Why Eric Clapton Once Begged Andy Summers, The Police Guitarist Reveals

Andy Summers of The Police talked about how Eric Clapton pleaded with him to buy his 1959 Les Paul Sunburst in the 1960s during a recent interview with Rick Beato. The guitarist recounted, claiming to have received one of the two Gibson guitars in Rose Morris:

“Eric went and got [the other]. He got it. So, now he copies. So, we both got Les Pauls, okay? So, time moves on. Eric’s Les Paul gets stolen, and he knows I’ve got the other one. He starts calling me relentlessly.”

He disclosed the state of his guitar at the time:

“Now, weirdly, this is history. I had moved over to a 58 White Telecaster. That’s what I was playing. I liked it more than the Les Paul for some reason. I don’t know, pickup set up, whatever. And he knew I had that as well. I put it under the bed. It was in a case, under the bed.”

Although Clapton insisted on having Summers’ Les Paul replaced with his stolen one, it had a problem:

“But, he kept calling me. ‘I don’t want to sell it. I don’t want to sell it.’ But I felt a little bit weird about it because it seemed like the back pickup didn’t work. Because none of us knew s**t about electronics. A guy could have just fixed it; one tweak and it was fine.”

Ultimately, the guitarist for The Police stated the amount and sold the instrument, saying:

“I kept resisting it. But finally, he called me so many times that I actually agreed to sell it with some, you know, forgiving. I didn’t feel great about it, but he just really wanted. So, we agreed on a price. I charged him 200 pounds for it. It’s worth about 2 million now. Who knew?”

Gibson Guitars Didn’t Work For Summers The Way They Did For Clapton

Originally purchased for around $80, the Les Paul served as Clapton’s primary guitar throughout his tenure with Cream from 1966 to 1967. It was also featured on the album “Blues Breakers.” That model, however, wasn’t Summers’ favorite, as he had previously disclosed in interviews.

A few months ago, while making an appearance on “Everyone Loves Guitar,” the musician clarified:

“I didn’t really take to the Les Paul; there was something wrong with mine. It seems to be so symbolic; I sold him my Les Paul, and I got a white ’58 Telecaster. In London, at the time, it was a pretty radical-looking guitar.”

Speaking about the instrument, he continued:

“The Les Paul was a heavy, weird little guitar, with this really overdriven sound. I think, in my case, the back pickup wasn’t quite right, although it didn’t seem to bother Eric [Clapton] at all.”

The former police officer also discussed the London guitar scene of the 1960s and asserted that Gibson was unable to overtake Fender in popularity until the ES-335 was released. He clarified:

“Somewhere in there, before I went to London, the ES-335 had arrived, which was a fantastic breakthrough. It was finally like Gibson got it right. They made the Les Paul, but the Stratocaster is sort of the ultimate guitar; it’s perfect. Leo Fender got that right.”

The video below is a recent interview with Andy Summers.

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