Mark Knopfler, known for being the leader of the British band Dire Straits, announced in November last year the sale through an auction of 120 of his guitars and amplifiers. Among those instruments is the guitar with which he recorded the hit song “Money For Nothing”, with which he also played at the historic “Live Aid” charity concert in 1985.
“I spent a lot of time with these guitars, but they need a good home,” said the 74-year-old singer and guitar virtuoso. The musician explained at the time that he was “sad to see them go” after living “wonderful moments together.” “Why hold on to them when there are people who would love to have them and play with them every day?” he added.
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Finally, yesterday all these instruments were auctioned for 8.8 million pounds (10.3 million euros, 11.2 million dollars) at Christie's in London. A Gibson Les Paul Standard 1959 Vintage, which was awarded for the record 693,000 pounds (812,798 euros, $876,659), the company said in a statement.
In addition to this instrument, a Pensa-Suhr and a Schecter also marked unprecedented values, in an auction with 122 lots that lasted more than six hours, noted in the note published by the EFE agency.
25% of the funds raised will be shared equally between four charities that the Scottish musician has supported for years: the British Red Cross; the nature conservation NGO Tusk; Brave Hearts of the North East – which recognizes children's bravery in the face of adversity – and Teenage Cancer Trust.
“The auction was an incredible journey and I am so happy that these beloved instruments found new players and new songs, while raising money for charities that mean a lot to me,” said Knopfler. The musician, who released his tenth solo album, One Deep River, in April, expressed his satisfaction at seeing “how much these guitars mean to so many people.” “To you, fellow musicians, enthusiasts and collectors, I wish you many good things,” he concluded in a statement.
“Brothers in Arms”, the album that marked Dire Straits' career
The fifth album by the band led by Mark Knopfler, Brothers in Arms, was one of the first albums published on CD that went on to sell a million copies in that new format.
“Money for Nothing”, featuring Sting, was one of the cuts. It quickly became a hit and had a lot of rotation for its animated video clip, which was one of the first to be broadcast on the MTV television network.
The song “Walk of Life”, number 2 on the British charts in early 1986, is Knopfler's tribute to the American singer Johnny Mathis. “So Far Away”, “Your Latest Trick” and the song that gives the album its name were other cuts.