Every couple of weeks there’s a desperate celebrity advertising gimmick or rumor on eBay: Britney Spears trying to make a few quick bucks selling her dirty flip flops, Nick Lachey ditching his Jessica Simpson memories — even celebrities sharing their company with pimple-infested tech nerds in the name of one charity or another. This month, there’s actually an exciting celebrity item for a good cause… and you don’t have to risk foot fungus, an STD or mental trauma when you buy it.
On October 6, Pop Queen Madonna’s Gibson Les Paul custom guitar, which she used during her Drowned world tour in 2001, will debut on eBay. Once owned by legendary guitar technician John Griswold, who customized the guitar for the singer and was later given it back as a big “Thank You” gift, the instrument says "Love, Madonna” in gold pen.
A world traveler, the instrument is being touted as one of the most photographed guitars in the world and has been captured in pictures and video tape thousands of times — even appearing in the August 27, 2001 issue of People magazine.
According to a press release issued by the seller, the instrument is the only surviving guitar of two that were custom made for Madonna and played by her on her 2001 tour, which was the first time she ever played a guitar in concert.
"While the guitar has back scratches and light wear from Madonna's costumes and belt buckles rubbing against it during her performances, it is in perfect working order and has been clear coated to protect the autograph from wear (standard procedure in guitar preserving),” says the press release. “This guitar can be played without wearing down the autograph. With original strings as Madonna last played them, this guitar has been kept very well and secure the last 5 years.”
The sad part is that Griswold, who still owns the guitar, and his family lived in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit the city and apparently his house was flooded to the top of the first floor and he lost most of his possessions and studio equipment. The guitar was one of the first things he and his family saved before relocating to California and while he is reluctant to put his precious guitar up for auction, the financial loss and hardship of the move has forced him to change his mind.
Though the reserve bid for the guitar has not been announced (for all you non-eBayers, that means the lowest possible bid price), we do know that the guitar and included matching tour case are numbered with the Gibson serial number of 001360, which is verified on all the tour's manifests and carnets.
The seller, Pierce Jensen of Sonora, California (eBay user "pierceandshelly"), has been a member of eBay since March, 1999 and has thousands of auctions to his credit along with a wonderful feedback rating. He's an eBay "Power Seller" ranking among the most successful sellers in terms of product sales and customer satisfaction on eBay.
Until the auction begins, the guitar can be previewed at Pierce and Shelly Celebrity Services. The auction starts October 6, 2006, at 7:00 P.M. PST, ending on October 16, 2006.