Townshend's Guitar May Fetch 35,000 Pounds at Christie's Sale

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Fri Aug 6 17:02:02 CDT 2004

>From Bloomberg News at:

Townshend's Guitar May Fetch 35,000 Pounds at
Christie's Sale

Aug. 6 (Bloomberg) -- An electric guitar played by
Pete Townshend of the Who during the rock group's 1973
U.K. Fallout Shelter Tour may fetch as much as 35,000
pounds ($63,796) at a London auction next month,
Christie's International said. 

The 1963 white Gibson SG Special is being offered by a
private collector who bought it in the 1970s from an
acquaintance of Townshend, Christie's said in a
statement. The auction house's Sept. 29 sale of pop
memorabilia will include items relating to the
Beatles, Ozzy Osbourne and Madonna. 

Instruments owned by famous musicians can sell for
much more than their underlying value, especially if
they're rare. California retailer Guitar Center Inc.
paid a record $959,500 for an electric guitar owned by
Eric Clapton at a Christie's auction in New York on
June 25. 

"Townshend's status among collectors is right up there
with Clapton, but he owned several cream-colored
Gibson guitars so they aren't as rare," said Sarah
Hodgson, head of pop memorabilia sales at Christie's. 

Townshend, born in 1945, came to fame in the U.K.
music boom of the 1960s with the Who, formed with John
Entwistle and Roger Daltrey, two former school friends
from the 1950s, according to the guitarist's Web site.

Townshend started writing original songs to compete
with the Beatles, and his first composition, "I Can't
Explain," was released in 1965, the Web site said. He
wrote the rock opera "Tommy," about a gifted pinball
player, which director Ken Russell made into a 1975

Guitar Smasher 

The musician was known for smashing his guitars on
stage. Christie's sold one of his broken guitars more
than 10 years ago for about 4,000 pounds, Hodgson
said. Collectors typically are the same age as the
artists and grew up with their music, she said. 

Among other items in the sale, a five-piece drum kit,
custom-made for the Who's drummer Keith Moon and used
by him during a 1969 U.S. tour, is valued at as much
as 15,000 pounds by Christie's. Moon, who like
Townshend had a reputation for wrecking his
instruments, died in 1978. 

The Beatles section of the sale features a 1957 comic
strip and a drawing by John Lennon, then a teenager,
titled "This Is Not Robert Mitchum." The two items,
glued together, are valued at 20,000 pounds. A
rhinestone-studded gold leather gun holster given to
Beatles manager Brian Epstein by Elvis Presley in 1965
in Los Angeles is estimated at as much as 5,000

A yellow and purple satin stage cape worn by Ozzy
Osbourne at the California Jam Festival in 1974 is
valued at 4,000 pounds. A Madonna outfit consisting of
a black leather backless bra and thong, joined
together with a network of straps, is valued at 6,000

-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!

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