Check out the names on this autographed guitar being auctioned to help Jerry Donahue after his stroke

Some of the biggest names in rock and roll including Sir Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Steve Winwood, Mark Knopfler, Pete Townshend, Albert Lee, David Gilmour, Joe Brown, Richard Thomson and Dave Pegg have signed a guitar to be auctioned in honour of stroke victim Jerry Donahue.

In 2016, American guitarist Jerry Donahue suffered a catastrophic stroke, almost certainly ending his career as one of the world’s finest folk-rock guitarists. The former Fairport Convention, Fotheringay and Hellecasters guitarist, was regarded by the music media as an extremely talented musician with an extraordinary technical approach to string bending.

Always in demand as a session player and always with the love of his life, the Telecaster guitar, Jerry Donahue performed and recorded with dozens of major artists. The late great Danny Gatton once referred to Jerry Donahue as “The string bending king of the planet”.

“To have so many famous signatures on this guitar is a fantastic achievement,” says close friend Dave Pegg, bassist in Fairport convention. “We know that the guitar will raise many thousands of pounds and all the money raised from the auction will go towards Jerry’s rehabilitation in the USA.”

The guitar itself, donated by John Hornby Skewes Ltd., is Jerry Donahue’s own Vintage Signature V58, built to his own specifications as a collaboration with specialist guitar and hardware designer Trevor Wilkinson and JHS Managing Director Dennis Drumm.

Features include a maple fingerboard and neck and an American alder body finished in Ash Blonde and Jerry’s signature pickup and tone control layout.

Dave Pegg continues, “It all started when I had a call from guitarist Matt Worley, another close friend of Jerry’s, he’d acquired Jerry’s Signature guitar with the idea to have a few big names sign it so we could raise some money for him.”
“At first we just asked a handful of people,” Matt Worley explains. “And with help from Tony Kelsey who co-opted the likes of Steve Winwood, Robert Plant, Andy Fairweather Low and Dave Pegg himself, word got out, the gates opened and we were swamped with some of the biggest names in the music business eager to autograph the guitar and pay their respects to Jerry.
Even Sir Paul McCartney and they’re still coming in, Tony Iommi, Jeff Lynn, Martin Barre, John Paul Jones and we’ve just squeezed in Brian Wilson and Al Jardine from The Beach Boys. The guitar is more or less full now, so we are moving on to the guitar case.

There are some very rare signings as well, some who never sign anything and as far as we know, this is the first collective signing of all three guitarists who were in The Yardbirds; Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. The three remaining members of Led Zeppelin are on there and of course, diehard fans will remember Eric Clapton played with Steve Winwood in Blind Faith, the first of the ‘supergroups in ‘69’ ”

There are not many collectables in the world that are as cool as guitars and the auction, to be held at Gardiner Houlgate’s in Bath, UK Auction rooms, on 11th December 2019, is expected to attract attention from collectors and music fans from all over the world.

The Specialist Auctioneers.
+44 (0)1225 812912
+44 (0)1225 812612

Hellecasters reunite for NAMM!


Legendary guitar trio Hellecasters reform to play first show in 11 years at NAMM 2012

Following an 11-year hiatus, legendary guitar trio Hellecasters – featuring the outrageous talents of Jerry Donahue, John Jorgenson and Will Ray – has reformed, and will play its comeback show as headliners of the celebrated Deke’s Guitar Geek Festival at the Anaheim Plaza Hotel Ballroom in California on Saturday January 21st 2012.

The group, known for their intricate melodies and dazzling fretboard skills, are returning to the fray after overwhelming public demand, and will round off the celebrated festival with a bang.

Jerry Donahue will be using his own Fret-King Black Label JD guitar to play the show. The JD guitar is the first of the Fret-King Black Label range, which sees its worldwide unveiling at NAMM 2012.

Be sure to drop by at Hall E 1212 to see and meet Jerry and Fret-King designer Trev Wilkinson, and check out the whole Fret-King Black Label range while you’re there.

For further information and for ticket sales for ‘The Return of The Hellecasters’, see the attached poster.

Fret-King guitars are distributed worldwide by John Hornby Skewes & Co. Ltd.