$60k Bo Diddley guitar rocks at auction

The $420,000 sale of the rhinestone studded glove Michael Jackson wore for the first-ever performance of his Moonwalk dance on TV dominated the headlines - but plenty of other remarkable music memorabilia items sold for incredible amounts at Julien's Auctions last Saturday (November 21).

Jackson artefacts were the only lots to bring six figure sums; but top among the other sales was rock 'n' roll legend Bo Diddley's (1928-2008) last-ever stage used guitar and case. It brought an incredible $60,000.

Bo Diddley (1928-2008)
Bo Diddley with his iconic square guitar

Diddley's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame award also sold for $11,875, and this trademark hat with medallion fetched $13,750.

Unsurprisingly, it was the music veterans whose influence is already felt today whose memorabilia commanded the highest sums. Aside from Bo Diddley, country legend Johnny Cash's Wilkanowski and Sons Airway "Fiddle Guitar" brought $37,500.

Elsewhere, Elvis Presley's jacket worn by him in the 1968 MGM car racing film Speedway sold for $20,480.

Two handwritten Presley set lists penned by the King himself also fetched five figures, going for $18,750 and $16,640 to the highest bidders. And one buyer who couldn't wait for the sale of Elvis's diamond ring next month snapped up Presley's owned and worn ruby star ring for $13,750.

Guitars that have passed through the hands of legends usually do well at auction, and a signed and played Tom Petty guitar (sold for $20,000), an axe owned and played by Van Halen ($18,750), David Bowie's custom Steinberger guitar ($12,500) and Prince's "cloud guitar" ($11,875) were no exceptions.

Elvis Presley's Speedway
Elvis in the 1968 film Speedway

Julien's Auction's high profile sale was guaranteed to have its fair share of Beatles memorabilia. John Lennon's DA Milling designed jacket and pants brought $12,800 whilst a Beatles signed tour souvenir book and lot of memorabilia from the London premiere of A Hard Day's Night each went for $10,625.

Meanwhile, a Hofner bass guitar signed by Lennon's erstwhile Beatles colleague Paul McCartney sold for $8,750, and an signed lithograph of his song Yesterday sold for a surprisingly modest $2,304.

Also selling for $10,625 was an original barn sign from the Bethel, New York farm of Max Yasgur (1919-1973), on whose land Woodstock was held between August 15 and August 18, 1969.

As we previously reported, Steven Tyler - best known as the vocalist for veteran US rockers Aerosmith - lent his name to half of the Julien's sale. His own memorabilia offered some bargains for fans, including a celestial t-shirt once worn by the singer which sold for $1,120.

The Julien's Auctions sale took place at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, New York City.

If you missed the sale, at Paul Fraser Collectibles, we currently have our own pieces of Elvis memorabilia available: two autographed photos of Elvis, one of him brooding, one smiling.

And Beatles fans also need look no further as we have a rarely seen, early typed letter from Paul McCartney, sent from his childhood home to a female friend during the recording of the Beatle's first-ever LP.


Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock