David Gilmour’s Guitar Auction Raises Millions to Address Climate Change

New records set in impressive charity auction

David Gilmour
David Gilmour in Chicago, 2016
Swimfinfan/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / June 22, 2019 10:07 am

At an auction at Christie’s in New York, a host of instruments owned by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour sold for a combined total of over $21,000,000 — setting several category records along the way and raising millions of dollars to fight climate change.

24% of the auction’s total sales came from just one buyer: Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts.

In a January interview with Rolling Stone, Gilmour mentioned that the idea for a guitar auction had been on his mind since the late 1980s. “They will give joy to other people,” he said.

During the same interview, Gilmour also described the overall goal of the auction. “The proceeds of this sale will do a lot of good in the world, and we’ll be able to do something positive in this rather negative world we’re living in,” he said.

Since the last Pink Floyd tour ended in 1994, Gilmour has released two solo albums — most recently, 2015’s Rattle That Lock, which drew some lyrical inspiration from John Milton’s Paradise Lost. It’s also worth noting that in 2001, Gilmour was one of the participants in the Robert Wyatt-curated edition of the Meltdown festival, along with Max Roach, The Raincoats, Sparklehorse and Tricky — which is a serious contender for the best music festival lineup ever.

The final Pink Floyd album, The Endless River, was released in 2014. It’s one of the few places where you’ll be able to hear Stephen Hawking and a former member of proto-industrial band Killing Joke on the same album.

When he announced the auction, Gilmour stressed that this sale of some (though by no means all) of his guitars should not be interpreted as a retirement from music. So perhaps it won’t be too long before another Gilmour album or tour surfaces, his guitar tone as impeccable as always.

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