Duane Allman’s ‘Layla’ Guitar Sells For $1 Million at Auction
The legendary 1957 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop was also featured on the Allman Brothers Band’s debut album.
The Gibson Les Paul that Daune Allman played on Derek and the Dominoes’ iconic “Layla” just fetched a whopping $1 million at auction.
Allman used the 1957 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop to lay down the slide solo on the classic rock standard during the 1970 “Layla” sessions with Eric Clapton, according to Inside Hook.
That was actually one of Allman’s last recordings to feature the instrument. He had also shredded the Goldtop on the Allman Brothers Band’s 1969 self-titled debut album and the southern rockers’ sophomore release, Idlewild South, before he traded it for a 1959 Les Paul, as Rolling Stone notes.
“Duane, fresh off recording ‘Layla’ was, as usual, playing his ’57 Goldtop,” auction house Gotta Have Rock and Roll said.
“The opening band was a local group called the Stone Balloon, whose guitarist, Rick Stine, was playing a 1959 cherry sunburst Les Paul, which Duane was fond of.”
“While making ‘Layla’ he had fallen in love with Clapton’s cherry sunburst. Wanting one of his own, Duane offered to swap Les Pauls with Rick. When Rick hesitated, Allman upped the stakes, throwing in $200 and one of his regular Marshall 50 heads. Rick agreed and the deal was finalized.”
After Allman’s death in 1971, the guitar was purchased and restored over several decades by the now-former over. It had been on display at the Allman Brothers Band “Big House” Museum in Macon Georgia. Other guitar legends including Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons are said to have played it during visits to the museum in recent years.
Fortunately, fans will still be able to see the guitar at the Big House a few months out of the year.
“It will be coming back to the Big House in late November,” Big House museum director Richard Brent told the Macon Telegraph. “We couldn’t ask for more than that.”
While that specific Gibson is spoken for, the company also recently announced a limited-edition reissue of Clapton’s famous 1964 Firebird I.
Each was made using authentic construction methods and precise dimensions scanned from vintage 1964 Firebird models before being fitted with a newly-developed Alnico V Firebird pickup to recapture the the output tones of the original.
“I remember one night in particular with the Firebird…it was a Cream show in Philadelphia and it was one of the greatest gigs I ever played,” Clapton said of the guitar per Gibson.
Only 50 will be sold in the U.S.—contact Gibson online to preorder one beginning today.