Music pioneer John Martyn’s guitars to be auctioned

Getty Images/Omega Auctions John Martyn performing and his Les Paul guitarGetty Images/Omega Auctions

The auctioneer said the Les Paul guitars each had “an estimate of £30,000 to £50,000”

A collection of instruments and equipment used by musical pioneer John Martyn to create his distinctive sound are to be sold at auction.

Martyn, who was born in Surrey but grew up in Glasgow, was widely regarded as one of the most soulful and innovative singer-songwriters of his generation.

The sale, at Omega Auctions in Newton-le-Willows on Merseyside on 2 July, will include two 1954 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top guitars and Martyn’s “famous” Echoplex delay unit and amplifier set-up.

Auctioneer Paul Fairweather said the singer’s music was “still cherished by fans all over the world” and he expected “significant interest” in the lots.

Martyn, who died at the age of 60 in 2009, has been cited as an influence by artists as varied as U2, Portishead and Eric Clapton.

He was regarded as a maverick within the music industry and battled with drugs and alcohol throughout his life.

Omega Auctions John Martyn's Echoplex amplifierOmega Auctions

Martyn famously used effects equipment to create his distinctive sound

He collaborated with many musicians, including Phil Collins, and his song May You Never was covered by many artists, including Clapton.

Paying tribute to his “infuriating” friend in 2009, Collins said he was “uncompromising… but he was unique and we’ll never see the likes of him again”.

The auction house said over a 40-year recording period, Martyn released 23 studio albums, including his best-known work Solid Air, “all showcasing his incredible songwriting and musical talents”.

It said the dedicated sale also included items of Martyn’s clothing and other personal effects.

Getty Images John Martyn performingGetty Images

Martyn has been cited as an influence by artists as varied as U2, Portishead and Eric Clapton

A representative added that highlights included the Les Pauls, “each with an estimate of £30,000 to £50,000”, a 1965 Gibson SG guitar with an estimate of £10,000 to £15,000 and “John’s famous Echoplex delay unit and amplifier set-up”, which was estimated at £5,000 to £10,000.

The auctioneer said the “timeless and unique sound” that Martyn created with “voice, guitar and his famous use of effects” had an “incalculable impact on modern music and his music is still cherished by fans all over the world”.

“We are honoured to be able to offer some of the instruments and equipment that John used in his recording and performing and expect significant interest in the sale.”