Monday 29th August 2022 - Cara Bentham
If you fancy owning a piece of music history, you could be in luck.
A Foo Fighters guitar is due to go under the hammer. You will need deep pockets, though, as the Gretsch White Falcon guitar is expected to fetch somewhere between £15,000 - £30,000. The sale will be held on September 7th at specialist music auctioneers Gardiner Houlgate in Wiltshire.
Initially owned by Pat Smear, the band's rhythm guitarist, the instrument was also played by rock legend Dave Grohl in the 1997 hit music video for Monkey Wrench. It was also frequently used on The Colour and the Shape – the band's second album, which includes the hit song Everlong. The guitar will be sold, along with a polaroid photo of Hollywood actress Drew Barrymore playing the instrument. The picture was taken by band member and original owner Pat Smear.
The iconic instrument, now being sold by a private collector, was also bought by Pat Smear in 1996. The musician, now 63, previously played as the on-tour rhythm guitarist with Dave Grohl's former band Nirvana. In a written statement, Pat noted that he had wanted to own a White Falcon guitar since he'd seen one being played by a guitarist in the British new wave band Bow Wow Wow.
A complete statement will be included in the sale with the lot; "I had to have a White Falcon after seeing the great Matthew Ashman use one with Bow Wow Wow in 1981. The guitar looked amazing but the early ones were super rare and expensive and the 70s models had all that extra crap like dampeners and stereo switches. When the 90s reissues came out I could finally get one without worrying about banging around some overpriced museum piece on the road... or so I thought. It instantly became one of my favourites, getting special treatment (note the 'Stays on the bus' sticker on the case) and was usually the one to pull out to play in hotel rooms and show off to visiting friends. Earnie made modifications while on tour, eventually creating my ultimate Falcon (as seen in the 'Monkey Wrench' video). I played this guitar on several Foo Fighters tours and on 'The Colour and The Shape' album. It was also used by Harlow on their 'Harlow Land' album. (Signed) 'Enjoy! Pat Smear, 2002".
Luke Hobbs is an auctioneer at Gardiner Houlgatee; he specialises in Guitars & Musical Instruments. He says of the lot; "This a very exciting guitar as it's one of the few owned by Foo Fighters, arguably the biggest current rock band on Earth, ever to come to public auction. Monkey Wrench was the band's breakthrough single and also the first to feature drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died tragically this March." He added, "...the fact that it features so prominently in the band's iconic Monkey Wrench video makes it all the more attractive to collectors and fans", adding that the auction house is expecting international interest in the lot.
Following the tragic death of the band's drummer Taylor Hawkins, The Foo Fighters announced earlier this year that they would play two all-star gigs in LA and London in memory of their bandmate. The London show will take place on September 3rd at Wembley Stadium, while the LA show will happen on September 27th at Kia Forum.
If you want to check out the auction listing for the guitar, you can do so here. Not local to Wiltshire? Prospective bidders can register to bid live online in the September 7th sale.