Westlake Village, CA (August 21, 2019) – Guitar Center, the world’s largest musical instrument retailer, in partnership with Eric Clapton, proudly announces the launch of the 2019 Crossroads Guitar Collection. This collection includes five limited-edition meticulously crafted recreations and signature guitars – three from Eric Clapton’s legendary career and one apiece from fellow guitarists John Mayer and Carlos Santana. These guitars will be sold in North America exclusively at Guitar Center locations and online via GuitarCenter.com beginning August 20.
The collection launch coincides with the 2019 Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas, TX, taking place Friday, September 20, and Saturday, September 21. Guitar Center is a key sponsor of the event and will have a strong presence on-site, including a Guitar Center Village where the limited-edition guitars will be displayed.
All guitars in the one-of-a-kind collection were developed by Guitar Center in partnership with Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Carlos Santana, Fender, Gibson, Martin and PRS Guitars, drawing inspiration from the guitars used by Clapton, Mayer and Santana at pivotal points throughout their iconic careers. The collection includes the following models: Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton Blind Faith Telecaster built by Master Builder Todd Krause; Gibson Custom Eric Clapton 1964 Firebird 1; Martin 000-42EC Crossroads Ziricote; Martin 00-42SC John Mayer Crossroads; and PRS Private Stock Carlos Santana Crossroads.
The 2019 Crossroads Collection is the result of a unique and significant history between Guitar Center and famed guitarist Eric Clapton, and continues in the spirit of the first Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar, originally offered in 2005. Guitar Center has co-sponsored each of Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festivals since 2004, and has been a strong supporter of the Crossroads Centre Antigua Foundation, having purchased several of Clapton’s most famous guitars, including his “BLACKIE” Stratocaster and the CREAM Gibson 335 at the Crossroads Guitar Auction in 2004.
Giving Back Through the 2019 Crossroads Collection
Not only is the construction of and history behind the 2019 Crossroads Collection of guitars notable, but also a significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of each of the guitars in the collection will be donated to benefit Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Centre Antigua. The Crossroads Centre was created to provide treatment and education to chemically dependent persons. Treatment is provided through residential care, family and aftercare programs. The pathway to recovery is founded on the movement toward a change in lifestyle.
“On the occasion of the 2019 Crossroads Guitar Festival, Guitar Center is proud to once again show our support for Eric Clapton, the festival and his Crossroads Centre Antigua,” noted Michael Doyle, Guitar Center Vice President of Guitar Merchandising. “We are honored to be invited by Eric to collaborate with him and the world’s finest guitar manufacturers to create these special instruments.”
The complete 2019 Crossroads Guitar Collection will be on display at the Guitar Center Village during the Crossroads Festival September 20 and 21 from 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. CT. Ticketed attendees can see each of the instruments in this collection, along with memorabilia associated with each guitar. Additionally, on display will be the Gibson ES-335 guitar used by Eric Clapton on numerous landmark recordings, including the enduring Cream hit and festival namesake “Crossroads.”
About the 2019 Crossroads Guitar Collection:
Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton Blind Faith Telecaster by Todd Krause
In February 5 and 6, 1968, Clapton appeared with Cream in the Danish movie “Det var en lørdag aften” performing with a Fender Telecaster, a 1964 Fender Telecaster Custom (bound) in 3 Tone Sunburst, but fitted with a Stratocaster neck with rosewood fingerboard. This guitar, with modifications, would go on to be associated with his tenure in Blind Faith. Observant guitar aficionados have noticed something peculiar about this guitar during the Blind Faith era – its neck had changed to the very same maple fingerboard Stratocaster neck as Clapton’s classic “Brownie” 1956 Fender Stratocaster, played by Eric a few years later during the Derek & The Dominos era. On June 7, 1969, Blind Faith had their debut concert in front of more than 100,000 people at Hyde Park in London. Eric was seen playing what to most people was a completely unknown guitar – a sunburst Telecaster with a maple Stratocaster neck. This, of course, was the same guitar he was seen wielding on a few rare occasions with Cream, although the old rosewood neck was now gone. This neck was grafted on to the Telecaster by either Clapton himself or a guitar technician; either way, it suited Clapton’s playing style well and is among his most iconic instruments. For the first-time ever, the Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton Blind Faith Telecaster by Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Todd Krause offers a Tele body with a “Brownie” style Strat neck – a historic first that marks this guitar as a true rarity. This Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton Blind Faith Telecaster guitar will come with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Clapton himself and a replica of the strap he used in 1969. The Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton Blind Faith Telecaster by Todd Krause will retail for $11,999 MSRP.
Watch a video on the re-creation of the Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton Blind Faith Telecaster by Todd Krause here:
Gibson Custom Eric Clapton 1964 Firebird I
A legendary instrument associated with both Cream and Blind Faith is Clapton’s 1964 Gibson single-pickup Firebird I with reverse headstock. Clapton purchased this instrument in 1968 in Philadelphia. This guitar subsequently appeared on the Cream farewell tour in late 1968 and served as a direct replacement of Clapton’s Gibson SG “The Fool” – which by that time lost a good amount of its custom paint job due to extensive use. The reverse-headstock Firebird I was used as one of Clapton’s instruments on the Blind Faith tour in 1969. The guitar obviously had no pickup switch, and therefore only two knobs (volume and tone) and was equipped with a wraparound tailpiece. This was also the first Gibson solid-body to feature a neck-through-body construction, with the neck itself being made up of five pieces of mahogany with four narrow strips of walnut mingled between them for more strength. The Gibson Custom Eric Clapton 1964 Firebird I re-creates this unique and iconic instrument using authentic construction methods and precise dimensions scanned from vintage 1964 Firebird models. Every Eric Clapton 1964 Firebird I guitar is outfitted with a newly-developed Alnico V Firebird pickup to recapture the scorching output and searing tones of the original. Each 1964 Firebird I will also feature an Eric Clapton signed backplate, a reproduction of the guitar's original case, a Certificate of Authenticity booklet and more. The Gibson Custom Eric Clapton 1964 Firebird I will retail for U.S. MSRP $11,762; U.S. MAP $7999.
Martin 000-42EC Crossroads Ziricote
Martin’s Eric Clapton signature acoustics have been popular for years. The Martin 000-42EC Crossroads Ziricote, exclusive to the 2019 Crossroads Collection, makes several unique enhancements to the standard 000-42. The guitar features a 000-14 fret body, Sitka Spruce “VTS” top and Ziricote back and sides. Martin’s proprietary VTS (vintage tone system) process is a torrefaction / aging regimen, resulting in a particularly beautiful tone. The guitar also includes a titanium truss-rod which combines the light weight of a 1930’s instrument with the adjustability of modern technology. This model will come with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Clapton himself, and Chris Martin. The Martin 000-42EC Crossroads Ziricote will retail for $12,999 MSRP.
Martin 00-42JSC John Mayer Crossroads
Martin’s top-selling John Mayer signature model is the 00-42 “Stage Coach,” featuring a slightly smaller body style. The Martin 00-42SC John Mayer Crossroads, exclusive to the 2019 Crossroads Collection, makes several enhancements to the standard Stage Coach, with upgraded sunburst finish and cocobolo back and sides, offering enhanced tone and exotic good looks. This guitar also comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by John Mayer himself and Chris Martin. The Martin 00-42SC John Mayer Crossroads will retail for $9,999 MSRP.
PRS Private Stock Carlos Santana Crossroads
PRS Private Stock Carlos Santana Crossroads Paul Reed Smith guitars have been associated closely with Carlos Santana for several decades. In fact, before PRS achieved worldwide acclaim as a top guitar manufacturer, its founder and namesake was hand-building gorgeous instruments that would serve as the prototypes for his prestigious brand. One of these guitars was personally commissioned by Carlos Santana pre-1985, an instrument still owned and cherished by Santana. The PRS Private Stock Carlos Santana Crossroads is a tribute to this guitar, featuring original specifications combined with PRS's most current design elements to give serious players and collectors the best of both worlds. Specifications include a pre-’85 body shape and headstock (with eagle inlay), 24 1/4” scale, 24-fret Brazilian Rosewood fretboard, bird inlays, HFS and Santana humbuckers, and twin mini-switches for coil tapping. Only six of these instruments will be made and each will come with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Carlos Santana. As with all PRS Private Stock guitars, a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Paul Reed Smith and PRS Director of Private Stock, Paul Miles, will also be included. The PRS Private Stock Carlos Santana Crossroads will retail for $11,999 MSRP.
For more information on the 2019 Crossroads Guitar Collection, please visit https://www.guitarcenter.com/Crossroads.gc.