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Auctions: Why Did Eric Clapton Sell His Guitars

On 24 June 1999, Christie's Auction House in New York City conducted a sale of 100 of Eric Clapton’s guitars, plus several amplifiers and Versace Guitar Straps. He sold these beloved possessions as the first endowment of the Crossroads Foundation. The foundation funds Crossroads Centre at Antigua, a drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation facility, founded by Eric in 1997. It opened its doors in October 1998.

Five years later, on 24 June 2004, there was a second-sale entitled "Eric Clapton & Friends For Crossroads Antigua" with 88 lots. In addition to 64 lots consisting of Eric Clapton's guitars, stagewear, autographed items and an amplifier, musician friends donated an additional 24 guitars.

On 9 March 2011 a third Eric Clapton Guitar Auction will take place at Bonhams in New York City which will also be in aid of The Crossroads Foundation.

In addition to the guitar auctions, Eric has funded The Crossroads Foundation by hosting a concert on 30 June 1999 (Eric Clapton and Friends) and three Crossroads Guitar Festivals (2004, 2007 and 2010). All four events were filmed and released on DVD. The proceeds from their sale benefit the foundation.