Mark Humphrey, AP
Proceeds from the auction will benefit MusiCares Nashville Flood Relief Fund, Nashville Musicians Association Flood Relief Fund for musicians who were uninsured, and Middle Tennessee fire and rescue departments. The goal of NASH2O was to collect flood-damaged instruments from artists, which could then be sold as presentation/collector pieces, with the underwriting support of the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, a major insurer of many of the affected artists and the exclusive insurance sponsor of NASH2O.
NASH2O will officially launch on Tuesday, October 12, with a VIP reception and press conference at downtown Nashville' Hard Rock Café, beginning at 4 p.m. Some of the artists who donated instruments are slated to appear. The program will also feature special guests, a silent auction, and a few of the instruments included in the online auction. The public will have a chance to bid via the online auction, opening the same day at www.nash2o.org.
The NASH2O auction offers the unique opportunity to own historic musical artifacts many of which were housed in instrument storage facilities as well as in musicians' homes and studios before the flood. George Gruhn notes that these are not the standard fare up for bids in other Nashville-centric auctions. "It's fairly common to see instruments, signed by artists, for sale in charity efforts or given as contest prizes," he says. "But those are almost always pieces donated by a manufacturer for that purpose. They're handed to the artist, he signs them, and that's really the only connection he has with them. The NASH2O pieces are the artists' personal instruments. Peter Frampton's Les Paul is, well, Peter Frampton's Les Paul. Brad Paisley's Tele-style guitar is Brad's guitar. You hear that guitar on the records. You saw it in his hands in concert. These are very personal, cherished tools of the trade, and buyers can own a piece of that history, that pedigree."
In addition to the artist-owned instruments up for auction, sweepstakes items of new instruments and/or other premiums have been donated by several well-known manufacturers.