Duane Allman’s Gibson Les Paul From “Layla” Guitar Sells for $1.25M

Allman used the 1957 model to play slide guitar on during the song's coda

Duane Allman's Gibson Les Paul From "Layla" Guitar Sells for $1M
Guitarist Duane Allman uses a bottle slide on his Gibson Les Paul in 1969. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty)
By Evan Bleier / August 19, 2019 3:31 pm

The gold-topped Gibson Les Paul that Duane Allman played (slightly off-key) slide guitar on during the outro of “Layla” has sold for a record-breaking amount.

The 1957 guitar Allman played on the Derek and the Dominoes classic, affectionately known as “Layla,” had been on display at the Big House, a museum honoring the Allman Brothers in Macon, Georgia.

During a recent auction, the guitar was sold to an out-of-town buyer for a record-breaking $1.25 million, according to Rolling Stone.

“It was the first time that a refinished guitar sold for that much money,” Big House museum director Richard Brent told the Macon Telegraph. “I don’t think anybody expected that. … The history of it is what sold it.”

And Layla does have a storied history. In addition to being a love song that Eric Clapton wrote for George Harrison’s then-wife Pattie Boyed, the song is also interesting because its famous piano-heavy coda is also somewhat controversial. Credited to Clapton and drummer Jim Gordon, the latter’s ex-girlfriend, singer Rita Coolidge, claims she wrote the melody and that it was stolen from her.

According to the song’s producer Tom Dowd, “Layla” features six tracks of overlapping guitar. “There’s an Eric rhythm part; three tracks of Eric playing harmony with himself on the main riff; one of Duane playing that beautiful bottleneck; and one of Duane and Eric locked up, playing countermelodies,” he told Guitar Player.

Though he’ll be keeping it for most of the year, the buyer has pledged to let the Big House display the guitar a few months a year. “It will be coming back to the Big House in late November,”  Brent said. “We couldn’t ask for more than that.”

If you can’t recall exactly what the guitar sounds like, it, along with the others that were used on the song, are isolated below.

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