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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Mon, Jun 24, 2024

Property From the Archives of Alex Lifeson raises over $3 million at Julien's Music Icons auction

Fri, May 20, 2022@1:32PM | comments

Julien's Music Icons auction is currently taking place live from New York City's Hard Rock Cafe and online at One of the auction's centerpieces is a collection of over 60 vintage guitars and other career memorabilia from Rush's Alex Lifeson - Property From the Archives of Alex Lifeson. Bidding on the Alex Lifeson collection is now complete, and the items ended up raising over $3 million (thanks ChapelHeel66)! As expected, the biggest ticket item was Lifeson's 1976 custom-built Gibson ES-355TD, better known as Whitey, which sold for $384K (including the auction house's 25% fee and 3% processing fee, so actually $300K). You can check out all the items and their winning bids at the Julien's website here. Here's what Alex had to say about why he decided to part with his collection in an interview with Guitar magazine's Darran Charles:

... my wife and I, we're at a stage in our life where we just feel like we have too much stuff and we're trying to get a little leaner. I'm auctioning off the bulk of my guitar collection for charity. I'm looking forward to that. It was probably one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my life; it was so emotionally difficult packing those guitars up. I cleaned them, polished them, did string changes. I made sure every single one was in tune when it went back in the case, and then I kissed it goodbye. ... [the 1976 Gibson ES-355] was the last one that was left. I was sitting in our mudroom, just off our garage, while the removal truck was waiting. I sat there with that case in between my legs and, maybe it sounds a little corny, but I was talking to it. I was reminiscing about gigs that we did together and kissing the bubble wrap. But I know that, with the funds I'm hoping to raise, it gives it all another life and helps other people, and in some cases gives people another chance at life. Why wouldn't you do that? ...

A few weeks ago Julien's posted several videos to their Vimeo channel which offer up a 3-D look at the guitars along with voice-overs of Alex Lifeson giving some background on each one, including his aforementioned, legendary 1976 custom-built Gibson ES-355TD, better known as Whitey. You can watch that video along with several others of Alex discussing the guitars on the Julien's Vimeo channel here (you'll have to scroll down on the page to find Alex's guitar videos). In the latest edition of the Something for Nothing podcast, hosts Steve and Gerry welcomed in Morgan Woolsey, the specialist at Julien's Auctions who researched and catalogued the items for the Alex Lifeson auction. Morgan talks about the months of research that went into writing the catalog descriptions and finding photos and video stills of Alex with the guitars. You can listen to the interview below or via your favorite podcast service: