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Pete Townshend Gold Top Sells For £30,000

Quadrophenia era guitar sells in London

A Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop once owned by The Who's Pete Townshend has raised £30,750 at a music auction. It was played by Townshend during the U.S. leg of the band's Quadrophenia tour of 1973 and 1974.

A circa 1972/73 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe, serial # 133625, it is one of Townshend's earliest LP Deluxes. "I lent the guitar to my brother-in-law and studio colleague, Jon Astley, in about 1975–76... When Jon tried to return it, I decided to give it to him," said Townshend.

In the accompanying letter of autheticity, Townshend wrote: "This Les Paul Deluxe guitar was originally sold to me by Bob Heil for the American tour of Quadrophenia in 1973. The majority of these early Les Pauls were in a cherry sunburst finish, but a few were the more distinctive "Gold Top."

Townshend always numbered his guitars: "This was my #5 stage guitar on that tour and must be one of my earliest Les Pauls. It's unmodified, apart from the machineheads, which were replaced with Grovers."

Other items auctioned at Christies included a 1967 handwritten letter John Lennon sent to a fan, a trumpet once owned by Louis Armstrong, a harmonica Bob Dylan gave to Jimi Hendrix and a bass drum from Dave Grohl's Nirvana kit which Kurt Cobain wrecked at the end of a 1991 concert.


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