The Who collectibles and memorabilia
The Who collectibles and memorabilia are items relating to the British rock band The Who.
The Who formed in London in 1965 and consisted of Pete Townshend on lead guitar, vocals and keyboards; Roger Daltrey on vocals, guitar and harmonica, John Entwistle on bass and vocals and Keith Moon on drums. (Although Doug Sandon was the band's original drummer).
Pete Townshend served as the band's sole songwriter and is considered by some to be one of the best rock guitarists in history, while drummer Keith Moon has been praised for his drumming talents as well; (it is said that the Muppets character "Animal" is based off of him).
Some of the band's best and highest selling singles include "Teenage Wasteland," "My Generation," "Baba O'Riley" and "Pinball Wizard," to name a few, and their 1969 album Tommy has been arguably declared as the first rock opera album in history.
After Moon died from alcohol poisoning in 1978 the group took a brief hiatus, however, continued to record albums and tour throughout the 1980s to present.
The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and Rolling Stone has since pinned them in the "holy trinity of British rock" along with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Types of memorabilia
Christie's in London sold Townshend's 1963 Gibson SG Special guitar stenciled with "Who" lettering (which he owned between 1972 and 1974) for £100,450 in September of 2004; Townshend's 1967 Gibson SG Special electric guitar (which he owned throughout the 1970s and 1980s) as well as a signed letter by Townshend for £32,450 in July of 2008; Townshend's 1972/1973 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe guitar (which he owned from 1973 to 1976) for £31,250 in June of 2011; Townshend's 1972 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe guitar (which he owned between 1973 and 1978) for £24,000 in May of 2005; Townshend's 1988 Takamine EN-20 acoustic guitar (which he owned in 1989) for £10,000 in June of 2010, and Townshend's 1970/71 SG Standard Custom Order electrical guitar (which he owned in 1971) for £49,250 in June of 2010.
Christie's in New York also sold a 2000 Gibson SG guitar which was signed by Pete Townshend for $38,240 in June of 2004.
CooperOwen in Egham, Surrey sold Townhend's smashed Gibson SG guitar (circa 1969) for £8,000 in July of 2006.
The Fame Bureau in Dartford sold a set of Moon's drums (circa 1978) for £6,250 in November of 2008.
Christie's in London sold a poster promoting a Who concert in Denmark (circa 1965) for £4,375 in July of 2008.
CooperOwen in Egham, Surrey sold rare original negatives of The Who (circa 1963) for £5,500 in April of 2006.
Heritage Auctions in Dallas sold The Who's Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award for $11,000 in October of 2008.
Guide for collectors
Who memorabilia, or specifically guitars that were once owned and/or played by Townshend during the 1970s, have become some of the highest selling celebrity memorabilia items at auctions. These guitars are considered the most valuable, (although not necessarily the most rare), especially if the guitar was used to compose some of the band's most well-known singles.
Memorabilia that was once owned or used by any of the Who members during the 1970s is considered more valuable than memorabilia that was owned or used from the 1980s to present; and Keith Moon memorabilia is also considered both rare and valuable as well.
Restoration of an authentic Townshend guitar is only recommended if there is noticeable damage.
Collectors can find more information regarding Who memorabilia at www.whocollection.com as well as at the band's official website www.thewho.com.
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