Johnny Winter custom guitar leads sale at Guernsey's

Rock guitarist Johnny Winter's iconic custom White Lazer led an auction of guitars at Guernsey's New York on February 27, achieving $180,000.

Winter made his name in the US club circuit of the 1960s with his blistering covers of classic blues songs. 

Johnny Winter was a legendary rock guitarist

He began playing the Lazer in the 1980s after its creator, Mark Erlewine, offered him a prototype backstage after a show. 

The present lot is a custom version built specially for him and featuring a single coil in the neck and a split humbucker. 

Winter explained what he liked about the Lazer: "It's really the closest thing I've found to sounding like a Strat and feeling like a Gibson. I like the sound of a strat, but just can't play one.

"It just doesn't feel right to me. If I pull the strings, I don't get as much out of it as I put into it. I can put the same effort into a Gibson and get back twice as much. With the Lazer I get both."

A 1966-1967 belonging to Stevie Ray Vaughan sold for $80,000. 

Vaughan played it during his stint with Paul Ray and the Cobras in Texas between 1975-1977. It's signed on the neck. 

The record for a guitar owned by Vaughan is $623,000, set for his "Lenny" Stratocaster at Christie's in 2004. Most of his guitars are owned by his estate and only a handful have ever appeared at auction. 

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