Most of these high paying prices will be two avid collectors entering a bidding war, but that doesn’t mean they are any less impressive. In fact, sometimes it is the item that was sold more than the price they paid for it that is the most fascinating…
The Top 10 Most Expensive Items of Music Memorabilia Ever Sold
10 – Original Artwork for London Calling By The Clash (Price: £72,000)
Info Source: The album was recorded in London during August-September 1979, just prior to the ‘Clash Take The Fifth’ US tour. Photographer Pennie Smith and artist Ray Lowry accompanied the band and it was during their appearance at The Palladium, NYC, on 21st September, that Smith took the cover photograph of Paul Simonon smashing his guitar. The photographer originally felt the image not good enough to be used, but Lowry thought otherwise, and the following years have shown what an inspired choice that was.
9 – Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean Glove (Price: £231,000)
Info Source: The white embellished accessory was given by the late star to his personal artist, Paul Bedard, in 1984. Jackson commissioned the artist to create more than a dozen paintings to adorn the walls of his home and his Neverland Ranch.
8 – Jimi Hendrix’s Torched Guitar (Price: £237,000)
Info Source: As legend has it, Hendrix doused the Strat in lighter fluid during ‘Wild Thing,’ and lit a match (or flicked a lighter) at the Monterey International Pop Festival in San Fransisco that year. Wright tells English newspaper the Metro that the guitarist had planned to just smash it, but saw Pete Townshend do the same thing earlier that night.
7 – KISS’s Stage Costumes (Price: £238,000)
Info Source: The remaining (original) group members included Paul Stanley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Ace Frehley (lead guitar and vocals) and Peter Criss (drums and vocals). In June of 2002 perhaps the most legendary attributes of KISS, their costumes, were sold
6 – Ringo Starr’s Copy of The White Album (Price: £592,000)
Info Source: “We used to play the vinyl in those days,” Starr previously told Rolling Stone of his copy of the band’s classic 1968 LP. “We didn’t think, ‘We’ll keep it for 50 years and it will be in pristine condition.’ Whoever gets it, it will have my fingerprints on it.” The copies of The White Album were numbered in sequence, ensuring that whoever purchased Starr’s copy would have the first printing produced of the album.
5 – John Lennon’s Hand-Written Lyrics To Give Peace a Chance (Price: £629,500)
Info Source: Although written several decades ago, the words “Give Peace a Chance” still resonate with people worldwide, reminiscent of the song written and sung by John Lennon (also performed with Yoko Ono). Lennon released the song while still a part of The Beatles, and the song cultivated into an American “anti-war anthem.”
4 – Eric Clapton’s Blackie Guitar (Price: £718,000)
Info Source: Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” is one of the most recognized celebrity-associated instruments in the history of the electric guitar, and it served Slowhand’s needs for a decade and a half until its “retirement” in the mid 1980s. Clapton was long ago quoted as saying this instrument “… has become part of me,”.
3 – Bob Dylan’s Hand-Written Lyrics To Like a Rolling Stone (Price: £1.2m)
Info Source: Written in pencil on four sheets of hotel stationary, Sotheby’s described the item as “the only known surviving draft of the final lyrics for this transformative rock anthem.” Still, the sheets do feature some lyrics that didn’t make the final cut, including the phrase, “…dry vermouth/You’ll tell the truth” and an abandoned line about Al Capone
2 – All-Star Fender Stratocaster for Reach Out To Asia (Price: £2.1m)
Info Source: In 2005, this guitar was sold in an auction in Qatar to raise funds for Reach Out to Asia, a charity formed to help tsunami victims. The instrument is signed by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend, Mark Knopfler, Ray Davis, Liam Gallagher, Ronnie Wood, Tony Iommi, Angus and Malcolm Young, Paul McCartney, Sting, Ritchie Blackmore, Def Leppard and Bryan Adams
1 – John Lennon’s 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V (Price: £2.2m)
Info Source: As for the Rolls-Royce, it’s as solidly real as they come – 2,500 kilograms of a Liverpudlian’s Brobdingnagian folly. It sits in the foyer of Victoria’s Royal B.C. Museum, drawing eyeballs like it has its own gravity well, an icon of British nobility turned on its head. In the mid-1960s, this car was right in the heart of Beatlemania