David Gilmour’s 1985 Gibson J-200 Celebrity 42/90

This was David’s second Gibson J-200 Celebrity acoustic guitar. He first encountered this guitar at the AIR Studios in 1986, where he was working with Dire Straits. The guitar at that time belonged to Dire Straits bassist John Illsley.

After playing the guitar, David ended up liking it and asked Gibson if they had any of the same model left. Fortunately for him, they did have one, and that’s the guitar that David ended up using on a lot of songs from The Division Bell album.

I was in AIR Studios and that guitar was lying around. I tried it and liked it. I contacted Gibson and asked if they had any left, …they were looking in their storeroom and they found one that had somehow never reached its destination. And they let me have it

David Gilmour, Guitar World, May 2006

This second J-200 only came into David’s possession after the album was wrapped up, around 1994 when John Illsley finally agreed to sell it to David. From that point on, David used this second J-200 as to play the song “Poles Apart” live, since he had it tuned to DADGAD.

Auction and Re-Sale

The guitar was auctioned off together with David’s first J-200 Celebrity in 2019 and it ended up selling for $237,500. In mid-2022 it was put on sale on Reverb.com for $357,500, but as of writing this, it still did not find a buyer.

It’s important to note here that the sales page on Reverb reads that David used this guitar at the Live 8 concert – which is in fact incorrect. The guitar used at that concert clearly had a flat fretboard end and was therefore David’s first J-200.


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