One of the Three Kings of Blues, Albert King’s 1967 Gibson Flying V Guitar will burn the auction stage (photo right) and is the first guitar of King’s ever to come to auction. This was his main guitar for both studio work and live performances circa 1967-1972 and used on his finest recordings, “Born Under a Bad Sign,” “I’ll Play the Blues for You” and on the albums, Blues Masters: The Very Best of Albert King in 1999 and The Very Best of Albert King in 2007, where it appears on the covers. The guitar signed “Love / you / Albert King” was given to the blues legend by Gibson to replace his first Flying V, named “Lucy” that was lost. King was a huge musical influence on Eric Clapton, Mike Bloomfield, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix, who like King was left-handed but played right-handed guitars upside down. After seeing King play this cherry red Flying V, Hendrix had a conversation with King which inspired him to acquire his own ‘67 Flying V in the same color, which he famously painted with a psychedelic design. Items from the Estate of Albert King rarely come to auction and this spectacular blues artifact accompanied with a notarized letter from his Estate and original case is estimated to sell at $300,000 - $500,000.
An exciting auction appearance will be the sale of a Hammond B-3 organ circa mid-1960s played by one of the finest Hammond organists of all time, Gregg Allman. Allman played this instrument extensively during live performances with The Allman Brothers Band and with the Gregg Allman Band from the late 1980s until Allman’s final Lake Tahoe show on October 3, 2015 (estimate: $80,000 - $100,000) (photo left). It is accompanied with a Hammond stool and a Leslie 122RV cabinet with rotating speakers.
Other prominent auction highlights include: handwritten lyrics by Freddie Mercury to an unpublished song with lines such as, “It’s a world of give and take/ a calculated risk reason/ Love inside a prison/ Destiny at stake/ Trapped by your own admission ... When you can’t handle the strain/ The tug of war of being in love/ The challenge and the pace human race” (estimate: $15,000 - $20,000); John Denver’s circa 1982 “White Lady” Greven six-string acoustic guitar (estimate: $20,000-$40,000); Jimmy Page’s 1979 burgundy Fender Stratocaster that he played while performing with rock band Public Eye in 1991 (estimate: $30,000 - $50,000); a single sheet original manuscript of John Lennon’s handwritten poem and lullaby titled “Bernice’s Sheep” that was published in A Spaniard in the Works on June 24th, 1965 (estimate: $30,000 - $50,000); Michael Jackson’s custom black jacket with rhinestone accents worn to the MTV Video Music Awards in Tokyo on May 27, 2006 where Jackson won the Legend Award that year (estimate: $40,000 - $60,000); Pete Townsend’s first guitar that he owned and played, a 1936 Radiotone cello guitar (estimate: $10,000 - $15,000); an original Beatles Ltd merchandising booklet signed inside by John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Paul McCartney and obtained at Palais des Sports in Paris, France, on June 20th, 1965 (estimate: $15,000 - $20,000); Stevie Nicks’ red double row tambourine signed, “Much Love Stevie Nicks,” and her inscriptions of written album titles throughout the tambourine including, Time Space, Street Angel, Bella Donna, and more (estimate: $800-$1,200) (photo right); a 14K white gold love symbol pendant on a 14K white gold chain, worn by Prince on multiple occasions (estimate: $8,000 - $10,000); a DX7 Synthesizer stage used and signed by Nine Inch Nails band members during the 1994-1995 Self Destruct Tour (estimate: $4,000 - $6,000); a life-size prosthetic bust of Dave Grohl from the 2006 film Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny (estimate: $1,500 - $2,500); plus, instruments, memorabilia and ephemera from The Beatles, The Clash, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Whitney Houston and more.
“Julien’s Auctions’ year-end Icons and Idols extravaganza will offer some of the most sought-after music artifacts in the world,” said Darren Julien, President/Chief Executive Officer of Julien’s Auctions. “From the first guitar ever to be offered at auction that was owned and played by Bob Marley to Albert King’s main and most important guitar to a stunning collection of Little Richard’s most iconic wardrobe, this event offers an exciting opportunity for buyers and collectors to own these incredible pieces of music history from the pioneers of rock and roll.”