Rory playing his iconic battered Stratocaster.

Rory’s strat to go to auction

People will be walking on hot coals to get their hands on the most famous guitar ever sold in Cork when it goes on sale this autumn.

Almost 30 years after his passing, Rory Gallagher’s 1961 Fender Stratocaster is set to go to auction in October along with the rest of his instrument collection.

The news was confirmed today by Rory’s brother and former manager Dónal Gallagher today.

“Since 1995, I have always felt that there was a mission to be fulfilled to cement Rory’s legacy and further widen the knowledge of his music,” said Dónal.

“So, following much deliberation and reviewing of all options, in what is one of the most difficult and sensitive decisions to reach, I have decided to facilitate the release of his instruments for sale, so that these emblems of his legacy can be enjoyed by others,” he added.

The collection will come to auction at Bonhams on 17 October in New Bond Street, London.

The sale will consist of guitars, amps, and accessories from Gallagher’s life and career, including his iconic 1961 Fender Stratocaster. Gallagher bought the guitar for £100 on credit from the owner of Crowley’s Music Store in Cork in 1963. According to legend, it may have been the first Stratocaster to ever reach Ireland.

The guitar became synonymous with Gallagher and its wear and worn finish have made it one of the world’s most iconic electric guitars. It has featured in a number of landmark exhibitions, appeared on the cover of countless guitar magazines, and has been played by the likes of Johnny Marr and Joe Bonamassa. Since 2004, Fender has created and sold replica models of the guitar as part of their artist signature series.

Dónal continued: “It is difficult to separate or even begin to quantify the depth of relationship Rory had with his instruments, this decision is one I recognise as challenging for some, however, with the proceeds raised from this instrument sale, we will continue to do further good for Rory’s name and legacy, as well as assisting good causes, that my brother would have supported.”

Speaking of Rory Gallagher’s Stratocaster Queen guitarist, Sir Brian May, said: “He was one of a very few people at that time who could make his guitar do anything it seemed, it just seemed to be magic…

“I remember looking at this battered Stratocaster and thinking, ‘how does that come out of there?’.

“One of the reasons I do what I do is because of Rory,” he added.