Popular Culture: Rock and Pop Memorabilia

South KensingtonThis June, Christie’s is pleased to present an exciting and eclectic selection of unique, important and unusual pieces in the Popular Culture: Rock and Pop Memorabilia sale, to be held on 24 June 2010, at 12 noon. The sale is bursting with objects to cater for collectors of all ages, representing icons of music from 1950s to the 1990s, with a selection of items also from the present day. Highlights range from: the largest single-owner collection of The Who memorabilia to ever come on the market; an acoustic Yamaha FG-340 guitar once owned and played by George Harrison of The Beatles; and a Gibson Les Paul guitar with sunburst finish owned and played by Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols circa 1975/76; to the hand-painted banner used by U2 on the ‘BOY’ tour in 1980-81; original painting by Ian Dury, titled Honk Honk Its The Bonk, produced whilst at the Royal College of Art, under the tutelage of Sir Peter Blake (estimate: £1,500-2,000); the first known recording of Oasis in concert, 1992; original paintings of Fatboy Slim; a Dolce and Gabbana necklace worn by Kylie Minogue; and a collection of original stationery from the wedding of Marilyn Manson and Dita Von Teese. *Please see separate press release for further information on the large selection of guitars on offer, including those mentioned above.

Christie’s is delighted to be offering the first installment from the largest single-owner collection of The Who memorabilia to ever come on the market. Offered from the collection of the West Coast collector, Brad Rodgers at, are over sixty-five lots relating to the iconic rock and roll group including guitars, posters, awards, signed records, clothing and more. Brad attended his first Who concert as a teenager in 1976, and has always been a fan, going to see them as often as he could when they played in his hometown of Los Angeles. In 1988 Brad started collecting, prompted by the gift of an old Who album from a friend. The collection began with a focus on old albums, then diversified to include concert posters (intrigued by the dates and venues of each concert), then awards, and then guitars, and by that time the collection “had already achieved a life of its own”. Brad says “Although it's the music that really defines the artist, each piece of memorabilia represents a small fragment of time in their career. Whether it's the guitar that Pete played at the concert you were at or the poster for the show, each piece of memorabilia is a tangible link to the past”.

This first installment from the collection is expected to realise over £100,000, and highlights include a 1970 vintage Gibson SG played by Pete Townshend on the first leg of the 1971 U.S. tour (estimate: £20,000-30,000); a Peter Cook custom-made bass guitar, of flame design, played by John Entwistle during a Who performance on Top of the Pops, circa 1976 (estimate: £15,000-20,000) see separate guitar release ; a Keith Moon owned and worn Esso jumpsuit, 1970s (estimate: £1,000-1,500); a RIAA White Matte Sales Award, presented to Pete Towshend for the LP Tommy (estimate: £4,000-6,000) illustrated right; a microphone used on stage by Roger Daltrey on 24 August, 1989 at The Who  performance of "Tommy" at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, California (estimate: £300-500); a Boxing-style poster for The Who concert at Top Rank Suite, Sunderland on 7 May 1971 (estimate: £500-700) illustrated top right; a RIAA White Matte Sales Award, presented to Keith Moon for the LP Quadrophenia (estimate: £4,000-6,000); as well as an original doodle portrait of Keith Moon, pencil, titled The Seat Perilous, drawn by John Entwistle on The Churchill Hotel, London headed paper (estimate: £500-700), and much more.

Providing great insight into the mind of the teenage Paul McCartney is a page removed from his art coursework sketchbooks whilst in Form RB at the Liverpool Institute, circa 1957-58 (estimate: £15,000-20,000) illustrated right. The front shows original drawings by McCartney – a rather talented young artist, whilst the reverse displays practice letters to an imaginary lyric writing company - the young Paul McCartney already aspiring towards a successful career in the music business. Another highlight included in The Beatles section of the sale is a copy of the album With The Beatles signed on the reverse by all four band members (estimate: £7,000-9,000).

Rescued from a skip by an employee of Island Records, and now being sold by a friend, is the original hand-painted backdrop used on U2's tour to promote their first album BOY, 1980-81 (estimate: £10,000-15,000) illustrated right. Standing at 2.5 metres square, the backdrop depicts the controversial image of Peter Rowan (the brother of Bono's friend), as used on the UK album cover. He also appears on the covers of Three, War, and The Best of 1980–1990. Since acquiring the backdrop from a friend, the vendor has kept it under the bed, not having a space large enough to hang it. To see pictures of the backdrop being used in 1980 visit Getty Images:

Fresh to the market and included in the sale from the early nineties is the earliest known recording of Oasis in concert (estimate: £4,000-6,000) illustrated right. The unreleased and largely undocumented recording was taken directly from the mixing desk at a gig at The Boardwalk, Manchester, in early 1992. The vendor is Dean Hanley, a figure from the Manchester music scene. He was personally given the tape by Noel Gallagher, with a request to help promote the band. Dean created demos from the cassette tape, and sent them out to record labels hoping to get Oasis their first record contract. The tape insert card is inscribed by Noel Gallagher with the title Oasis 14 Jan 1992, and the seven song titles: A Bit of Columbia, Take Me, Must Be The Music, Accoustic, Arkayla, Better Let You Know and Take Me (Demo Autumn ‘91). Also offered from this pop era is the original artwork by renowned graffiti artist 3D, aka Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack, used for the CD insert for their debut album, Blue Lines, 1991 (estimate: £2,000-3,000).

Original artwork produced for Fatboy Slim’s Greatest Hits album Why Try Harder, 2006, is offered for sale directly from the artist herself, Julie-Anne Gilburt (estimates start at £1,000). Featuring the in-depth preparatory sketch book used by Julie-Anne to help design the album cover, the sale also includes a portrait of Norman Cook, and further paintings for the album, including the alternative Christopher Walken portrait for the US version illustrated right, based on his performance in the award-winning music video for Fatboy Slim's Weapon of Choice. The video, directed by Spike Jonze, won six MTV awards in 2001 and—in a list of the top 100 videos of all time compiled from a survey of musicians, directors, and music industry figures conducted by UK music TV channel VH1—won Best Video of All Time in April 2002. Further lots on offer from the ‘noughties’ include a unique Dolce & Gabbana necklace (estimate: £2,000-4,000) illustrated right. Designed for Kylie Minogue, the pop princess wore the chunky necklace for the first performance at the 2001 Europe MTV Awards. A particularly personal lot on offer is a collection of souvenirs from the wedding of Marilyn Manson and Dita Von Teese, on 3 December 2005 (estimate: £500-600). This lot includes Save the Date card, Wedding Invitation, Hotel Information, Menu Card and more.

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Images and interviews with Christie’s specialists and select vendors available upon request


Notes to Editors:

Public Viewing:
Saturday 19 June:         10.00am - 4.00pm
Sunday 20 June:           10.00am - 4.00pm
Monday 21 June:          9.00am - 7.30pm
Tuesday 22 June:         9.00am – 5.00pm
Wednesday 23 June:     9.00am – 5.00pm

Auction:           Thursday, 24 June at 12 noon

Ecatalogue:     Available online from 20 May 2010 at

Christie’s South Kensington
Christie’s South Kensington caters for every collector – from the seasoned connoisseur to those discovering the pleasure of buying at auction for the first time. Specialised sales are broken down into individual departments. Sales are usually held twice a year dependent on category, offering rare and important works of art, decorative objects and collectibles ranging from Old Master and 19th Century Art to Popular Culture Memorabilia. Interiors sales and single owner collections are held more regularly and encapsulate a wide-range of categories in one sale. With items usually offered at a lower price point these sales often appeal to those buying items for the home. Every item featured in a Christie’s sale is valued and fully researched by our experienced experts who possess extensive knowledge of the market and their specialist areas. Trade and private buyers alike are drawn to the welcoming and brightly lit saleroom in South Kensington by the treasures on offer throughout the sales calendar year.


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*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.