The Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards has always been eccentric. In fact, sometimes his on stage antics and backstage stories seem outright crazy, but it’s these very qualities that helped make him a rock’n’roll pioneer and change music forever. In 1995, Richards got into an argument with Ronnie Wood that led to Richard taking his own guitar and shooting it with a gun. That same guitar — which Richards used during every live performance of “Shine a Light” during the Totally Stripped tour — is now up for auction.
The story behind this guitar is too wild to be made up. Detailed in Jo Woods’ memoir (then-wife of Ronnie Wood), the Stones were hanging out in a Memphis hotel room after a show. Richards walked in on Wood jamming on his Gibson 1952 SJ Southern Jumbo Sunburst Acoustic Guitar that Richards grabbed the guitar, covered it with a pillow, and fired a bullet into it. The guitar might not sound as clean as it did when Richards used it on stage, but if a collector wants it they will still have to open up the check book.
With an opening bid of $150,000, New Jersey based auction house Gotta Have Rock and Roll is estimating that the guitar will bring in a quarter million dollars! Citing the guitar’s use and importance to Richards alone, the bizarre story behind it is just the cherry on the cake for this one of a kind piece.
Gotta Have Rock and Roll has dozens of guitars up for auction through Friday, including a guitar played and signed by George Harrison, one of Ace Frehley’s most important guitars ever, and a guitar played and smashed by Prince in the “My Name Is Prince Music Video”. You can go to their website to read the full story behind the Richards guitar as well as see 1300+ pieces ranging from $50 to $500,000 at gottahaverockandroll.com