Rare Beatles Guitar Up For Auction
Beverly Hills, CA (March 21, 2013) -- Julien’s Auctions, the world’s premier music and entertainment memorabilia auction house, has announced Music Icons 2013, an exceptional auction event featuring a rare VOX guitar played by two legendary Beatles, John Lennon and George Harrison. The one-day auction to take place at Hard Rock Cafe New York in Time Square will also feature an extraordinary collection of music memorabilia including items from the Beatles, Elvis Presley, the King of Pop Michael Jackson, Bette Midler, David Cassidy, David Bowie, The Grateful Dead, Madonna, Jimi Hendrix and much more.
The rare offering of a VOX guitar played by both John Lennon and George Harrison is what rock n’ roll legends are made of. The striking custom guitar built by Mike Bennett and Dickey Denney was gifted to “Magic Alex” Mardas by John Lennon in 1967. Harrison played the guitar while practicing “I am the Walrus” during The Magical Mystery Tour and by Lennon while recording a video session for “Hello, Goodbye.” The spectacular piece of Beatles history is estimated to bring $200,000-300,000 and offers collectors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own one of the rarest pieces of Beatles memorabilia ever to be offered. The John Lennon/George Harrison played Beatles guitar will be on display at The Museum of Style Icons in Newbridge Silverware in County Kildare, Ireland from April 16th – May 8th.
JOHN LENNON & GEORGE HARRISON PLAYED VOX GUITAR
A custom made prototype guitar made in 1966 and played by both John Lennon and George Harrison. The guitar was built by Mike Bennett with electronics by Dick Denney of Vox guitars. Harrison can be seen rehearsing with the guitar on "I Am the Walrus" during the "Magical Mystery Tour" (September 18-24, 1967). Lennon can be seen playing it as part of the promotional video for "Hello, Goodbye" but it is not seen in the final version of the video that was released. Lennon gifted the guitar to "Magic Alex" Mardas. A plaque affixed to the back of the guitar reads "To Magic Alex/ Alexi thank you/ for been [sic] a friend/ 2-5-1967 John." According to Madras the date refers to his 25th birthday earlier that year and not the date the guitar was given to him./// The guitar body has a unique scroll design, marked “Vox Custom” on headstock. 24 fret rosewood fingerboard with rectangular inlays, mahogany hollow body, single f-hole. Electronics include: six push buttons for: Treble, bass, top boost, mid boost, fuzz and repeat; Mid boost selector control; rotary controls for Repeat speed, fuzz sustain, and volume battery; and selector switch. Neck plate with serial number 71597 believed to have been added later. This guitar was not originally designed as part of the Vox Kensington line but it has become known as such. /// The guitar has an intriguing place in Beatles history. There is the fractured relationship between the Beatles and Madras. The difference in Bennett and Denney’s memories on whether there were one or two guitars built. Also the disappearance and reappearance of the guitar give it an aura of unusual mystery in Beatles lore./// The guitar is discussed by Andy Babiuk in his book "Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s instruments, from Stage to Studio" and seen in "Beat Instrumental" November 1967 which shows an image of George Harrison playing the guitar on page 24 and is included with this lot. ///LITERATURE "Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments, From Stage to Studio" by Andy Babiuk (San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2002)
Other Beatles memorabilia to be offered will include rare signed items, collectibles and novelty memorabilia including a Beatles first and a second state “Butcher” album (Estimate: $4000-6000 and $10,000-20,000), slicks, printers proofs and designs for alternate Yesterday and Today album cover artwork and images from the photo session that produced the infamous “Butcher” album cover.
A signed copy of The Beatles Please Please Me album (Estimate: $30,000-50,000) and a copy of Lennon’s In His Own Write (Estimate: $20,000-30,000) both signed by all four Beatles are also among the highlights.
“It’s extraordinary when you have the opportunity to offer such an amazing piece of music history as the VOX guitar played by both George Harrison and John Lennon,” said Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions. “From Here Comes the Sun to Hello Goodbye, this guitar is truly one of the most historical pieces of music memorabilia Julien’s Auctions has ever had the pleasure of offering."
Also to be offered are items from “The King” himself, Elvis Presley. During Presley’s life, he was often noted as a generous friend and entertainer. It was often that Presley would give items to fans as well as friends, including jewelry. Offered for sale is a star ring with the “E” initial given to Charlie Hodge by Elvis, who teased Hodge that he should be the “star” of the show (Estimate: $4000-6000) and a Tissot wristwatch given to the former Sheriff and Mayor of Memphis, Roy Nixon (Estimate: $6000-8000). Bill Belew, under Presley’s direction, created a patriotic Eagle emblazoned cape for Presley’s Aloha from Hawaii televised concert. The floor-length cape was too heavy for stage use and dragged Elvis to the ground when he tried it on. This piece of music history is highlighted in the Music Icons auction and estimated at $120,000-140.000. Other Elvis Presley memorabilia includes a Bill Belew sample belt signed by Elvis as approval on the back (Estimate: $40,000-60,000), a Hammond organ which was housed in his Graceland bedroom (Estimate $14,000-16,000) and a Hagstrom guitar from his Bel Air home (Estimate: $40,000-60,000).
Additional highlights include six trademark jumpsuits from heartthrob David Cassidy, a collection of master rock n’ roll artist Rick Griffin’s artwork which has become synonymous with The Grateful Dead including a working sketch of Griffin’s logo for the documentary Grateful Dead: So Far (Estimate: $200-400), an oversized painting of Griffin’s design used to celebrate the Dead’s 25th anniversary (Estimate $5,000-7,000) and the cover art concept drawing for the book Conversations With the Dead (Estimate: $2,000-3,000), stage worn costumes from the Divine Miss M, Bette Midler, including a shocking pink hand painted costume from her Miss Millennium Tour (Estimate: $800-1,200) and a 2011 Hulaween ensemble (Estimate: $1,000-2,000) and a platinum record award for Midler’s incomparable “Wind Beneath My Wings” (Estimate: $500-700).
Items given to fans from The King of Pop, Michael Jackson including a signed pillow thrown from a Paris hotel window (Estimate: $2000-4000), a stage worn hat gifted to a fan backstage (Estimate: $4000-6000), and a signed “Beat It” style jacket given to a good Samaritan after a trip to Neverland (Estimate $8000-10,000) will also be offered. A Michael Jackson jacket worn for a meeting with Nelson Mandela in 1999 (Estimate: $4000-6000) and a Michael Jackson jacket and vest purchased while the mega-star was in Oman in 2006, as well as a selection of signed, gifted and worn items along with photographs and other memorabilia round out the sale of iconic music memorabilia in a collection of over 450 items.
Music Icons 2013 will also include memorabilia and personal effects from David Bowie, Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and many other legendary musicians offering collectors and fans from around the world one of the most significant opportunities to own a piece of music history ever offered.
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