Lifeson is set to offload a massive amount of property when the auction begins on May 22nd as the finale of Julien’s “Music Icons” event. The items will be auctioned live at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York and online via Julien’s website.
The crown jewel in the collection is Lifeson’s 1976 “Whitey” Gibson ES-355TD electric guitar. The axe was custom-built at the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo and has been Lifeson’s guitar of choice from 1976 all the way through 2015 — his entire time with Rush. “Whitey” can be heard on all the Rush albums from A Farewell to Kings (1977) to Test for Echo (1996) and was played by Lifeson on stage during all their tours from 1977 to 2015. Julien’s “conservative estimate” for the guitar is between $200,000 and $300,000.
“I purchased this guitar in 1976,” Lifeson commented via a press release. “It was custom-built in Kalamazoo just for me. It has been my main guitar and is the iconic Alex Lifeson guitar.”
Another notable guitar hitting the auction block is the 1980 custom-built Hentor Sportscaster electric guitar used on the recording of Rush’s albums following Moving Pictures. It was Lifeson’s favorite guitar for soloing and can be heard on the solo for “Limelight.”
Remarked Julien’s president Darren Julien: “Lifeson’s mind blowing creativity, musical virtuosity and raw power will take center stage here in this epic auction of his legendary guitars, instruments, and rare memorabilia representing his enduring legacy as one of the godfathers of progressive rock metal music.”
Other auction highlights include a 1981 Gibson Howard Roberts Fusion electric guitar (used on the the 1981 Moving Pictures tour), a 1971 Jose Ramirez classical acoustic guitar (used on all classical-style recordings from 1978’s Hemispheres), a 1976 Gibson Dove acoustic guitar (used to compose “Closer to the Heart” and others), and a 1970 Gibson Les Paul electric guitar (acquired by Lifeson on Rush’s inaugural tour in 1974).
With Lifeson selling so many priceless Rush instruments, we can assume the guitarist is standing by his prior statement that “Rush will ever exist again.” Meanwhile, Lifeson recently unveiled his new band, Envy of None, whose debut album drops April 8th.
See images of Lifeson’s guitars heading to auction below.