Indianapolis Colts Chief Exec Buys Les Paul's 'Black Beauty' for Low Price of $335,500
Perhaps one of the most important electric guitars in history, Les Paul's authentic Black Beauty 6-string sold for a surprising $335,500 at an auction in New York. The buyer was none other than the owner and chief executive of the Indianapolis Colts.
Les Paul, inventor and musician, manufactured what would become the solid-body electric guitar. Along with this innovation, Paul would also contribute multi-track recording. Both paved the way for what would be the sound of rock 'n' roll.
Having experimented with electronic amplification in the 1930s, by 1941 he had built a forerunner of Black Beauty. It wasn't until the mid-1950s, though, that Paul hit on a solid-body instrument, which he would later recount as a "giant."
The guitar, which is reckoned to have sold for much lower than anticipated, became an immediate favorite to heavyweights such as Frank Zappa, Carlos Santana and Bob Marley.
Marley, per The New York Times, was buried with his.
Christopher McKinney, who placed the winning bid, was prepared to pay as much as $625,000 for the instrument.
Speaking of the purchase, McKinney said, "Had this guitar been tied to an Eric Clapton or a Jimmy Page or a contemporary figure it would have brought more."
He continued, "Les is an artist from a different era. The people who are Les Paul fans are guitar people."
A relic of music history, indeed, the guitar has a safe home with and will exist alongside other guitars that were played by Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia and Elvis Presley.
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