Personally selected by David Gilmour during a visit to Ivor Mairants store in the West End of London in March 1982, this instrument has seen extensive studio use as Gilmour’s primary classical guitar. Notably, the Vilaplana features heavily on High Hopes, the closing track on Pink Floyd’s 1994 album The Division Bell. A nostalgic evocation of Gilmour’s early days in Cambridge, the lyrics inspired the album title of both The Division Bell and Pink Floyd’s last album The Endless River.
Pickups were added in advance of Gilmour’s ‘unplugged’ style solo show at London’s Royal Festival Hall on 21st June 2001 as part of the South Bank Centre’s annual artist-curated Meltdown Festival, enabling Gilmour to perform High Hopes live on this guitar. The eclectic showcase also included solo acoustic versions of old favorites Shine On You Crazy Diamond and Wish You Were Here, as well as the rarely heard Fat Old Sun from Atom Heart Mother, Syd Barrett’s Terrapin, the aria Je Crois Entendre Encore, from Georges Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers, and an encore of Hushabye Mountain, from the 1970 film, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In a 2003 interview, Gilmour told Guitar Player magazine how he came up with the material for the shows: I went through the entire Pink Floyd catalogue, and I picked the tunes I liked. Then, after I figured out which ones would work with the instrumentation I had in mind, I spent about three months fiddling around in my home studio mocking up the arrangements. The guitar made a return appearance for three acoustic concerts at the same venue on 16th to 18th January 2002, followed by two shows at the Palais des Congrès, Paris, on 23rd and 24th January 2002. The Royal Festival Hall shows were recorded for the live concert DVD David Gilmour in Concert, released in October 2002.