Home New Mark Knopfler’s Iconic Guitar from “Money for Nothing” Opening Set for High-Stakes Auction

Mark Knopfler’s Iconic Guitar from “Money for Nothing” Opening Set for High-Stakes Auction

by Madonna

The guitar responsible for crafting the unforgettable opening riff of Dire Straits’ 1985 hit “Money for Nothing” is poised to make waves at auction as part of a significant sale featuring instruments owned by former band member Mark Knopfler.

This original 1959 Les Paul Standard, procured by Knopfler from Bobby Tench of The Jeff Beck Group, is the centerpiece of the auction scheduled for Wednesday at Christie’s auctioneers in London. With a guide price of £500,000 (approximately R12 million), the guitar is expected to draw substantial attention from music enthusiasts and collectors.

The instrument’s historical significance lies in its contribution to the iconic sound of “Money for Nothing,” a track celebrated for its distinctive guitar work. Knopfler’s use of this particular 1959 Les Paul Standard elevates its desirability among fans and collectors alike.

While the guide price is substantial, the guitar would need to command an even higher figure to surpass the record-breaking sales of other famous guitars. Kurt Cobain’s guitar, featured in his legendary 1993 MTV Unplugged performance, fetched an astounding $6 million (today equivalent to approximately R113 million) in a Los Angeles auction in June 2020, marking the highest price ever paid for a guitar.

Cobain’s influence continued posthumously, as his Fender Mustang from the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video was sold for $4.7 million in May 2022, securing the position as the second most expensive guitar ever sold.

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s “Black Strat,” a Fender Stratocaster, set a record in June 2019 when it sold for almost $4 million. The guitar played a prominent role in the band’s classic album, The Dark Side of the Moon.

Eddie Van Halen’s custom Kramer electric guitar, prominently featured in the music video for Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher,” also made headlines when it fetched $3.9 million at a Sotheby’s auction in April 2023.

As Mark Knopfler’s iconic guitar enters the auction spotlight, it remains to be seen whether it will join the ranks of these historic instruments, each carrying a piece of music history and commanding extraordinary prices in the world of musical memorabilia.

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