Red Ronnie’s rock memorabilia collection heads to Christie’s

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2015-06-26 10:45:34

Red Ronnie’s rock memorabilia collection heads to Christie’s

The amazing rock and roll memorabilia collection of Italian DJ Red Ronnie is set to sell at Christie’s this month.

Featuring important hand-written lyrics and letters from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Jim Morrison, the collection looks set to attract music fans from around the world when it crosses the auction block in London on June 26.

Ronnie (real name Gabriel Ansah) is a radio broadcaster and television presenter whose pioneering 1970s shows brought rock, punk and alternative music to listeners across Italy.

“I always like to say that music saved my life from loneliness,” says Ronnie. “I never imagined that one day I would meet and talk with almost all of my heroes, nor that I would become the guardian of a so many of their hand written documents, memorabilia, drawings and possessions.”

Amongst the items is his treasured collection are lyrics, notes and sketches written by some of rock’s most enduring icons.

“I first started collecting in 1990, since then I have always tried to collect items which tell the rockstars’ own stories such as the letter in which John Lennon indicates the end of the Beatles or the unpublished Woodstock poem which was probably composed by Jimi during the Festival at which Hendrix's legendary performance became a defining moment of the 1960s.”

Heading the sale are Jimi Hendrix’s handwritten working lyrics to his song ‘Night Bird Flying’ (released posthumously in 1971 on the ‘Cry of Love’ album) and the previously unseen poem about the Woodstock festival, which features the poignant line “500,000 Halos…outshined the mud and History”. Both are valued at £25,000 - £35,000.

These will be sold alongside Jim Morrison’s lyrics to The Doors classic ‘LA Woman’.

Handwritten on three sheets of paper, the lyrics feature prompts to repeat certain lines and are believed to have been written out by Morrison to aid the band whilst recording the track in 1971. They originate from the personal collection of Danny Sugarman, the Doors’ former manager and biographer, and are also valued at £25,000 - £35,000.

Other notable lots include Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics to the unpublished song ‘Go Away Bomb’ (estimated at £25,000 - £35,000), a letter written by John Lennon circa 1969/70 which features the revealing line “I don't want to read about 'Beatles' as if they’re still alive” (£10,000 - £15,000) and a piece of Buckingham Palace headed stationery signed by all four members of The Beatles (£7,000 - £9,000).

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