While rare baseball cards and signed football jerseys of the legends can often fetch thousands of dollars at auction, some of the most highly valued and fascinating collectibles ever to grace the auction houses are music memorabilia. While sports stars are most certainly revered in modern culture, music has the ability to transcend nationality, gender, and status in order to bring people from all over the world together. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that these items are the most expensive music memorabilia ever.
John Lennon’s 1965 Rolls Royce Phantom V
John Lennon purchased the Rolls Royce Phantom V in Valentines Black in 1965, but a mere 3 months after acquiring it, Lennon began personalising it to suit his vibrant personality. The rear seat was converted into a double bed, a sound system was installed, the windows were tinted and a television, telephone, and portable refrigerator were also added. Lennon also customised the paint job with bright, psychedelic swirls and this iconic car eventually sold for an incredible $2,899,000 at a Sotheby’s auction.
Michael Jackson’s Thriller Red Leather Jacket
In 1983, during the height of Michael Jackson’s fame, the music video for Thriller was released in which Jackson wore the now-iconic red and black leather jacket with winged shoulders. The song was an instant success – winning Jackson multiple awards – and the iconic jacket was soon being reproduced en masse. Then, in 2011, Jackson’s original red leather jacket was sold on auction at Julien’s for a whopping $1,800,000! That’s a lot of wagers at your favourite betting sites!
John Lennon’s Handwritten Lyrics
Separately written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, A Day in the Life was the last song of the Sgt. Pepper album by the Beatles. It’s believed that Lennon wrote each word based on the news of the day, while McCartney’s lyrics were based on his youth and the different segments were seamlessly linked together. A Day in the Life was ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as the greatest song ever written by the Beatles and Lennon’s handwritten lyrics were sold at auction for a staggering $1,344,477.
Eric Clapton’s Blackie Guitar
Eric Clapton used a black Fender Stratocaster as his main studio and solo stage guitar from 1973 to 1985 and it was affectionately dubbed ‘Blackie’ by his fans. Clapton used Blackie during many iconic performances and the studio recording of some of his most famous songs, including “Cocaine” and “Wonderful Tonight”. Blackie was retired in 1985 owing to issues with the neck and the guitar was sold at a Christie’s auction for a spectacular $874,092 in aid of the Crossroads drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.
Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls Royce Phantom V
Much like John Lennon did in 1965, Elvis Presley also purchased a Rolls Royce Phantom V, just two years earlier in 1963. Presley also asked for custom fittings on his Rolls Royce and had a Blaupunkt Koln radio, air conditioning, and a bar installed. Presley’s Rolls Royce was sold at a Bonham’s auction for 32% above the estimated price and fetched a substantial $396,000.