Friday, January 4, 2008

Castle Rock Fire guitars net $8,600

Two lucky bidders succeed on eBay

Express Staff Writer

Courtesy photo by Tim Brown- John Bolin, left, and Steve Miller hold the two guitars that were made for Miller to play at the Castle Rock Firefighters? Benefit concert last year.

The auction has ended for two Castle Rock Fire commemorative guitars made by renowned Boise luthier John Bolin for Steve Miller to play at the Castle Rock Firefighter Benefit in late September 2007. The guitars were auctioned by Miller on the Web site eBay to raise additional funds for the Sun Valley/Ketchum Volunteer Firefighters Association (which represents all valley fire agencies), the Boise-based Wildlands Firefighters Foundation and other regional fire departments who assisted in the Castle Rock fire-fighting effort.

The Castle Rock Fire burned more than 40,000 acres over a 21-day period late last summer.

One guitar sold for $5,100 and the other sold for $3,500. Each has an engraved plate that reads "Firefighters Rock" and airbrushed images of the Castle Rock Fire. Mark Williams, who lives between Rupert and Burley, was one of the two winning bidders. The other is a Ketchum businessman who could not be reached for comment.

"I did want one so I bid on both," Williams said. "Part of it was I was not expecting to get one. I was doing my part. I'm just tickled I got one. It was the whole theme behind this project.

"I've got friends that have children who are firefighters, and I'm a former government guy. I feel for them. That, and, of course, I've got a guitar signed by Steve Miller, Carole King and Bruce Willis, made by John Bolin, and airbrushed by Christy Griffith."

Williams is a guitar player who knows Miller and other musicians in the Wood River Valley.

"I'm kind of in that circle," he said. "I have a home studio out here. I think for right now I'm just going to look at it and be real careful. It's like Merry Christmas to me.

"Last year, I bought a '68 Firebird. This year, the guitar. I'm being middle-aged crazy but as long as I stay married. My wife gave me the high five when I won. I was surprised. I have a stack of guitars but none this nice. It's cool."

Ebay also has four posters printed for the Castle Rock Firefighter's Benefit for purchase, two of which are signed by Carole King, Steve Miller and Bruce Willis, the musicians who performed at the show.

The net proceeds raised before the guitar auction from the Castle Rock Firefighters Benefit Concert as well as other firefighter donations amounted to more than $173,000 for the Sun Valley/Ketchum Volunteer Firefighters Association and Wildlands Firefighters Foundation.

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