Happy Birthday Johnny Rotten! Rare Sex Pistols memorabilia rocks at auction

Happy 56th birthday to Johnny Rotten! Who'd have guessed back in 1977 that the singer of anarchic punk band the Sex Pistols would still be going strong 35 years later?

Known to his mum as John Lydon, Rotten's celebrity continues as a singer, television personality and star of a certain butter commercial - and also as a regular big hitter on the collectible music memorabilia markets.

A rare vinyl copy of the Sex Pistols' establishment-baiting single God Save The Queen brought $17,179 on eBay in October 2011. Released on the A&M Records in 1977, only a small number of copies of the single were ever pressed before the 'Pistols left the label and signed with Virgin Records.

Rotten: turns 56-years-old today with an impressive head of hair

The sale far exceeded what many collectors and experts referred to as "the most valuable [non-autographed] vinyl disc of all time," another God Save the Queen rare vinyl valued at £8,000 (nearly $13,178) earlier that year.

Also last year, in April, a Sex Pistols UK vinyl 7" cut onto a 10" one sided acetate brought $23,000. The 10" acetate, used as a test pressing for the God Save the Queen, was cut at Townhouse Studios in London.

Because of sales like these, Record Collector magazine placed God Save The Queen at #1 in its 'most valuable collectible records' list last year. It was ahead of The Beatles, at #2 with Please Please Me, and the Rolling Stones self-titled debut LP from 1964 at #5.

Johnny Ramone Mosrite guitar
Other punk-era collectibles include Johnny Ramones's Mosrite guitar

So it seems there is plenty of cultural longevity in spiky hair and safety pins. And with other punk-era stars like Johnny Ramone and The Clash making their legacies felt at auction, expect to see a lot more collectible punk anarchy in 2012.  

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