The Auction on Elvis Presley BLVD August 14, 2022
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/14/2022

Offered is an Elvis Presley owned and played 1968 Hagstrom Viking V-1 electric guitar purchased for concert use by Elvis' dear friend Charlie Hodge. After the triumphant set of shows at the Las Vegas International Hotel in the summer of 1969, and the subsequent set of shows there in January and February 1970, Elvis spoke to Charlie about finding a lighter guitar to use on stage. He was tired of sitting o the stool at center stage playing the heavy Gretsch guitar he had employed at his recent Las Vegas shows. In response, Charlie suggested a guitar like the one he had used on his 1968 TV special, the red Hagsrtrom hollow body electric guitar (which recently sold for $625,000), and purchased the offered jet black Hagsrtrom Viking V-1. Elvis loved the guitar's light weight and easy to play design with its "fast neck." He even joked with Charlie about being "the fastest guitar hand alive"! 

In the end, of course, Elvis chose to play acoustic guitars starting with his August 1970 shows at The International, and continued to use acoustic guitars in concert until the end of his life in 1977. The offered Hagstrom guitar was still used in his homes, both in California and at Graceland. After Elvis passed, Charlie kept the guitar for more than 20 years before selling it to our consignor in the late 1990s. While stage-played guitars are the pinnacle of Elvis' instruments for collectors, the offered iconic Hagstrom is at the peak of the other category of guitars he owned and used at home.

Based on research, the offered guitar with serial number "715632" was produced by Hagstrom in 1968. We reached out to the Hagstrom Company, and Karl Hagstrom himself confirmed the following: "I have looked into the Viking serial number 715 632 in our books and I have found the follwing. Made on the 1st of March 1968 colour black and shipped to our distributor in the US Unicord on the 26th of March 1969 and invoiced on E.3888." The timing of the guitar's arrival to Unicord, a musical instrument distributor in New York, sometime in the early part of 1969 aligns perfectly with Charlie Hodge's recollection of purchasing the guitar in early 1970. 

The included letter from Charles Hodge states:

I, Charles Hodge, Currently reside at c/o Memories Theatre 2141 Parkway Pigeon Forge TN 37863. I was friends with Elvis Presley and began working for Elvis in 1959. Among my many duties for Elvis was taking care of his instruments. This jet black Viking Hagstrom (serial 715632) was bought by me for Elvis in 1970. Elvis complained about the weight of his electric guitar (Gretsch 6122), and wanted something lighter to handle on stage. Or as Elvis said, "I look like Glenn Campbell, I need something to move around with." I suggested the Hagstrom, which he used a few years earlier during the TV special (1968). Elvis told me to get it. Elvis used the red Hagstrom Viking guitar in the Guitar Man opening sequence and various stand up sequences of the NBC TV special. The guitar belonged to a guitarist of the NBC studio band. Elvis never used this guitar on stage but played it on many occasions at his home in Palm Springs and was later brought to Graceland. He often joked to be "the fastest guitar hand alive" when playing this guitar. After his passing I took it with me and used it occasionally.

The guitar measures 41 inches in length and presents with signs of moderate to heavy use. There is an area of wear on the center of the back of the body indicating use, and there are small cracks in the finish on the front, near where the body meets the neck. The pick guard has one very small crack at one of the screw points. Presents in playable condition. Excellent to Mint condition.

Elvis Presley Owned and Played 1968 Hagstrom Viking V-1 Electric Guitar <em>Purchased for Concert Use</em> - Given to Charlie Hodge
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $20,000
Final prices include buyers premium: $0
Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000
Number Bids: 0
Auction closed on Sunday, August 14, 2022.
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