David Gilmour is auctioning off nearly all of his priceless guitars on June 20th, in New York via Christie's Auction house. Gilmour posted on his official website (DavidGilmour.com) that among the assorted Fenders, Gibsons, and Martins, the Pink Floyd legend will be selling off his most iconic instrument -- the historic "Black Strat" -- a 1969 black Fender Stratocaster, which above all other guitars is most identified with Gilmour's sound and the band's most important works. The sale "will be the largest and most comprehensive collection of guitars to be offered at auction, with all sale proceeds benefiting charitable causes."

According to the announcement, "A global tour of the collection will launch in London at Christie's, King Street, from March 27th to 31st, where the full collection will be on display, followed by highlights in Los Angeles from May 7th to 11th, and then the New York sale preview ahead of the auction from June 14th to 19th."

Gilmour said in a statement: "These guitars have been very good to me and many of them have given me pieces of music over the years. They have paid for themselves many times over, but it's now time that they moved on. Guitars were made to be played and it is my wish that wherever they end up, they continue to give their owners the gift of music. By auctioning these guitars I hope that I can give some help where it is really needed and through my charitable foundation do some good in this world. It will be a wrench to see them go and perhaps one day I'll have to track one or two of them down and buy them back!"

During a chat with Rolling Stone, Gilmour spoke at length about the guitars he's selling and what it means to part with his famed tools of the trade: "This is something that’s been creeping up on me for quite a long time. I started a process before, and I’ve ducked out a couple of times. This time, it is going to happen. I’m both sad with losing some of the instruments and relieved to get this thing dealt with and that it will be doing some good. If I need a particular guitar, I’ll go out and buy another one. They are the tools of my trade. They have given me music, but in the end, they are the tools that I use."

When asked if it would be difficult to shed the "Black Strat" that has been with him for decades, Gilmour admitted: "You know something? For me, I can let go of it. It’s going to bring a lot of people to have a look at this sale, and it’s going to do that job. It’s a lovely guitar. It has been on pretty much all the Pink Floyd albums through the Seventies. It’s on Meddle, (The) Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall. I did my 'Comfortably Numb' solo on it. The notes for the beginning of 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' fell out of it one day. It’s on so much stuff, but Fender have made replica ones that they sell, and I have two or three of those that are absolutely perfect. One of those might be my future guitar of choice or even, horror of horror, maybe I’ll even change the color."

Gilmour went on to say that fans shouldn't look at this "spring cleaning" as a sign that he's retiring or quitting the business: "Retiring is not a hard and fast thing for me in my life. I don’t really have to retire. I don’t have to say those words. I don’t have to state that I've retired or anything like that. If I retire, it will be a quiet, unnoticeable process at some point. But I’m not at that moment."

There's one axe that Gilmour admitted he's keeping from the auction block -- his 1955 Fender Esquire, lovingly dubbed: 'The Workmate": "The Workmate isn’t going. I’m afraid I couldn’t do it."

Although fans will always clamor for some type of Pink Floyd reunion as long as any two of the surviving members are still alive, David Gilmour explained to us that musically and spiritually, dragging the Floyd behemoth back out on the road ever again is the last thing he's ever going to do: "People want me to respond to this whole playing with Roger (Waters) again, 'shall we do it again, will we not doing it again' -- thinking about it is just so far from my mind. This is what I'm doing. This is what I was doing two years ago, and I feel really comfortable with it and I feel on top of it, and I've got my freedom back, as I lost within Pink Floyd due to the size of places we had to play."

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