Last week, Obsessedwithfilm.com published their Top 10 pieces of Film memorabilia that fans lust over and I was inspired to concoct my own list for Rock and Roll Memorabilia. Call it my fantasy Rock Memorabilia collection, subject to having unlimited funds and the ability to beg, borrow and steal the possessions of the people who currently own them. Sadly, my fantasy Rock Memorabilia Collection would probably cost me around $3-4 Million Dollars so I’d better start saving now.
10 – Roger Daltrey’s Fringed Waistcoat worn at Woodstock, 1969
The Who would have to make my fantasy Top Ten and something from Woodstock in 1969, signaling the end of the decade that brought us the best in rock and roll music, would complete my collection. The image of Roger Daltrey on stage at Woodstock with those fringes circling around him is an enduring tribute to the Sixties. I believe this outfit was last seen at the British Music Experience in London.
9 – David Bowie Ziggy Stardust stage costume
I would give my right arm to own one of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust stage outfits, probably the stripy, pointy-shouldered number he wore during the last date on the Ziggy Stardust Tour at Hammersmith Odeon in 1973. Wow, he was so cool! One of his Ziggy Stardust era outfits came up at Christie’s a few years back – the asymetrical flame-covered costume he wore at the Marquee Club, London in 1973 – and it made £10,800 ($21,600).
8 – Original Beatles concert poster
If I was going to own an original Beatles concert poster, it would have to be one for one of their early Liverpool concerts at the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton in 1962. Beatlemania didn’t hit the U.K. until 1963 so in 1962, the Beatles still shared equal billing with other acts at the Tower Ballroom like Gerry and the Pacemakers, Bruce Channel (Direct From America!!) and Ringo’s old band, Rory Storm and The Hurricanes. If I had one of these on my wall, I would sit and contemplate how musical history might have taken a different turn if this group of four guys from Liverpool had stayed on the local circuit playing venues like the Tower Ballroom and the Barnston Women’s Institute. The last Tower Ballroom poster that came on the market made around $40,000.
7 – Jimi Hendrix Jacket
I was going to add one of Hendrix’s guitars to the list but seeing as I’ve already chosen two guitars, I thought I’d opt for one of Hendrix’s outfits. I think the jacket most closely associated with him is the military-style jacket he wears during Monterey Festival in 1967 and in the legendary photographs of Gered Mankowitz. Such a classic and probably worth at least $100,000, given that other less famous Hendrix outfits have made as much as £60,000.
6 – Jim Morrison’s leather pants
There isn’t anything more rock and roll than Jim Morrison’s leather pants. What a God! There are a few pairs of his trousers in various Hard Rock Cafes around the world but there hasn’t been an important piece of Jim Morrison clothing on the market for many years and a key item like this from the Lizard King himself would have to be included in my dream rock memorabilia collection.
5 – Sid Vicious’ chain and padlock necklace
This list has got to include at least one piece of Punk Memorabilia so for me, nothing sums up the Sex Pistols and Punk fashion more than Sid’s chain and padlock necklace. THere has been one of these on the market before but I know there is also one of Sid’s chains on display in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland. I would expect to pay at least $20,000 for such a gem of Punk Memorabilia and I would probably want to wear it as often as possible.
4 – John Lennon lyrics
I’ve thought long and hard about this one. A set of lyrics in John Lennon’s hand would have to be on the list, but which song? Do I choose one my favourite tracks, “Sexy Sadie”, “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” or “Glass Onion” (currently in the possession of Yoko Ono) or do I go for a 1963 Beatles classic like “Please Please Me”? The earlier tracks from the first album have so much more historical importance that I’d probably opt for the lyrics for “Please Please Me”. Imagine having those on your wall?! I have never seen lyrics from the first album come up for sale but given the recent price of $1.2 Million achieved for the lyrics for “A Day In The Life”, John Lennon’s hand-written lyrics for a track like “Please Please Me” could be a record-breaker.
3 – Kurt Cobain’s Martin D-18 guitar used on Unplugged
Probably one of my favourite albums ever. Cobain’s appearance on Unplugged was so incredibly mesmorising, even more so in light of his death soon after, and the guitar he used during that show would encapsulate everything that was the talented Kurt Cobain for me. Courtney Love still owns this guitar but if it were ever to come on to the market, I predict that fans better be ready to fork out at least $500,000 for this gem of Kurt Cobain memorabilia.
2 – Janis Joplin’s Porsche
If I was building a collection of the best Rock Memorabilia in the world, it would have to include a rock star’s car and Janis Joplin’s psychedelic painted Porsche would fit in very nicely indeed. Joplin owned a 1965 Porsche 356-C Cabriolet and had Big Brother And The Holding Company Roadie paint it for her with a psychedelic design including butterflies and images of her band. The Porsche is still owned by Janis Joplin’s family and currently resides in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Museum in Cleveland. Kind of ironic that she owned a Porsche when she sang about owning a Mercedes Benz.
1 – John Lennon’s guitar from the Bed In
This is for me the ultimate piece of John Lennon memorabilia. My favourite John Lennon period has always been his hippy 1968-1969 period when I think he wrote his best songs and the Bed In has become a symbol of everything Lennon stood for – Peace, Music, Love. The guitar Lennon used at the Bed In was a Gibson J-160E and had been used by Lennon on stage as early as 1964 when it was a sunburst finish before Lennon had it painted by The Fool. Later, he had the guitar stripped back and for the Bed-In, drew caricatures of himself and Yoko Ono on the body. This guitar is currently in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Museum in Cleveland and is still owned by Yoko Ono so it is never ever likely to come up for sale. But if it ever did, I would wager it would be one of the most important pieces of John Lennon memorabilia to come on the market ever. As such, the budget would probably have to stretch to at least a million dollars, if not more. Hmmm.