Graham Nash’s historic guitars to be auctioned July 20

Graham Nash’s historic guitars

Legendary singer-songwriter Graham Nash with his 1969 Martin D-45, which he played at Woodstock as a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The guitar has an opening bid of $60,000. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

DALLAS – For more than 60 years, Graham Nash is the voice of a generation. Through collaborations with the Hollies and Crosby, Stills and Nash & Young, he became a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Few know, however, of his passion for historic collection guitars he amassed over the years. On July 20, Heritage Auctions will present a group of 19 guitars from Nash’s important collection at auction for the first time, including the iconic 1969 Martin D-45 acoustic guitar, which he played at Woodstock.

“I’ve always collected only what touches me,” Nash said. “It’s like being close to the fire. I like holding Duane Allman’s guitar. I like holding Don Everly’s guitar. It’s been played on all these incredible records and you can feel it.

“I just don’t collect any guitars.”

Johnny Cash. Stephen Stills. Charlie Gracie. Buddy Holly. Bo Diddley. All live on in Nash’s collection and each guitar has a tale to tell:

– The 1969 Martin D-45 acoustic guitar Graham played at Woodstock in 1969 is offered the summer of the festival’s 50th anniversary. Graham paid for the guitar using some of the advance Crosby, Stills, and Nash received from their first recording contract with Atlantic Records. “I felt so great when I could afford to buy this,” Nash said. It requires a $75,000 opening bid.

– Duane Allman’s circa 1961/1962 Gibson SG is best known as the guitar he played on the live recording of Statesboro Blues, the opening track of At Fillmore East. This was the first guitar Graham purchased when he began his collection of other guitarists’ guitars ($125,000 opening bid).

– Nash’s Own 1960 Fender Esquire Custom Sunburst solid body electric guitar is the exact guitar he played at the very last performance of Crosby, Stills, and Nash ($15,000 opening bid).

– Stephen Stills’ 1964 Gibson Firebird Sunburst solid body electric guitar, gifted from Stills to Graham. Graham got it in a trade with Stills. Stills wanted some early Stratocasters that Graham owned and the Firebird was included in a trade ($30,000 opening bid).

– Johnny Cash’s 1937 Martin 000-28 Natural acoustic guitar. From Graham’s personal collection, this guitar belonged to the Man in Black. ($25,000 opening bid), and Johnny Cash’s 1934 Martin 0-17 mahogany acoustic guitar ($20,000 opening bid).

– The 1969 Martin D-45 Acoustic Guitar Nash played at Woodstock.

– The 1961 Guild X350-B natural hollow body electric guitar played by Charlie Gracie, a major rock ‘n’ roll influence on a young Graham Nash. “Charlie Gracie was one of the founders of American rock ‘n’ roll,” Nash said.

– From Graham Nash’s personal collection, the Buddy Holly/Everly Brothers 1951 Gibson J-185 Sunburst acoustic guitar, was passed around and played on the tour bus on the second-to-last tour that Buddy Holly did before his tragic death ($17,500 opening bid).

Heritage Auctions’ presentation of the Graham Nash Collection takes place July 20-21 during the firm’s Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction.