Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Guitar That Tells the Story of the Blues; Instrument from 1933 May Fetch PS120,000 at Auction

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Guitar That Tells the Story of the Blues; Instrument from 1933 May Fetch PS120,000 at Auction

Article excerpt

IT has been in the hands of rock legends Mark Knopfler, Brian Johnson and even footballer David Ginola.

Now, a guitar owned by influential bluesman Booker White is set to fetch up to PS120,000 at auction.

The 1933 National Duolian resonator guitar, named Hard Rock, was owned and played for more than 30 years by White.

Booker, known as Bukka, met then 24-year-old English photographer Keith Perry at a blues festival in Newcastle in 1967.

In 1976 - a year before White's death - he sent the photographer his prized guitar in return for postage and packing costs.

After its arrival in Newcastle, the guitar was played by the likes of Knopfler of Dire Straits, Johnson of AC/DC and former Newcastle United star Ginola.

Bluesman BB King - who was White's cousin - also played the guitar and dubbed it a "holy relic".

In 2010, American blues singer and guitarist Eric Bibb released an album called Booker's Guitar - recorded using the instrument.

Luke Hobbs, auctioneer from Gardiner Houlgate, said it is the only authenticated Booker White-owned guitar to come to market to his knowledge.

"This is a truly astounding guitar backed up by masses of documentation and historic evidence," Mr Hobbs said.

"Not only does it come with its own incredible story, it's also a direct connection to the mythic bluesman of 1920s and 30s America. It's no wonder we're expecting interest from right across the world for this sale.

"Today, Booker White is not commercially known, but if you ask performers like Robert Plant or Mark Knopfler, they'll tell you how important he was.

"When I heard his guitar was coming in, I was instantly excited. I first came across Booker's inspiring style of blues from an old Delta Blues album compilation I acquired whilst studying guitar. "He's a proper legend - one of the archetypal bluesmen. His story is full of poverty, women, guns, prisons and even a late career revival. …

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