In 1966, while rehearsing with Cream, a 1959 Gibson Les Paul belonging to Eric Clapton was stolen. Now, 50 years later, fellow guitarist Joe Bonamassa says he knows where it is.
He tells Guitarist magazine, “It’s in a collection on the East Coast of America. That’s all I can tell you — and that’s all I will say. It still exists and I haven’t seen it, but I have it on good authority from people who have. And it’s got the little ‘fingerprint’ by the pots and they can trace it back.”
Clapton, who first played the guitar in John Mayall’s Blues Breakers, was not available to comment on this story.
In 2011, Clapton held the third auction of his guitars to raise money for his Crossroads Center, the rehab facility he built on the Caribbean island of Antigua. While he has parted with hundreds of them, he said he’d never stop buying and selling guitars:
“What I’ve done is replaced them, actually. You know, for instance, that guitar, the red Gibson, the Cream guitar, the people that bought that was the Guitar Center, and they said, when I was in L.A., they said, ‘Well, you know, you want to see some vintage guitars?’ I found an ES335 sunburst that was even better. I mean very expensive and I bought it and actually came out of that, in terms of a quality instrument, better off. Not much better, but I’ve replaced it. I’ll always collect, y’know, always collecting, and I’ll always clean house.”