucy”, the “Gibson Harrison-Clapton “Lucy” Les Paul” has unequalled pedigree. At the invitation of George, Eric played the cherry red Les Paul on the Beatles classic, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Played by George on The Beatles’ White Album and Let It Be, the guitar can also be seen in the Beatles film Let It Be and the promo film Revolution. Loaned back to Eric in 1973, Eric played the storied guitar again at his comeback Rainbow Concert.
Still owned and cherished by the Harrison estate, the guitar – originally a 1957 Gold Top, refinished by Gibson in 1967 in “cherry red” – was meticulously measured and inspected by Gibson Custom in 2012, from which a stunning replica was made. A remarkably lightweight mahogany body, unusually slim ‘50s neck (thanks to the refinishing in 1967) and PAF humbuckers make this a great playing Les Paul. And the offset seam on the maple top along with screw holes for the previously removed Bigsby® vibrato and “Custom” truss rod cover are among the details which are authentically recreated.
In collaboration with the George Harrison Estate and Eric Clapton, this historical guitar will be a limited edition of just 100 guitars worldwide, available in America exclusively through Guitar Center in March / April 2013, coinciding with the 2013 Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival. The Gibson Harrison Clapton Les Paul will retail for $14,999 msrp.
Eric Clapton’s exclusive Guitar Center interview on the Martin Eric Clapton “Crossroads” Signature Guitars
Martin Eric Clapton “Crossroads” Signature Guitars
About the Martin Eric Clapton “Crossroads” Signature Guitars: Guitar Center, in partnership with Eric Clapton and C.F. Martin Guitar, has commissioned a limited edition of three of the finest and most desirable Martin instruments ever made – hand crafted to Eric Clapton’s personal specification by the C.F. Martin Custom Shop. Based on the legendary 14 fret 000 body style first introduced in 1934, these exquisite guitars are uniquely appointed with “Crossroads” pearl inlays and bear the personal, hand-written signatures of Eric Clapton and Chris Martin on both the Certificate Of Authenticity and sound hole label. Constructed from the finest and rarest tone woods, they are available in three versions: a 000-28EC Madagascar Rosewood (on sale March 2013); a 000-45EC Madagascar Rosewood; and a 000-45EC in Brazilian Rosewood.
Due to the exotic tone-woods and hand-crafted construction quantities are necessarily limited and Guitar Center is the exclusive retailer in the USA. The two 000-45EC models are available for pre-sale via special order effective immediately, with first deliveries starting in March / April 2013.
Ernie Ball Crossroads Collection Straps
About the Ernie Ball Crossroads Collection Straps: Ernie Ball has partnered up with The Crossroads Centre, Antigua to release a limited edition Eric Clapton Crossroads Collection Guitar Straps, available exclusively at Guitar Center, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the charity. Inspired by the iconic design style of European automobile manufacturers, 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 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.
About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the world’s largest retailer of guitars, amplifiers, drums, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment. Our retail store subsidiary presently operates 240 Guitar Center stores across the U.S. We are also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the United States through our wholly owned subsidiary, Musician’s Friend, Inc., and its catalog and Web site, www.musiciansfriend.com. In addition, our Music & Arts division operates more than 100 stores specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students. More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company’s Web site at www.guitarcenter.com.
Fender is the world’s leading guitar brand and a name that is synonymous with rock ‘n’ roll. Iconic Fender instruments such as the Telecaster®, Stratocaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® guitars, and amps such as the Bassman®, Twin Reverb® and Deluxe Reverb® are known worldwide for starting the rock revolution and continue to be highly prized by today’s musicians and collectors. For more information, visit www.fender.com.
Known globally for its innovative iconic guitars, Gibson has evolved into a full-grown lifestyle and consumer electronics brand through its partnership with Onkyo, and acquisition of The Stanton Group, which includes Cerwin Vega and KRK. Headquartered in Nashville, Gibson, under the leadership of Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, has expanded worldwide with more than 3,500 employees in the U.S. and internationally, all working to fill your life with music. American made and world-played, Gibson’s family of vintage and cutting edge products are available to consumers around the globe.
Ever since Orville Gibson founded the company in 1894, Gibson has been revolutionizing the guitar industry. And since it was purchased by Juszkiewicz and two partners in 1986, the company has become a leading global innovative brand in consumer electronics and especially high end and professional audio. Today, it’s the company where sound, technology and lifestyle unite. www.gibson.com
About Martin Guitar
C.F Martin & Co. (www.martinguitar.com) has been creating the finest acoustic instruments in the world for over 175 years. It continues to innovate, introducing techniques and features that have become industry standards including X-bracing, the 14-fret guitar and the “Dreadnought” size. One of the world’s leading acoustic instrument makers, Martin guitars are hand-made by skilled craftsmen and women, who use a combination of new design and techniques along with those introduced by the company founder. The company is also known for producing high-quality, popular acoustic guitar strings. These include the Martin SP® LIFESPAN™ line – the fastest-growing treated string in the industry, and the Martin SP line – which uses an industry leading core wire to hold tunings better. Martin guitars and Martin strings are the instruments and strings of choice for musicians around the world, from the icons of rock, country, folk and bluegrass to those just beginning their careers. They can be seen across all segments of pop culture, from television (Glee, Psych, Raising Hope and American Idol) to the movies; on Broadway and in books, online, and gracing the covers of popular magazines on newsstands everywhere. Connect with Martin and Martin Strings on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and via www.martinguitar.com and www.martinstrings.com.
About Ernie Ball
In 1962, veteran player and teacher Ernie Ball created Slinkys®, the iconic light gauge electric guitar strings widely revered by hundreds of guitar greats including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, The Edge and John Mayer. In addition to hand crafting high-end Music Man® guitars and basses, Ernie Ball Inc. offers state-of-the-art instrument accessories that are carried in more than 6,000 stores in the U.S. and 110 countries worldwide. The family-run company maintains its founder’s dedication to preserving the musician’s playing experience and delivering superior sound quality through the development of new products, such as the revolutionary Element Shield Packaging which hermetically seals guitar strings keeping each set as fresh as the day they were made. The company also fosters artist development through musician-focused programs such as the Golden Pick promotion featuring Slash and Eric Clapton, and the world’s largest and longest running Battle of the Bands, where unsigned bands compete each year for the chance to play on multiple tours and win tons of prizes. Learn more at www.ernieball.com.