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‘Rock Icons’ Sale Features Items From Freddie Mercury, John Lennon, Elvis Presley

Julien's Auctions auction set for May 21 in New York City

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Beverly Hills–based auction house Julien’s Auctions is hosting its annual Music Icons auction at New York City’s Hard Rock Café on Saturday, May 21. Included in this year’s sale are pieces from a variety of rock stars such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Kurt Cobain, and Michael Jackson. Below are some of the highlights and their pre-auction estimates. For more on the auction, click here.

Stevie Ray Vaughan: 1951 Fender Telecaster (a.k.a. “Jimbo”)
Pre-auction Estimate: $400,000-$600,000
“Jimbo” is Vaughan’s childhood guitar. He used this guitar the first time he recorded in a studio. 

Stevie Ray Vaughan '51 Fender Telecaster
(Julien’s Auctions)

Elvis Presley: 1969 Gibson Dove
Pre-auction Estimate: $200,000–$300,000
Vernon Presley, Elvis’ father, reportedly bought this guitar for his son to honor his recently earned black belt in karate.

Elvis Presley's 1969 Gibson Dove
(Julien’s Auctions)

Freddie Mercury: Queen Magic Tour Stage-Worn Jacket
Pre-auction Estimate: $60,000–$80,000
Designed by Diana Moseley, Mercury wore this jacket on Queen’s 1986 Magic Tour. It was his final tour with Queen.

Freddie Mercury 1986 Magic Tour Jacket
(Julien’s Auctions)

Janis Joplin: Newport Folk Festival and Fillmore East Stage Dress
Pre-auction Estimate: $70,000–$90,000
The dress was worn by Joplin while performing at the Newport Folk Festival in 1968 and at opening night of the Fillmore East the same year. 

Janis Joplin's 1968 Dress
(Julien’s Auctions)

Michael Jackson: HIStory Tour Stage-Worn “Beat It” Jacket
Pre-auction Estimate: $40,000–$60,000
This red vinyl jacket was designed for Jackson to wear during his 1996-97 HIStory world tour.

Michael Jackson 1996-97 Tour Jacket
(Julien’s Auctions)

Kurt Cobain: 1989 Stage-Played Guitar
Pre-auction Estimate: $30,000–$40,000
Cobain played (and destroyed) this Univox electric guitar at rock club Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey, at a Nirvana gig on July 13, 1989.

Kurt Cobain Stage-Played 1989 Univox Guitar
(Julien’s Auctions)

Kurt Cobain: Handwritten Letter to David Geffen
Pre-auction Estimate: $20,000–$30,000
A single-sheet, two-sided handwritten letter by Cobain addressed to David Geffen, founder of Nirvana’s record label, DGC Records. In the letter, Cobain expresses to his anger about a September 1992 Vanity Fair magazine article.

Kurt Cobain Handwritten Letter to David Geffen
(Julien’s Auctions)

Jimi Hendrix: Handwritten Working Lyrics for Songs “Room Full of Mirrors” and “Shame, Shame, Shame”
Pre-auction Estimate: $60,000–$80,000
Both lyric sheets have draft marks on them—as well as burns, presumably from  cigarettes.

Jimi Hendrix Handwritten Lyric Sheets
(Julien’s Auctions)

David Bowie: Glass Spider 1987 Tour Costume
Pre-auction Estimate: $10,000–$20,000
A two-piece custom-made, polished cotton sateen costume designed by Diana Moseley and worn by David Bowie on his 1987 Glass Spider tour.

David Bowie 1987 Tour Costume
(Julien’s Auctions)

John Lennon: Handwritten Lyrics for “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!”
Pre-auction Estimate: $300,000–$500,000
Lennon wrote the title “Being for the Benifit [sic] of Mr Kite!” first in ballpoint pen and then wrote over it in black marker. The song is track No. 7 on The Beatles’ 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

John Lennon Handwritten Lyrics
(Julien’s Auctions)