Eric Clapton’s Signed Amp Fetches Big Bucks at Auction
Eric Clapton’s vintage valve amplifier recently sold on eBay for over 2,000 British pounds -- the equivalent of about $3200 US dollars. That may sound like a lot, but since this Radford STA 25 Series III is a classic and signed and dated by a 19-year-old Clapton, it's a true collectors' piece.
The seller explains that the signature was initially thought to be fake, but closer scrutiny revealed it actually was Clapton's scrawl. In fact, after the legendary guitarist saw a photo of the amp, he confirmed that he did own a Radford in the past and that the handwriting was indeed his. Though his management failed to provide written authentication, the seller was so sure of having the genuine article that he offered a “no-quibble money-back guarantee."
The listing emphasizes that this power amplifier is one of the finest vintage tube amps ever built and that the beautiful sound fully lives up to its legendary reputation. (Unexplained, however, is why the seller believes that the inside lid was autographed in 1964 when the young Clapton took the amp in for repair.)
Clapton, then a part of the Yardbirds, first released ‘Five Live Yardbirds’ in December, 1964. Though the exact date of the show is unclear, we do know it was recorded live at the Marquee Club in London during March of that year, which raises the question: was this very amp used during the performance?
We may never know, but what we do know is this amplifier is a rare find -- it’s vintage, it’s autographed, and obviously its monetary value matches its historic significance.