This past Saturday, the same day Journey rocked Chicago’s Lollapalooza festival, the band’s co-founder, Neal Schon, auctioned off a collection of his guitars, in the process bringing in a whopping $4.2 million.
More than 90 instruments were sold in total, among them the 1977 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Black Solid Body model that Schon used to record many songs on Journey’s chart-topping 1981 album, Escape, including “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
That guitar was purchased for $268,000, including fees, by Indianapolis Colts owner and renowned memorabilia collector Jim Irsay.
Irsay, who says he plans to include Schon’s guitar in a museum hopes to open in the future, previously has purchased historic instruments that have belonged to Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Elton John, Jerry Garcia, and David Gilmour.
“I look forward to sharing this and other pieces of the collection in the hopes that they may educate and inspire others to do great, meaningful things,” Irsay said.
The two guitars that brought the most money at Schon’s auction were a pair of 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard Sunburst models that sold for $350,000 and $300,000, respectively.
Other high-priced instruments sold during the auction included a 1959 Gibson ES-335 Natural Semi-Hollow Body guitar that fetched $137,500, a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop Solid Body that brought in $131,250, and a 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard Goldtop Solid Body that was purchased for $125,000.
Check out the full results of the auction at HA.com.
Journey’s next concert is scheduled for August 20 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Visit JourneyMusic.com for a complete list of the band’s shows.
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