One of Elvis Presley’s most famous guitars is valued at $5 million, making it one of rock and roll’s most valuable guitars. Here’s the latest.
The King’s cherry red Hagstrom Viking II electric guitar featured prominently in his 1968 Comeback Special. That special was featured prominently in the Elvis biopic starring Austin Butler. The guitar was considered a good luck charm for the aging rocker and helped him rejuvenate his career by featuring on the album From Elvis in Memphis and, eventually his Vegas residency.
The most valuable guitar record is held by Kurt Cobain’s MTV Unplugged 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic guitar, which went for $6 million at auction in 2020 despite a conservative starting estimate of $1 million. Elvis’ comeback special in 1968 attracted 42% of the audience share for its time slot—making it an iconic memory for many older Americans.
What are the most valuable guitars in rock and roll?
The Hagstrom Viking II electric guitar featured in Elvis’ iconic comeback special deserves its place on this list of the most valuable guitars in rock and roll. Both Kurt Cobain and David Gilmour feature twice on the list.
- Kurt Cobain | 1959 Martin D-18E ($6.01M)
- Kurt Cobain | “Teen Spirit” Fender Mustang ($4.69M)
- David Gilmour | Black Strat ($4.1M)
- Eddie Van Halen | “Hot For Teacher” Kramer ($4.01M)
- Reach Out to Asia | Fender Stratocaster ($2.83M)
- John Lennon | Gibson J-160E ($2.4M)
- Jimi Hendrix | “Izabella” 1868 Fender Stratocaster ($2.09M)
- Peter Green | “Greeny” Les Paul ($2.09M)
- Jerry Garcia | Wolf Guitar ($1.99M)
- David Gilmour | 1954 Fender Stratrocaster ($1.90M)
The Baz Luhrmann Elvis biopic will no doubt help this guitar reach new heights when it comes to up for sale. Even paper plates have commanded a pretty penny when they contain a setlist written by Cobain himself. Perhaps someone will find an Elvis setlist on the back of a cocktail napkin? Jokes aside—this iconic guitar is definitely going to fetch millions.