Top 10: Music memorabilia sales in 2012



2015-06-26 10:29:00

10) Silver Beatles' rejected demo tape - $56,394

John, George, Paul and, um, Pete recorded this demo tape on New Years Day, 1962, under the guise "Silver Beatles". Decca weren't impressed by the (not so) Fab Four's efforts and passed on the band who would later hire Ringo Starr and rename themselves the Beatles. The tape sold at Fame Bureau on November 27 after a last minute legal battle concerning copyright ownership and involving EMI.

9) Elvis Presley's Bible - $95,111

The 1,600-page book was given to the singer by his Uncle Vester and Aunt Clettes for his first Graceland-Christmas in 1957. Some passages have been annotated by Presley, who died on 16 August 1977 aged 42. A pair of the singer's unwashed pants was also on sale at Omega Auctions in September, but failed to meet their reserve price.

8) George Harrison's "Beatle" boots - $98,777

This pair of Harrison's iconic "Beatle" boots sold at Bonhams in December. The boots, along with a plethora of other Beatles related items, were offered from the Harrison family collection.

7) Rare original Beatles painting - $155,250

An extraordinarily rare original painting by all four members of the Beatles sold at a New York sale on September 14. The painting was first presented to the president of the Beatles' Japanese fan club, Tetsuabaro Shimoyama, following the band's one and only trip to Japan. The group visited the country for just 100 hours in 1966 and spent much of their time there evading the frenzied crowds surrounding Tokyo Hilton Hotel, where they were confined to their rooms.

6) George Harrison's leather jacket - $178,089

Another remarkable item offered from the Harrison family collection; George Harrison wore this black leather jacket for some of the Beatles very first stage appearances at the Cavern Club. It sold at Bonhams in December.

5) Michael Jackson's crystal glove - $192,000

Jackson's creepy glove sold at Julien's Auctions in Las Vegas in December. Lady Gaga may or may not have bought it.

4) Les Paul's Fender - $216,000

The Julien's Auctions sale was held to commemorate what would have been guitarist Les Paul's 97th birthday on December 19, following his death in 2009. The auction featured an array of personal memorabilia from his impressive musical career.

3) Michael Jackson's Bad Tour jacket - $240,000

Jackson's Bad Tour jacket sold in December at an event attended by Lady Gaga and orchestrated by Julien's auctions. Lady Gaga, similarly famed for her outlandish and often eccentric sense of style, is known to have bought a considerable slice of the collection, declaring on Twitter: "The fifty five pieces I collected today will be archived and expertly cared for in the spirit and love of Michael Jackson, his bravery and his fans worldwide."

2) Jimi Hendrix's favourite Fender Stratocaster - $287,500

This Stratocaster narrowly avoided being set on fire during a 1967 show at Monterey pop festival, having been replaced at the last moment with another model that bore the brunt of Hendrix's notorious on-stage antics. During a closing rendition of Wild Thing, he famously doused the replacement in lighter fluid and set fire to it before smashing it to pieces. The "replacement" guitar is now worth almost twice as much as this one. It sold at the Fame Bureau in November.

1) Mick Jagger's love letters to Marsha Hunt - $302,265

A series of love letters that Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger sent to his lover Marsha Hunt highlighted Sotheby's highly-anticipated English Literature, History, Children's Book and Illustration auction, which was held on December 12 in London.

Prior to the sale, Hunt commented: "They're addressed to me. I was 23, American born, Berkeley educated, and London based. Our delicate love affair remains as much part of his secret history as his concerns over the death of Brian Jones and the suicide attempt of his girlfriend, Marianne Faithful."

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