Wuthering Heights guitar to be sold at auction

Auctioneer Luke Hobbs surrounded by amps, framed discs and the guitar
Auctioneer Luke Hobbs said the overall lot is expected to reach up to £30,000 [PA Media]

A guitar used to perform the solo in Kate Bush's breakthrough single Wuthering Heights is to be sold at auction.

The 1974 Les Paul Custom will be sold at Gardiner Houlgate auctioneers in Corsham, Wiltshire next month, and is expected to attract bids of up to £10,000.

Guitarist Ian Bairnson, who played the piece with his arm in a plaster cast after breaking it, died last year aged 70, and his instruments are being auctioned by his family.

A tribute to Emily Bronte's 1847 novel, Bush's debut song Wuthering Heights surpassed all expectations when it was released in 1978, becoming the first number one written and performed song by a female artist.

Auctioneer Luke Hobbs said the 12 guitars, amps and equipment owned by Mr Bairnson could fetch up to £30,000 in total.

Auctioneer Luke Hobbs hllding Ian Bairnson's guitar and kneeling near the rest of the equipment
The guitar is one of 12 owned by Ian Bairnson that are being sold [PA Media]

Mr Hobbs added: "Ian Bairnson was a musician's musician, and his guitar used on Wuthering Heights is a very relevant to today's market, considering the enduring appeal of Kate Bush."

Wuthering Heights was the British singer songwriter's breakthrough single in 1978 and was at number one in the charts for four weeks.

Musician Kate Bush wearing a red and white dress
Wuthering Heights was Kate Bush's breakthrough single [BBC]

Originally a session musician, Mr Bairnson worked on albums by artists such as Joe Cocker and Mick Fleetwood and toured with Sting, Eric Clapton and Beverley Craven.

The Corsham auction will also feature guitars previously owned by artists including Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden, Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green and an acoustic used by Eric Clapton.

They will all go under the hammer on Tuesday, 11 June.

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