Colts Owner Jim Irsay Drops $5.25 Million on Guitars

Jim Irsay
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Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay has done it again, dropping huge money on famous musical instruments, this time at the auction held by Pink Floyd frontman David Gilmour.

Irsay threw in a record winning bid of $3.975 million for Gilmour’s 1969 black Fender Stratocaster known as “The Black Strat.” It was the guitar that Gilmour played on some of the band’s iconic albums, “Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall.”

The Colt’s owner didn’t stop there. He dropped $1.095 million for a 1969 Martin D-35 acoustic guitar. He also bid $175,000 for the travel case for the “Black Strat.”

Irsay celebrated his winning bids by tweeting, “The incomparable David Gilmour … the greatest ‘phrasing’ guitarist in the world!! Honored to bring The Black Strat to the public. The most expensive guitar EVER purchased. And for charity!”

In all, Irsay dropped $5.245 million during the auction that realized $21.491 million in sales. The money is earmarked for ClientEarth, a non-profit that works to combat global warming.

The Gilmour auction is far from the only big auction Irsay tried to sew up with his billions. His is also the owner of several high-dollar Beatles instruments including the piano John Lennon used to write “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” and Ringo’s “drop-T” drum kit seen on the 1964 broadcast of the Ed Sullivan Show for which Irsay paid $2.1 million.

The Colts owner also has an orange 1963 Gretsch hollow-bodied model once owned by Lennon. Irsay paid $530,000 for the piece in 2015. Irsay also acquired a custom 1966 Vox played by Lennon and Harrison for $408,000 in 2013 and a 1964 Gibson SG once owned by George Harrison for $567,000 in 2004.

Irsay is not just a Beatles fan, though. He has a big collection of other music memorabilia, too. Among many other items, he owns Prince’s Yellow Cloud guitar, for instance. He also paid a million dollars each for Jerry Garcia’s “Tiger” guitar, and Bob Dylan’s Fender Stratocaster used at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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