‘Layla,’ a gold-top guitar played by Duane Allman, breaks records at auction

The gold-topped guitar Duane Allman played in the hit song “Layla” was sold in a recent auction for a record-breaking $1.25 million.

“It was the first time that a refinished guitar sold for that much money,” Richard Brent, director of The Big House museum in Macon, said of the 1957 Les Paul. “I don’t think anybody expected that. ... The history of it is what sold it.”

Up until last week, the guitar, affectionately called “Layla,” had been on display at the band’s museum on Vineville Avenue.

Duane Allman played that guitar on the first two Allman Brothers records, self-titled and Idlewild South, and in “Loan Me a Dime” with Boz Scaggs, Brent said.

The recording “Layla” with Derek and the Dominoes is among the last times Allman played that guitar. A week later, he traded it for a cherry-burst Les Paul, Brent said.

Before the guitar was sold in an auction by www.gottahaverockandroll.com July 21, it was owned by Scott Lamar.

“He paid $475 in 1977 for a shell of a 1957 gold-top that was Duane Allman’s,” Brent said. “When he found it, it was a stripped-down piece of wood, missing a lot of parts.”

The guitar has been refinished three times.

Brent said the man who bought the guitar at the auction is a collector from out of town who wants to remain anonymous but has agreed to share it with the museum every other six months.

“It will be coming back to The Big House in late November,” Brent said. “We couldn’t ask for more than that.”

Laura Corley covers education news for The Telegraph, where she advocates for government transparency and writes about issues affecting today’s youth. She grew up in Middle Georgia and graduated from Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism.