Tom Petty’s Rare Guitars, Signature Top Hat Heading to Auction
Tom Petty‘s 1965 Gibson SG guitar is headed to auction alongside other items that belonged to the rocker, including one of his signature top hats. Rare guitar collector Norm Harris is providing the lots, which will be sold via Heritage Auctions July 21st in Dallas, Texas.
The 1965 SG boasts a cherry finish, pearloid inlay on the face and headstock, as well as Petty’s signature, dated 1988. Petty famously used the SG while he and the Heartbreakers toured with Bob Dylan during the latter’s True Confessions tour. The instrument is expected to fetch as much as $300,000.
Petty originally bought the 1965 Gibson from Harris, then decades later swapped it for a rare Rose Morris Rickenbacker Double Bound 360 guitar. As part of the deal, Harris also received a selection of Petty’s stage-worn clothing, some of which will head to auction as well.
Among these items is the iconic top hat Petty wore during his time in the Traveling Wilburys (it can be seen in the videos for “Handle With Care” and “End of the Line”). Other items include a cavalry jacket Petty wore during the Echo tour, a custom-made royal blue jacket from his 1991 European tour and a black dragon-print jacket.
The auction will also feature a signed 1963 white Gibson SG Junior guitar that Harris leant Petty after several of the musician’s personal guitars were stolen. Petty used the white SG during rehearsals for his 2012 world tour, eventually returning the instrument — with his signature — after his stolen guitars were found.
Harris plans to donate a portion of the proceeds from the auction to Petty’s favorite Los Angeles charities, the Midnight Mission and Tazzy Animal Rescue Fund. The auction marks the first time Petty’s guitars have gone up for sale since the rocker died last October.