Sir Paul McCartney among stars helping Jerry Donahue


Jerry Donahue at Cropredy Festival in the UK

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PA Media

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Jerry Donahue played with British folk-rock bands Fairport Convention and Fotheringay

British “rock royalty” have rallied to help a highly respected American guitarist who is struggling financially after suffering a stroke.

Sir Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour and Jeff Lynne are among 23 stars to sign a guitar to be sold at auction.

Money raised will help Jerry Donahue, who played with the folk-rock bands Fairport Convention and Fotheringay.

The guitar is due to go under the hammer on 11 December in Wiltshire.

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Gardiner Houlgate

The guitar – a signature Jerry Donahue Telecaster – is expected to sell for in the region of between £10,000 and £20,000.

Other big names on the guitar include The Who’s Pete Townshend, Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, Dire Straits’s Mark Knopfler and The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson.

Mr Donahue suffered a severe stroke in 2016 and has not been able to play guitar since.

Dave Pegg, bass player with Fairport Convention and one of the leaders of the fundraising drive, said the stars had come together out of “respect for Jerry”.

“They recognise he’s one of the greatest guitarists in the world with a unique style,” he said.

“No one else could do the multiple string bends, which is why guitar legends like Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page admire him so much.

Since his stroke, Mr Donahue, who lives in Los Angeles, has lost the use of the right side of his body, including his hand.

He also has problems with both speech and mobility.

Luke Hobbs, auctioneer at Gardiner Houlgate in Wiltshire, said: “This guitar has been signed by rock royalty.

“It’s like a Who’s Who of the greatest musicians the UK has ever produced.”

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Gardiner Houlgate

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Luke Hobbs, auctioneer at Gardiner Houlgate, said: “We’ve seen autographed guitars before but nothing like this.”


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