Auction of the Week: Julien's Rock and Roll Icons and Idols sale, November 2018



2018-10-19 13:30:08

This week's featured auction is the Icons and Idols: Rock and Roll sale at Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles on November 9 – 10. Here are ten of our favorite lots up for grabs.

Michael Jackson original drawing

Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000

This cartoon sketch was drawn by the King of Pop Michael Jackson. The sketch is titled 'Moi', suggesting it's one of the many cartoon self-portraits Jackson was known to draw, and is signed and dated '1985'.

David Bowie handwritten letter

Estimate: $8,000 - $10,000

This four-page letter was written by David Bowie in the summer of 1969, around the same time as the release of his breakthrough hit Space Oddity.

During that period Bowie was part of Beckenham Arts Lab, a collective which hosted performances and art 'happenings' in venues across London between 1967 and 1969.

Bowie wrote the letter to fellow musician and friend Dick Jones, to book his group the Drama Band to perform for the collective at the Three Tuns pub in London. He signs the letter "Yours in Dharma, Bowie."

The letter is accompanied by a letter of provenance from Jones, who recalls the show and writes: "We managed our two rickety performances, one of them supporting the man himself."

Prince Esquire cover Versace suit

Estimate: $10,000 - $20,000

This striking scarlet red suit by Italian designer Gianni Versace was worn by Prince during his cover shoot for the Autumn 1995 edition of Esquire Gentleman.

The couture wool suit, which features a single breasted jacket and a pair of pants with a zip at the back, was later gifted to Prince's wardrobe assistant Cynthia Kurkowski.

Bernie Taupin Starship 'We Built This City' original working lyrics

Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000

Although he was most famous for his partnership with Elton John, Bernie Taupin also co-wrote songs for other artists including 'We Built This City' for the soft rock band Starship.

The song was a hit, topping the U.S Billboard Chart and reaching number one in both Australia and Canada.

However, in recent years has found a more notorious place in music history after being voted the worst song ever by music magazine Blender, the VH1 TV special 'The 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs...Ever' and GQ magazine.

The song also topped a Rolling Stone magazine reader poll as the worst song of the 1980s, with a winning margin so large that the magazine stated it "could be the biggest blow-out victory in the history of the Rolling Stone Readers Poll".

Kurt Cobain handwritten notes and doodles

Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000

This vintage copy of the British music paper Melody Maker featuring a cover story on Nirvana bears notes and doodles handwritten by Kurt Cobain.

The notes include the phrases "Anarchy in the UIC!", "I'm not like them Kurt" and "blow the Bullshit!", along with the name of his band next to a ring of concentric circles.

The paper was obtained by a fan whilst backstage at a Nirvana concert at the London Astoria on November 5, 1991.

Bo Diddley last stage used guitar

Estimate: $20,000 - $40,000

This 1999 Gretsch guitar was the last instrument ever played on-stage by the blues legend Bo Diddley, one of the most influential musicians in the history of popular music.

Diddley played this guitar on-stage at a blues festival in Australia in April 2007, and then again during his final stage appearance in May 2007 at the Horseshoe casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The following day he sadly suffered a stroke, and passed away 12 months later from heart failure at his home in Florida.

The Gretsch Bo Diddley model guitar is a modern version of the original rectangular guitar which Diddley himself designed for the Gretsch company back in the late 1950s.

Elvis Presley karate uniform

Estimate: $12,000 - $15,000

This uniform was worn by Elvis whilst training with Master Kang Rhee at his karate school in Memphis, Tennessee between 1970 and 1974.

Elvis was a dedicated student, and received his 7th Degree San Black Belt certificate from Master Rhee at a private ceremony in September 1974.

Elvis' fellow student at the school Wayne Carman later wrote a book his experiences, entitled 'Elvis's Karate Legacy'. In it, he states:

"In martial arts, he wasn't Elvis, the Entertainer. He was Elvis, the Black Belt, with 15 years' experience. That was impressive to all of us, since there weren't many karate practitioners in the country with as many years in the art."

Bono stage played guitar

Estimate: $60,000 - $80,000

This Gretsch Falcon electric guitar was played onstage by Bono in May 2003 at a Pavarotti & Friends charity concert in Modena, Italy.

Bono originally brought his own personal Gretsch Falcon top use for the performance, but it was blown off its stand and damaged during rehearsals.

The concert organizers quickly managed to find a replacement in a local used guitar store which Bono played during the concert, performing the U2 song 'One' and a version of 'Ave Maria'.

He later signed the guitar before returning it to the store owner.

Jimi Hendrix recordings

Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000

This collection of vintage Jimi Hendrix recordings features several tracks from the 1968 Jimi Hendrix Experience album Electric Ladyland, along with titles and recording information in his own handwriting.

The tapes were reportedly gifted to rock group Amen Corner, who supported Hendrix during a European tour, and include classic songs such as 'All Along the Watchtower', 'And the Gods Made Love', 'Crosstown Traffic' and a live jam version of 'Voodoo Child' with Steve Winwood on organ.

Madonna Desperately Seeking Susan jacket

Estimate: $80,000 - $100,000

This custom-made jacket was famously worn onscreen by Madonna in her 1985 movie debut, Desperately Seeking Susan.

Both Madonna and her co-star Rosanna Arquette both wore the jacket throughout the film, causing a case of mistaken identity which is central to the plot.

Madonna can also be seen wearing the jacket in promotional photographs for the film, on the official poster, and in the music video for her hit song Get into the Groove which appears on the soundtrack.

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