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Lennon original sketch for "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album highlights music icons sale
An extraordinary ink on paper sketch of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album cover. Photo: Julien’s Auctions.

NEW YORK, NY.- Julien’s Auctions has announced one of the most remarkable auctions ever to take place in New York City — Music Icons 2017. Hundreds of pieces of iconic rock n’ roll memorabilia will go under the hammer representing some of the biggest moments in music history and the artists who have shaped pop culture. Music Icons 2017 will take place at Hard Rock Cafe New York in Times Square on Saturday, May 20, 2017 beginning with Session I at 10:00 a.m. From a rare John Lennon treasure to Elvis Presley’s very first piano, the highly-anticipated auction will give collectors and fans from around the globe an extraordinary opportunity to bid on items that bear remarkable historical significance in music.

John Lennon once occupied a home with his wife Cynthia known as Kenwood in Surrey. It was here that he also wrote some of the most famous Beatles songs including “Ticket to Ride” and “I Feel Fine.” Found in a sketchbook left behind at the home and recovered by the new owners is an extraordinary ink on paper sketch of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album cover, released in 1967. Lennon wrote much of the album before leaving the home in 1969. The astonishing sketch includes John Lennon’s handwriting of the album’s title on the central bass drum in the image. This sketch is one of the most significant and historically important pieces of Beatles memorabilia ever to be recovered. Ultimately, all of the Beatles had a hand in the final design of the album art.

This year, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band celebrates its 50th Anniversary. The eighth album released by the Beatles is known to be one of the most influential and acclaimed works of all time with iconic songs such as “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “With a Little Help from My Friends” and “A Day in the Life.” The John Lennon album cover sketch is estimated at $40,000-$60,000.

The Beach Boys, the consummate rock/pop band of the 60’s, invented California rock with their signature pop sound. Recognizable as any group in rock history, The Beach Boys will be represented through an archive of vintage musical treasures and precious remnants. During an era that defined the California dream and “Good Vibrations,” The Beach Boys became the most popular surfing band in the nation. Their harmonies were a force and their genius rivaled even that of the Beatles. Their album Pet Sounds is still regarded asone of the most innovative and ground-breaking albums of all time. In the 1960s, the band gave the world such hits as “God Only Knows,” “Wouldn’t It be Nice,” California Girls” and so many others. Brian Wilson and his late brothers Dennis and Carl Wilson, along with Mike Love and Al Jardin, made up the preeminent pop group. For the first time ever, Julien’s Auctions will offer a collection of rare documents, manuscripts, photographs, handwritten notes and lyrics, lead sheets and band contracts all documenting one of the most celebrated bands in music history.

Other highlights include the guitar of legendary jazz guitarist “Django” Reinhardt (1910-1953), best known for his blend of folk music with jazz and swing styles. Reinhardt is the most influential European jazz guitarist to this day. Although Reinhardt lost two fingers, he figured out a resourceful fingering system to play the guitar and in 1934 became part of the Quintet of the Hot Club of France which quickly became an international draw and led to a long series of Ultraphone, Decca and HMV recordings. Julien’s Auctions has the distinct honor of offering the Levin Deluxe guitar played by Django Reinhardt and Fred Guy of the Duke Ellington Orchestra and also featured on the cover of Guitar Magazine (Estimate: $80,000-$100,000). Aside from this guitar having been played by Guy, Django Reinhardt was photographed with the guitar at a 1946 gig at The Aquarium in New York City. Reinhardt was invited to America by Ellington in 1946, who was later quoted as describing Reinhardt as “the most creative jazz musician to originate anywhere outside of the United States.” The Levin Deluxe is a non-cutaway archtop guitar with hand carved top and back, a spruce top and maple back and sides. It features two f-holes, black inlays, faux tortoiseshell pickguard and a sunburst finish. It is an unparalleled guitar to be offered at auction and unrivaled in its significance amidst the history of jazz.

The hundreds of items to go on the auction block are worthy of their own Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit and include Jimi Hendrix Experience handwritten and signed hotel documents (Estimate: $8,000-$10,000); a Beatles signed program page from 1963 (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); a Beatles White Matte Record Award (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000); a John Lennon signed “Please Please Me” album cover (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000); a Paul McCartney studio hired Gibson J-160E guitar (Estimate: $10,000-$20,000); a Ringo Starr vintage drum case (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000); a George Harrison signed and played Fender guitar (Estimate: $20,000-$30,000); a 1967 Ludwig drum kit used by Michael Shrieve during his performance as a member of Santana at Woodstock ($80,000-$100,000); a shoe worn and signed by Madonna in “Desperately Seeking Susan” (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000); a Michael Jackson “In the Closet” video worn ensemble (Estimate: $8,000-$10,000); a Michael Jackson “Leave Me Alone” video worn jacket (Estimate: $40,000-$60,000); Prince’s oval Versace sunglasses (Estimate: $1,400-$1,800); Prince’s handwritten lyrics and notes (Estimate: $8,000-$10,000); the bright red London phone booth used on the cover of One Direction’s “Take Me Home” album (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000); a Lady Gaga worn gown (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000); a Guns n’ Roses Multi-Platinum record award (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); Slash’s Harley Davidson motorcycle (Estimate: $20,000-$30,000); Slash’s 2011 Super Bowl performance worn top hat (Estimate: $10,000-$20,000); David Bowie “Jazzin for Blue Jean” worn zoot suit (Estimate: $10,000-$20,000); a George Michael “Spinning the Wheel” video worn Versace suit (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000); Stewart Copeland’s original Tama Drum Kit (Estimate: $20,000-$40,000); The Edge, Eric Clapton and Morrissey used Rickenbacker guitar (Estimate: $10,000-$20,000); The Who’s Pete Townsend’s 1964 Gibson SG guitar (Estimate: $60,000-$80,000); Queen’s Freddie Mercury stage used microphone (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000); Elvis Presley’s personalized sunglasses (Estimate: $14,000-$16,000); an Elvis Presley stage worn cross (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); Elvis Presley’s chest x-ray (Estimate: $8,000-$10,000); a large collection of personal jewelry worn by Elvis (Estimates: Various); and an unprecedented opportunity to own Elvis Presley’s very first piano (Estimate: $100,000-$200,000).

A collection of items from the personal and professional lives of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Cash, Liberace, Cher, Whitney Houston and more complete the auction.

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