Duane Allman's "Layla" guitar fetches $1.25 million at auction

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Duane Allman's iconic "Layla" guitar sold for $1.25 million at auction.

The gold-topped guitar was offered by auction house Gotta Have Rock and Roll, which called the piece "one of the most important guitars in the history of rock 'n' roll."

The musician acquired the guitar from one of the members of the Hour Glass in 1968, offering him a keyboard in exchange for the 1957 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop guitar.

Duane Allman notably played the guitar on the first two albums of the Allman Brothers, including their 1969 self-titled debut and their 1970 "Idlewild South."

It was also used on the "Layla" sessions with Eric Clapton, which was originally released by his blues rock band Derek and the Dominos on their 1970 album "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs."

Soon after the recording, Duane Allman swapped the guitar for a cherry-burst 1959 Les Paul.

"Duane, fresh off recording 'Layla' was, as usual, playing his '57 Goldtop. The opening band was a local group called the Stone Balloon, whose guitarist, Rick Stine, was playing a 1959 cherry sunburst Les Paul, which Duane was fond of," auction house Gotta Have Rock and Roll reports.

"While making 'Layla' he had fallen in love with Clapton's cherry sunburst. Wanting one of his own, Duane offered to swap Les Pauls with Rick. When Rick hesitated, Allman upped the stakes, throwing in $200 and one of his regular Marshall 50 heads."

Duane Allman's "Layla" had previously been on display at the Allman Brothers' Big House museum in Macon, Georgia.

Several musicians that visited Georgia reportedly played the guitar, including ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Metallica's Kirk Hammett, and Blackberry Smoke's Charlie Starr.

According to the auction house, the Rolling Stones also planned to borrow it for a concert on July 27 if it had not been put up for auction.

The Macon Telegraph reports that the anonymous, out-of-town buyer has agreed to share Allman's "Layla" guitar with the Big House museum every other six months.

"It will be coming back to The Big House in late November. We couldn't ask for more than that," Big House director Richard Brent told the local newspaper.