DAVID GILMOUR’S PRIMARY PERFORMANCE GUITAR FOR THE ABOUT FACE TOUR, 1984
Invited to the CBS Fender UK warehouse in Enfield, Middlesex, to trial Fender’s new reissue line, David Gilmour hand selected this guitar, serial number V015052, along with a Stratocaster Elite, serial number E325073 (lot 51), a 62V Stratocaster in Fiesta Red, serial number V007911, and a 52V Telecaster, serial number 2596. The accompanying note from the Fender warehouse, reading These guitars are all for Dave Gilmour, lists the four guitars to be put aside for collection, which took place on 31st January 1984. I played through a lot of guitars and picked the best two, Gilmour recalled in an interview with International Musician in August 1984.
Preferring not to take his valuable vintage instruments on the road, this Vintage White 57V Stratocaster instantly became Gilmour’s guitar of choice, used as the main guitar on his About Face Tour from 31st March to 16th July 1984 in support of his second solo album About Face. The Cream #1, as Gilmour refers to it, can be seen in numerous photographs captured over the course of the tour and features extensively in the live concert film and tour documentary Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, released on VHS in September 1984.
Gilmour continued to use the guitar for live performances throughout the mid-1980s, notably for an appearance on cult British television show The Tube on 30th March 1984, two nights with Pete Townshend’s short-lived supergroup Deep End at London’s Brixton Academy on 1st and 2nd November 1985 in aid of Townshend’s Double O charity, another show with Deep End at the Gala du Midem in Cannes on 23rd January 1986, and for a benefit concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 9th February 1986 in aid of the Colombia Volcano Appeal. The live concert film Colombian Volcano Concert was released on VHS the following year, featuring Gilmour’s performance of the 1979 Pink Floyd song Run Like Hell on the Vintage White 57V.
Now modified with EMG SA pickups and SPC and EXG tone controls to eliminate noisy audio interference, the Cream Strat remained in favor as Gilmour’s preferred performance guitar for the first North American leg of Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour, from 9th September to 10th December 1987, alternated occasionally with the Candy Apple Red 57V (lot 56) that he had acquired around the same time as the Cream. By the time the second leg kicked off in Australia and New Zealand in January 1988, Gilmour had begun to use the Candy Apple Red Strat exclusively. The Cream #1 was thereafter carried as a spare for the remainder of the tour.
The Vintage White 57V was later used in the studio during recording of the soundtrack to La Carrera Panamericana, a 1992 retrospective documentary film of the seven-day sports car race held in Mexico, featuring music by Pink Floyd. A photograph by the late drum technician Clive Brooks shows Gilmour wielding the guitar at London’s Olympic Studios in December 1991. The following year, Gilmour made a memorable appearance with the Cream Strat for a spine-tingling rendition of Prince’s Purple Rain with Tom Jones for Jones’ six-part BBC series The Right Time in June 1992, which also aired in the US on VH1. Gilmour next employed the guitar in the studio during recording of the band’s 1994 album The Division Bell and as a spare for his Candy Apple Red Stratocaster on the subsequent The Division Bell Tour from March to October 1994.
On 2nd July 2005, second guitarist Tim Renwick played this guitar during the historic reunion of David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and Roger Waters in their classic-era Pink Floyd line up at Live 8 in London’s Hyde Park, their first performance together in 24 years. Footage of the band’s performance was included on the official Live 8 DVD, released on 7th November 2005. Notably, Gilmour had appeared on stage with his 1969 Black Stratocaster (lot 127) for the first time in over twenty years. With the return to prominence of The Black Strat, a new neck was required at short notice to enable Gilmour to use the instrument in recording sessions for his 2006 solo album On An Island, as the frets had become worn. The original maple neck from this 1983 57V Stratocaster was thus transferred on to The Black Strat, where it remains to this day, and in return The Black Strat’s sixth neck, from a 1989 57V Stratocaster, was swapped on to this guitar. The present guitar, employed as Gilmour’s primary instrument through the mid-1980s, therefore now incorporates the neck used by David Gilmour on his iconic Black Strat for the last live appearance of the classic-era Pink Floyd.