The man who spent millions at Christie’s David Gilmour guitar auction – and bought the Pink Floyd rocker’s legendary Black Strat – last week has opened up on his record-breaking purchases: “I just fucking love Pink Floyd, man.”
The deep-pocketed man in question is Jim Irsay, the owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts NFL team whose net worth stands at over $2 billion (£1.58b). As Stereogum points out, Rolling Stone caught up with him to discuss his purchases at the record-breaking Christie’s auction, where Gilmour’s entire collection sold for $21.5 million (£16.9m). All the proceeds will be donated to the charity ClientEarth.
“I just fucking love Pink Floyd, man, I cannot deny it,” Irsay told RS. He contributed nearly a quarter of the $21.5 million raised by the auction, dropping $3,975,000 (£3.13m) on Gilmour’s 1969 black Fender Stratocaster and, in doing so, setting the world record for the most expensive guitar sold at auction. Affectionately known as the Black Strat, the instrument has been used on Floyd classics such as ‘Comfortably Numb’, ‘Money’ and ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’.
Irsay, through a proxy, also successfully bid for the Black Strat’s flight case ($175,000, or £138,125) and another six-string, the 1969 Martin D-35 that was used on ‘Wish You Were Here’ ($1,095,000, or £864,272).
After the Martin acoustic guitar was sold for $900,000 (£710,388) – its final price includes additional fees – Irsay knew “that it would be a record-breaking auction”, he told RS. “It was really off-kilter. I was like, wow. Why on Earth and how on Earth? But Floyd internationally is a powerful thing.”
- READ MORE: 50 geeky facts about Pink Floyd
Irsay has been a Pink Floyd devotee for decades. The Rolling Stone piece reveals that in 1977, he had charged to the front of the crowd at a show at Chicago’s Soldier Field where the band played the albums ‘Animals’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’ in full.
“I think [Roger] Waters’ lyrics and Gilmour’s playing and their whole story and prominence is just so profound that I cannot say enough about my excitement for this,” he told RS. “David Gilmour stands by himself.”