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Urge to Own That Clapton Guitar Is Contagious

We briefly touched on this research before Would you pay more for John Voight’s Car?.

This NYT article asks an interesting follow-up. Why would you pay more for a replica of an Eric Clapton Guitar?

One of their conclusions is that the seemingly illogical yearning for a Clapton relic, even a pseudorelic, stems from an instinct crucial to surviving disasters like the Black Death: the belief that certain properties are contagious, either in a good or a bad way. Another conclusion is that the magical thinking chronicled in “primitive” tribes will affect bids for the Clapton guitars being auctioned at Bonhams in Midtown Manhattan.

…The replica’s appeal is related to another form of thinking called the law of similarity, Dr. Newman said. That is a belief in what is also called imitative magic: things that resemble each other have similar powers.

As for why the appeal, one fan explained:

“Any connection with Eric,” he said, “adds some kind of musical mojo.”