Music Memorabilia News

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Signed album covers, photos, tour jackets, drumsticks - these are our stock in trade, the music memorabilia we know best.

But there is another, more unusual side to music collectibles and here's where you'll find news of it. The Justin Bieber pinata (no, really). The Britney Spears discarded chewing gum. The piece of toast carrying Michael Jackson's image. This is music memorabilia for when the tour t-shirt just isn't enough...

Springsteen celebrated in style

Where would you go to rejoice in your favourite singer’s music? A concert or, er, a university?

If you’re a Bruce Springsteen fan, the answer is a university, because New Jersey’s Monmouth University is set to take on the music memorabilia of The Boss.

The Bruce Springsteen Archives & Centre for American Music will house music collectibles including written works, magazines, photographs and many more artefacts from the hugely successful career of the 20-time Grammy Award winner.

The location couldn’t be more apt to celebrate the glory days of The Boss either, with Monmouth only a guitar string away from the Jersey Shore and Springsteen’s hometown of Freehold. It’s even closer to where it all began for the American music legend at Asbury Park.

Now, the memorabilia, which spans the 70s to the present day, is set to take the university’s music related curriculums to an entirely new level.

And it’s not just Springsteen. The Centre will also promote other legendary American musicians including Frank Sinatra, Hank Williams, Robert Johnson and Woody Guthrie.

If your university days are behind you, and New Jersey is a bit of a commute, you’ll find plenty of ways to satisfy your music memorabilia itch here.

Music memorabilia auction to help Beatles fanatic into retirement

Everyone dreams of the day that they can finally get into bed and not have to worry about setting an alarm for ridiculous o’clock in the morning.

Retirement isn’t all plain sailing of course, with financial concerns once work is over but for Beatles’ fanatic Jacques Volcouve, things are a little more serious.

Opting to follow the Fab Four religiously over the past 50 years rather than having a paying job has left Volcouve without an income or pension to retire on.

Rather ironically it will be the thousands of pieces of music memorabilia collected over the decades which will hopefully allow the Frenchman to head into retirement comfortably.

In March, Volcouve’s stunning collection of music collectibles including 15,000 records, signed books, posters, autographs, figurines and other Beatles memorabilia will be up for grabs at the esteemed Drouot auction house in Paris.

Known as one of the world’s greatest living experts on the Beatles, letting those items go will be no easy feat for the man who wrote magazines and books on the band, as well as being the founder of Club des 4 de Liverpool; an association that acted as an unofficial press agency for the Fab Four in France.

A French tribute band, aptly named, We Love You Paul, will perform at the auction house in March 2017 and although Volcouve will lose his music collectibles, he will always have the memories of following and meeting the band to look back on in his retirement.

If you feel like reminiscing about your favourite band or artist, we can help you here.

Punk memorabilia goes up in flames

Where do you keep your music memorabilia? Most people would say proudly in a display cabinet or safely stowed away in their attic.

The son of the late former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, Joe Corre, decided to do things a little differently however and set his on fire.

All £5million worth of his punk memorabilia torched on a boat on the Thames; decorated with Grim Reaper figures, flags and banners. That must have been some sight!

It was all part of a protest against the commercialisation and mainstream adoption of punk, in particular Punk London, a programme of events, gigs and exhibitions which are to be hosted to mark 40 years of the once radical youth movement.

Corre told onlookers: “Punk was never, never meant to be nostalgic – and you can’t learn how to be one at a Museum of London workshop.”

Music memorabilia including rare gig posters, one-off recordings and original items of punk clothing all went up in flames, alongside effigies of politicians which were loaded with fireworks.

There’s no need to panic however because our music memorabilia is locked away safe and sound and you can take a look at it here.

Incredible attic discovery valued at £60,000

We all think we know what’s hidden away in that little room at the top of our houses but do we really? Not if this music memorabilia find is anything to go by…

The draft of a letter sent by John Lennon to the Queen explaining why he was returning his MBE has been found stuffed down a record sleeve bought for £10 at a car boot sale over 20 years ago.

Music memorabilia expert Darren Julien said: “My theory is that John Lennon never sent this draft because of the smeared ink.”

Okay so it might not be the one which the Queen actually got her hands on but it has still been valued at £60,000 after the anonymous owner took it to the Beatles Story in Liverpool last month.

Lennon and his fellow band members originally accepted their MBEs in 1965 but Britain’s involvement in the civil war was the reason behind this surreal attic find’s creation.

It wasn’t the only thing to be valued on the day with a programme signed by all four of The Beatles (£10,000), a signed photo of the group (£5,000) and interestingly a pair of Beatles nylon stockings (£300) also receiving estimates.

Nothing could trump Lennon’s letter however so it’s about time you got yourself up those ladders! You never know what’s hiding up there…

Before you do get up though, why not have a look through our music memorabilia where you’re also guaranteed some great finds!

Monster Rock Auction to raise money for charity

The Heavy Metal Truants may be more commonly known for their rock ‘n’ roll charity bike ride but to raise even more money, they are auctioning off some infamous music memorabilia.

The Monster Rock Auction boasts a whole host of music collectibles including a signed Phil Collins snare drum, a signed Bullet For My Valentine guitar and signed Iron Maiden Ed Force One boarding passes plus much more.

It’s no surprise to see plenty of Iron Maiden memorabilia in the sale, with their manager Rod Smallwood part of the Heavy Metal Truants group which annually cycles 164 miles from London to the Download Festival.

Others involved include Savage Messiah’s Dave Silver and Orange Goblin’s Ben Ward. Despite already raising £232,000, they hope to see that total climb even more in the coming weeks.

The used and signed Iron Maiden Ed Force One passes from the band’s 2016 Book of Souls World Tour are set to go for the highest fee, with a minimum bid of £1,000.

A Marshall JVM amp signed by Slash, ZZ Top, Jeff Beck and more currently stands at £500, with the proceeds from the online auction going to three children’s charities: Childline, the Teenage Cancer Trust and Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy.

To check out our wide range of Rock Memorabilia click here.

Black Sabbath memorabilia set for auction

Now let’s be honest. Raise your hand if you’ve ever promised to send a postcard to your parents while on holiday and then simply just forgot?

We predict quite a few may have gone down that slippery slope but one man who didn’t was Ozzy Osbourne and there’s a great piece of music memorabilia to prove it!

A postcard sent by Ozzy and former wife Thelma to his parents while on tour with Black Sabbath is one of a number of items to be auctioned in late September celebrating the rock band formerly known as Earth.

Lead vocalist Ozzy did not stop there with the postcards, however, and other music collectibles up for grabs include one sent in 1968 from France and another posted from Hamburg during Earth’s legendary Star Club residency. What a thoughtful young man!

If postcards aren’t your thing, you’ll find other Black Sabbath memorabilia dating between 1968 and 1973 including handwritten lyrics and photos of the band. They will be sold as a single lot by the Sheffield Auction Gallery and the collection is expected to make between £2,000 and £3,000.

Building your own collection? View our music memorabilia here.

Elvis memorabilia sale sparks gun control debate

‘A little less conversation, a little more action please.’ Do you think that is what the great man would have said, or maybe sang, if he was here today?

Of course nobody, us included, can predict what the King’s opinions would have been on the current gun control issues in America but the recent announcement of a music memorabilia sale at Graceland Auctions has left us pondering, just what would he have had to say on the matter.

One of the items up for grabs in August’s sale includes Presley’s previously owned 1971 Colt Lawman MKIII .357 Magnum Revolver which is estimated at around $25,000-$35,000.

As a notorious gun lover however, it would have been intriguing to see if his name appeared amongst the 200+ entertainers who signed an open ended letter in Billboard Magazine following the Orlando shootings asking Congress to prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns.

We’ll never know if he would have inked his name alongside the likes of Paul McCartney and Britney Spears but what we do know is that he was a massive advocate of the weapon and you’ll be able to see that for yourselves on August 13.

Alongside his revolver, 196 further lots will be available to buy at the music memorabilia sale including his signed and inscribed guitar case, as well as a 1960’s electric guitar which was once owned by the Mississippi-born legend.

Online bidding is now available for what is the fifth auction of its kind involving Elvis but just remember if you’re arguing with yourself over whether to go for it, ‘A little more bite and a little less bark.’ It’s all you need!

David Bowie’s art collection set for auction

In life, David Bowie was a connecting force between the worlds of music, art and fashion. So it’s no surprise to learn he was an avid art collector. What is a surprise is just what’s in the collection.

That David Bowie was a fan of art is nothing new. As BT Sport News reports, in “1994 he joined the invitation-only editorial board of Modern Painters magazine, for which he interviewed artists including Hirst, Jeff Koons and Tracey Emin.”

But only those closest to him knew the extent of his own art collection. Now, in a (sort of) music memorabilia auction with a difference, around 400 pieces from the Bowie collection will be auctioned by Sotheby’s. The public will be able to see many of these works for the first time when they go on a worldwide tour (taking in London, Los Angeles, New York and Hong Kong) ahead of the auction on November 10 and 11.

A quote from David Bowie’s estate reads: "David's art collection was fuelled by personal interest and compiled out of passion.

"He always sought and encouraged loans from the collection and enjoyed sharing the works in his custody. Though his family are keeping certain pieces of particular significance, it is now time to give others the opportunity to appreciate - and acquire - the art and objects he so admired."

If you’d like a piece of David Bowie music memorabilia that won’t cost you millions, take a look here.

The music memorabilia that’s pure rock’n’roll

If you can’t release, erm, odd music memorabilia when you’re in the music industry, when can you?

Every credit to Australia’s themusic.com who’ve identified a range of music collectibles that definitely qualify on the eccentric scale.

Included in their list are such oddities as:

  • Bricks from Eminem’s childhood home to celebrate the 16th anniversary of the release of The Marshall Mathers LP. How he’ll mark a real milestone anniversary is anyone’s guess.
  • A guillotine used in Alice Cooper’s 1973 Billion Dollar Babies Tour.
  • Equipment collected by Blink-182 band member Tom Delonge during years of touring and recording sessions. He’s thoughtfully including certificates of authenticity with each of the amps and other gear.
  • A hot sauce/coffee combo created by Philadelphia rockers Modern Baseball. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, apparently.

What’s the most eccentric piece of music memorabilia you’ve ever encountered? Tell us about it here.

Lady Ga-Ga’s piano fails to sell. Elvis’ guitar fetches $334,000

A music memorabilia auction in New York proves there’s nothing quite so fickle as fame.

Timing, they say, is everything. It’s the secret to a good punchline. It’s the key to investing. And it turns out it’s also the key to entering the world of music memorabilia.

They also say sell while you’re hot. A couple of years back, when she was wearing telephone hats and dressing in the contents of a delicatessen, chances are Lady Gaga’s first piano would have sold like hot cakes. Or cold ham at the very least.

But this week, Gaga’s piano – which has been expected to fetch between $100,000 and $200,000 - failed to hit its reserve at the Hard Rock Café in New York, in an auction held by Julien's.

In contrast, and proving that some things never go out of fashion, almost 100 items of Elvis Presley music memorabilia did sell, including a Gibson Dove acoustic guitar given to Presley in 1969 by his father.

It’s said his father changed the finish of the guitar to ebony after Elvis became a karate black belt. The guitar fetched $334,000.

Also selling well in excess of their expected prices were John Lennon’s lyrics to Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite and a red vinyl jacket worn by Michael Jackson for the late 90s HIStory tour.

Want to explore music memorabilia that’s always well timed (and well priced)? Take a look here.

Freddie Mercury’s handwritten lyrics go up for auction

Big news for any Queen music memorabilia collector: one of Freddie Mercury’s final songbooks is going under the hammer at Bonhams.

By 1988 Freddie Mercury knew he was HIV positive. By the end of 1991 he would have succumbed to full-blown AIDS, leaving behind him an incredible rock legacy.

Between those two dates, Freddie carried with him a spiral notebook on which he scribbled the lyrics to 19 songs, including the poignantly personal Too Much Love Will Kill You and The Show Must Go On.

He was recording almost right to the end. Knowing his time was short he entered one of the most productive periods of his life, working when he could, writing and resting when he was too ill to record.

Queen writer and guitarist Brian May has said that Mercury could barely stand when he recorded The Show Must Go On, the final track on Innuendo, the last Queen album released during Freddie’s lifetime. It doesn’t show. The song includes some of his most powerful vocals, including a line from the notebook:

“My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies/ Fairytales of yesterday will grow but never die/ Forever [with annotation “I can fly” – the lyrics that eventually made it to the final version of the song, written above] my friends.”

The notebook is being sold in Bonhams’ entertainment memorabilia sale on 29 June and is expected to fetch between £50,000-£70,000.

And if you want to explore our own Queen rock music memorabilia, take a look here.

Punk Memorabilia to go up in Flames

Are you a proud collector of punk memorabilia? Keep hold of it, because this November it’s likely to get that bit more valuable.

You have to say, it’s kind of fitting. In protest at the way the legacy of punk has been sterilised, packaged, and co-opted by the mainstream, the son of Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren is planning to torch his £5 million punk memorabilia collection.

Joe Corré, founder of lingerie brand Agent Provocateur, is planning the public incineration on 26 November, to mark the 40th anniversary of the release of the Pistols’ first single, Anarchy in the UK. His ire is aimed at the establishment in general and Punk London in particular, an event celebrating punk, and supported – with impressive non-punk irony – by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Boris Johnson.

The lack of punk authenticity spurred Corré into action. In a statement he said: “A general malaise has now set in amongst the British public. People are feeling numb. And with numbness comes complacency. People don’t feel they have a voice anymore. The most dangerous thing is that they have stopped fighting for what they believe in. They have given up the chase. We need to explode all the s*** once more.”

Burning your music memorabilia sounds like a very punk (if rather expensive) way of doing that. All of which means that come 27 November, the items in your punk collection could have become just a little rarer.

45 of music memorabilia

The Hard Rock Café is celebrating 45 years in business with a new exhibition.

It started with an Eric Clapton guitar. In the 45 years since, London’s Hard Rock Café has amassed a music memorabilia collection containing some 80,000 pieces, and now some of the very best are going on display for a big birthday exhibition called Hard Rock Couture.

It’s a celebration of 45 years of spectacular fashion, with items on display from the likes of Lady Gaga and Rihanna, Elvis Presley and Katy Perry.

"We really wanted to represent the history of [musical fashion] through time," Narissa O'Moore, Hard Rock's European marketing manager, told Reuters.

So there’s a Paul McCartney suit, that bustier from Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour, and exhibits from Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Cash.

It’s the sort of music memorabilia collection to get any fan excited, and you can see it at Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum in central London until 3 April 2016.

David Bowie: Loving the Alien

Frankly, we weren’t sure it wasn’t some cruel joke. The Thin White Duke. Aladdin Sane. Ziggy Stardust. They can’t really be gone, can they?

Sadly, Twitter confirmed it. We’ll leave others to reflect on David Bowie’s impact and legacy as musician, icon, actor and chameleon. We’re a music memorabilia site, so we’ll limit ourselves to one fantastic Bowie music memorabilia tale: the story of the Rabbit Suit.

We don’t mean ‘rabbit suit’ as in some novel, carrot-munching twist on a catsuit. We mean a playsuit with rabbits on it.

In 1972 Bowie was Ziggy Stardust. Onstage, and complementing Ziggy’s flame-red hair, Bowie wore a similarly flame coloured leather playsuit-cum-leotard by avant-garde Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto. The ‘Woodlands Creature’ suit was most noticeable for the whopping great rabbits that featured all over it.

By 1973 Ziggy had been retired, as had the Rabbit Suit, and no one saw anything of it for the best part of 30 years. Then, in 2012, Bowie announced a memorabilia auction which he arranged through his own Bowienet. The Rabbit Suit had a new owner, but it took a while to find out who.

Fast forward two years. Bowie isn’t about to collect his ‘Best British Male Solo Artist’ at the Brit Awards following the success of his album The Next Day. He’s “too cool for that,” says award announcer Noel Gallagher, “he doesn’t do this s***.”

Instead, Bowie’s acceptance speech is delivered by “his representative on Earth”, Kate Moss. She’s wearing the Rabbit Suit and it’s a perfect fit.

"In Japanese myth,” reads Kate, “the rabbits from my old costume that Kate's wearing live on the moon. Kate comes from Venus and I from Mars, so that's nice.”

Fittingly, a track from teh album was titled Dancing Out in Space. We like to think he probably still is.

Corbyn throws hat into the ring

What memorabilia do musicians bid on?

Last week in music memorabilia news, Ringo Starr’s Beatles drum kit sold for $2.2 million whilst the drummer’s copy of The White Album (copy number 0000001) went up for sale in Beverley Hills.

We would cover both those stories in more detail but for the fact that we dealt with Beatles memorabilia last month and to cover them again would risk this news column turning into a Beatles-only zone. So instead, we’ll focus on another musical icon…Jeremy Corbyn

We’ve all done it. You turn up to a party and realise everyone else has brought a gift/bottle/donation and you haven’t.

Fortunately, when Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attended a Stop the War fundraiser last week, he didn’t have to search too far for something to auction. He just used his head.

Corbyn’s trademark Leninist cap was snapped up for £250 by former Roxy Music keyboard player-turned legendary Bowie/U2 producer, Brian Eno. And Jeremy Corbyn left the event without a hat.

Now political memorabilia isn’t our thing. David Bowie, U2 and Roxy Music memorabilia, on the other hand, is. So for signed CDs, albums and photos and head this way. For jaunty headgear, ask Jeremy.

Lost and found – John Lennon’s guitar

Think the world’s most valuable music memorabilia is all accounted for and safely stored under lock and key? Think again.

It was December 1963, a landmark year for the Beatles, because this was the year they broke and, you hardly need us to add, broke big.

One of the year’s final gigs was at Finsbury Park, but following the performance one of John Lennon’s guitars - a jumbo J-160E Gibson Acoustic that had been used on the recording of Love Me Do - went missing. No one knew where. No one knew who took it.

We still don’t, but we do know that in 2013 it had made its way to a junk shop in the US, where it was bought by one John McCaw. Earlier this month the guitar fetched $2.6 million (£1.7 million) at a music memorabilia auction.

But how, you might ask, can you prove that a junk shop guitar is the same one used by John Lennon 50 years earlier? It’s a good question – and proving the provenance of music memorabilia is essential if you’re planning to auction it.

Happily for McCaw, the authenticity of the guitar was verified by Andy Babiuk, an expert in the musical instruments of the Beatles. By comparing the serial number, scratches and markings on McCaw’s guitar to those found in photos and film footage, he was able to declare the guitar as genuine.

For any music memorabilia collector, that means there’s hope for us all. Because if a John Lennon guitar can appear from nowhere after 50 years, just imagine what else is out there.

In the meantime, if you prefer an easier way to find your authentic music memorabilia, take a look here.

The music memorabilia that goes too far

For some, a signed photo or autographed gold disc is one thing. But fandom can lead people to invest in some seriously eccentric music memorabilia choices. Such as…

Michael Jackson’s (burnt) hair
In 1984, Michael Jackson was rushed to hospital after pyrotechnics used during the filming of a Pepsi commercial ignited his hair. He suffered second and third degree burns, the treatment for which included a series of powerful painkillers and sedatives. Some have suggested this could have been the point at which events were set in motion that eventually contributed to the singer’s death in 2008.

So the auctioning of singed locks of Jackson’s hair, valued at $1,600, seems a rather macabre way to cash in on his death.

Britney Spear’s pregnancy test
When a US radio station got hold of a used (and positive) pregnancy testing kit from a hotel room in which Britney Spears had stayed, it sold the ‘music memorabilia’ (inverted commas definitely intended) for a reported $5,001.

It’s not often music collectibles have the power to make you feel ickey, but that certainly does it for us.

John Lennon’s molar
In 2011 a Canadian dentist paid $31.200 for the former Beatle’s tooth. We’re betting it wasn’t even signed.

Madonna’s love letters
Love letters have always been an important source of historical information. So it’s not the fact that love letters formed part of a $45,000 memorabilia collection that offends.

What grates is that when the letters surface the writers are usually long gone. But in this case, Madge is very much around and no doubt delighted that her letters and voicemail recordings, sent to former lover James Albright, are now in the hands of a private collector.

BBC to explore the history of music through memorabilia

Think your music memorabilia has historical significance? The BBC wants a word…

Nostalgic telly trawls through the history of popular music tend to follow a standard and rather tired format: footage of the artist, a few talking heads sharing their thoughts, occasionally a quick word with the star as he/she is now. All perfectly fine, but not exactly personal to the rest of us.

The BBC is aiming to put that right with The People’s History of Pop, a series charting the history of British rock and pop from the 1950s to the noughties through the eyes – and music memorabilia – of the fans.

To create the project, the filmmakers are taking a novel approach, using a crowdsourcing appeal to find the bedroom recordings, first shows, lost footage, ticket stubs, programmes, posters and more that tell the story of the music that made us.

So, if Bowie wrote Space Oddity in your living room and you’ve still got the piece of paper, or you happened to be filming the moment when five girls became Sporty, Baby, Posh et al, now’s your chance to share.

You can upload your music memorabilia via Historypin now.

The rock music auction that isn't

Ever bought a house at a rock concert? Thought not…

Here’s how music memorabilia auctions (at least the ones we cover) usually work: you go to the auction house, the auctioneer sells the music collectibles to the highest bigger and, if that’s you, you take your winnings home.

But one real estate agent in Sydney is doing things rather differently. Instead, he’s taking homes to rock concerts, and auctioning them there.

It’s an innovative approach to marketing, but as The Australian reports, the frenzy of a rock concert rather lends itself to cranking up the atmosphere at an auction.

“There’s a lot of psychology at play around an auction and if you create the right atmosphere and energise the crowd that can be to the benefit of all the properties,” said Aris Dendrinos of Richardson and Wrench.

All of which leads to one very obvious question: if you can take houses to a rock gig and auction them, surely it’s the perfect place to auction rock music memorabilia? If you happen to take that idea and run with it, remember where you heard it first.

And if you want to generate a similar bidding frenzy with your next music or sports memorabilia charity auction, you can make a start here.

Rolling Stones unveil Exhibitionism

The Rolling Stones unveil the music memorabilia you won’t be getting your hands on anytime soon.

Is there anything that drives a music memorabilia collector quite as wild as collectibles that are off limits? If so, you might want to avoid Exhibitionism, the Rolling Stones’ first major gallery exhibition which brings together 50 years of rare and unseen music memorabilia and band artefacts.

With rare guitars, iconic costumes, original stage designs, personal diaries and original cover art all on display it’s enough to make a fan’s head spin.

"We've been thinking about this for quite a long time, but we wanted it to be just right and on a large scale," says Mick Jagger in a press release for the exhibition. "The process has been like planning our touring concert productions, and I think that right now it's an interesting time to do it."

Keith Richards adds, "While this is about the Rolling Stones, it's not necessarily only just about the members of the band. It's also about all the paraphernalia and technology associated with a group like us, and it's this, as well as the instruments that have passed through our hands over the years, that should make the exhibition really interesting."

Sadly for avid (and wealthy) memorabilia collectors, the items are for display only, which means this is your only chance to get close to them. You can catch Exhibitionism at the Saatchi Gallery in London from September 2016 before the exhibition begins a 4-year tour of 11 other cities.

And if you want to get your hands on your own Rolling Stones music memorabilia, keep checking here – we regularly unearth new finds.

Robbie Williams takes the stage

When we cover music memorabilia auctions, we don’t usually find the star is the auctioneer.

Well this doesn’t happen very often. Last month we told you about an auction of Robbie Williams music memorabilia in aid of the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice in Robbie’s home town of Stoke.

The auction was held at Bonhams and featured 150 items from the singer songwriter’s personal collection. Only this was an auction with a difference, because the star himself decided he would be the auctioneer.

The sale raised £120,000, with the highest bid of the event going to handwritten lyrics to the 2013 track Go Gentle. They sold for £25,000. You can see what happened here.

And if you’d like to bag some Robbie Williams music memorabilia of your own, you’ll find ours here.

Robbie Williams is doing it for the kids

This July, over 150 items of music memorabilia from Robbie Williams’ personal collection are being auctioned in aid of a children’s hospice, with the single aim of making sure that the kids are all right.

The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice is based in Robbie’s home town of Stoke. He’s the hospice’s highest profile patron, and a long-time supporter of the organisation.

The Doing it for the Kids auction, by Bonhams, will be streamed live, and the music collectibles up for grabs will include:

  • A set of handwritten lyrics for Let Me Entertain You, estimated to fetch £4,000-6,000
  • The cream two-piece suit worn by Robbie in the music video for the single Radio (estimate £5,000-7,000)
  • An MTV award won by Take That (estimate £2,000-3,000)
  • A multi-platinum award for the album I've Been Expecting You (estimate £2,500-3,000)

Speaking about the auction, Robbie said, “It’s a privilege for me to be a patron of The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice, it makes a real difference to these children whose lives have been tragically limited. The sale gives a great opportunity for bidders to know their money will go to such a fantastic charity, whilst also taking home some of my most prized possessions that have been personal markers of my career and life so far.”

To enter the auction you’ll need to buy a catalogue, and you can buy one at a reduced rate if you go through the Robbie Williams website. As you’d expect, all proceeds from the music memorabilia sale will go to the hospice.

The secret life of music memorabilia

Some music collectibles have a life as busy as their owners…

Take a look at your most treasured piece of music memorabilia. Ever wonder about the journey it took before it reached your wall/shelf/display case?

Here’s a case in point. In August 1963 George Harrison took his favourite Gretsch guitar for repair at Barratt’s Music Shop in Manchester. The Beatles were on the cusp of becoming global stars, with She Loves You due for release and set to be their 2nd number one. Harrison needed a temporary replacement for upcoming gigs in Liverpool and Blackpool and borrowed a Maton MS-500 Mastersound.

With Harrison’s Gretsch repaired, the guitar returned to Barratt’s only to be bought by Roy Barber, a member of Dave Berry’s backing band. Barber clearly preferred other guitars in his collection and the Maton gathered dust for 20 years in his attic. After his death the family sold the guitar to a private music memorabilia collector in 2002 for £23,000.

And now the guitar has fetched £312,000 at another auction, by Julien’s, this time in New York.

What’s the history of your prize piece of music memorabilia? Tell us on the Sports and Music Legends Twitter feed.

The day the music sold

Bye bye Miss American Pie: Don McLean has sold the lyrics to his 1972 classic for £805,000. And that’s just the start of his music memorabilia sales.

Don McLean is, in his own words, “lightening the load”. He’s 70 this year, and has decided that now is the time to offload some of his more legendary possessions.

In an interview with ITV News, he talks about his surprise at his memorabilia auction reaching such a breath-taking figure (despite the amount being in line with estimates). He also discusses how he planned to donate the lyrics if they’d failed to sell, but not to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame because, "They wanted my lyrics but I said to them 'well, you don't want me in the Hall of Fame so to hell with you’”.

The sale included several drafts of the lyrics, which reflect on a personal and national loss of innocence and the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper in a 1959 air crash (the ‘day the music died’).

The success of the music memorabilia auction has led McLean to consider selling more. “I have other things to sell,” he admits, adding that public auctions are the right places to sell works that feel as though they belong to the public.

We’ll let you know when McLean announces another sale. In the meantime, you can find music memorabilia of your own here.

When music memorabilia is just hot air

Are bags of air from Kanye West’s latest tour a new low point in music memorabilia history?

We’ve sold guitars and boxing gloves, sports shirts and signed bats, balls and racquets. But this is a new one on us. Metro is reporting that bags of air purported to be from recent Kanye West tour dates are showing up on eBay. Prices range from $10 to $500. And no, we’ve no idea what makes a bag of air worth $500 (let alone $10) either.

Even more worrying, the $10 air is a relisting – it was previously on sale for $60,100. Gulp. It’s stating the obvious but we’ll say it anyway: it’s not Kanye West who’s selling these things.

With music memorabilia, like any other collectible, the value is always in the eye of the fan. If you’re not a fan of Kanye then you wouldn’t pay $10 for his latest album, let alone a bag of air which may or may not have been collected somewhere in his vicinity. If you are a fan a signed ticket stub could be priceless to you.

But this really is something quite different – and it’s not even a question of authenticity. The air isn’t advertised as being Kanye West’s. It’s not as if the seller somehow managed to get him to breathe into a polythene bag. It’s advertised as being from the show which, even with the most generous interpretation, is unlikely to contain much CO2 from the lungs of the star himself.

It is, of course, a free world - and if gig air is now a music memorabilia ‘thing’ then we’re clearly missing a trick. But we’d suggest that music memorabilia only really counts when there’s a genuine connection with the star in question.

And that’s what we’ll be concentrating on.

You can view our authentic music memorabilia here.

All that you can leave behind – Edge’s forgotten guitar

The very first guitar owned and played by U2’s The Edge is heading for a music memorabilia auction in Dublin.

Back when The Edge was plain old David Evans, he was given a guitar by his mum, Gwenda. “A modest little instrument” according to Whyte’s auctioneers, the learner’s guitar was left at his mum’s house when bigger and better things (guitars and success) came knocking.

Speaking to The Irish Times, and as reported in RTE Ten, Stuart Purcell of Whyte’s said: “Around 1980, when a teaching colleague of Gwenda’s in Scoil Íosa, Malahide, mentioned that she needed a guitar, as she was beginning lessons, Gwenda offered to sell her The Edge’s old one for the price she had bought it for”.

The lessons didn’t last, but the unnamed woman kept the £20 guitar, later managing to reunite star and instrument. He even signed it for her.

Now this unique piece of rock music memorabilia is set to be part of Whyte’s sale of rock, pop & movie collectibles in Dublin on March 15. It’s expected to fetch between €1,200 and €1,800.

If you’re hunting for U2 collectibles of your own and still haven’t found what you’re looking for (sorry) take a look at our rock memorabilia.

All attitude, no altitude

As Julien’s prepares to auction two of Elvis’ private jets, hopes are high for a soaring price – even if the planes remain grounded.

You know how it is. It can take a while for your private jet to be fitted with all your personal touches. So what’s a music legend to do whilst he’s waiting for his plane to be readied? Simple: buy a second one.

That’s what Elvis Presley did two years before his death, when he bought a Convair 880 jet from Delta Airlines for $250,000 before ordering a further $300,000 of personalisations. These included the addition of Presley’s motto “TCB” (takin care of business) to the tail. So whilst the bedroom, bar, video system and new paint job were underway on the Lisa Marie (named after his daughter), Presley paid $900,000 for Hound Dog II, a 10-seater Lockheed Jetstar.

The jets are expected to fetch between $10 and $15 million for the pair (yes, they’re being sold as a combined lot). Bear in mind, though, that neither plane is airworthy, so this music memorabilia is only for a collector with a very large display case. Just in case you don’t have the room, the Graceland estate is offering to display them for you on land next to the mansion.

And if you prefer music memorabilia you can display without the need to buy an aircraft hangar, take a look here.

One of a kind music memorabilia starts bidding war

It’s been described as the “holy grail” of music memorabilia, a “mythical” single which, according to the collector who verified it, has "hardened collectors sobbing at the sight of it." And the real surprise? You’ve probably never heard of it.

The music memorabilia that fetches the highest excitement levels (and prices) tends to be lost recordings from the likes of the Beatles, Elvis or Michael Jackson. But sharing company with those memorabilia record breakers is Darrell Banks’ Open the Door to Your Heart, a club classic released in 1966 by EMI.

Before EMI won the bidding war to release it, another label, London Records had pressed the 7” single. When the rights switched to EMI, all the London Records versions were thought to have been destroyed. All, that is, except one.

The owner, who worked for Decca Records in the 1960s has already turned down an offer of £10,000 for the single, and it’s believed it could break the £25,000 record for a soul single in Britain.

Music memorabilia collector and dealer Pete Smith told the BBC it was "the rarest British soul record of all time".

If you’re a lover of Northern Soul, now could be the time to double check your singles collection again…

First Elvis recording to be auctioned

Elvis Presley’s first single was Heartbreak Hotel, right? Well, not exactly...

It’s true that Elvis’ first hit single was Heartbreak Hotel, taken from his eponymous debut album recorded in Nashville in 1956. But three years earlier, an 18 year old Presley had wanted to find out what his recorded voice sounded like. He visited the Memphis Recording Service and paid $4 to record himself singing My Happiness and That's When Your Heartaches Begin. The resulting acetate was Presley’s first recorded music. The Graceland estate calls it “part of the 'Holy Grail' of artefacts in rock 'n' roll history". Which makes this a music memorabilia sale like no other.

BBC News reports that the record was to be a present for his mother. But since the family didn’t own a record player, Presley took what would become the most historic of music collectibles round to a friend’s house – and left it there.

The music memorabilia auction, to be held at the star’s former home, will take place on 8 January. It would have been his 80th birthday.

John Lennon’s cousin auctions family music memorabilia

What’s the most valuable gift a cousin has ever given you? When David Birch asked his cousin if he could have one of his guitars, the one he received had been used to record Paperback Writer.

A blue Fender Stratocaster. That, according to Rolling Stone, was the guitar David Birch really had his eye on. But when, in 1967, he cheekily asked his cousin, John Lennon, if he had a spare guitar he could use, Lennon handed him a Gretsch he’d used in the Beatles Revolver recording sessions the previous year. Birch has held onto this unique piece of music memorabilia since that day – but now TracksAuction is preparing to sell the guitar to the highest bidder, and the final price could reach $1 million.

But how do we know the guitar now at auction is actually Lennon’s? It’s all down to the wood grain. Like a fingerprint, wood grain is unique. As images of the Revolver recording sessions still exist it’s a relatively simple matter to compare the two – and they’re an identical match.

If you happen to have a global icon for a cousin, we’d suggest paying them a visit…

Heavy metal memorabilia auction

The heavy end of the rock world has been raising money for Nordoff Robbins, the Teenage Cancer Trust and Childline throughout August with a rock music memorabilia auction.

The auction, in association with Teamrock, is now over, and donations by some of the biggest names in rock have helped raise thousands for the chosen charities. Donations included guitars, lyrics, promotional prints, signed amps and even the occasional stool (of the 4-legged, padded seat variety).

The impressive collection of music memorabilia included Aerosmith’s platinum award for the Pump album (sold for £160) and a signed Metallica guitar which fetched over £2,000.

Other donations came from the likes of Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Alice Cooper, Slash, Saxon and Status Quo.

You can find more about the auction (and the worthy causes) here, and if you’d like to find signed heavy metal music memorabilia that’s still available, take a look here.

When music memorabilia gets complicated

Sometimes, selling your music memorabilia at auction isn’t as simple as you might think.

If you were to trace a line back through the musical influences of people as diverse as The Cure’s Robert Smith, Blur’s Graham Coxon and Martha Wainwright, eventually you’d arrive at a common point. That point would be Nick Drake, the enigmatic singer-songwriter and as some have put it ‘champion of the chronically depressed’ who died in 1974.

In the 40 years since Drake’s death he’s collected a bevy of superstar fans including George Michael and Brad Pitt, so when folk singer Beverly Martyn, a close friend of Drake’s, decided to auction a number of his demo tapes the price was expected to rise as high as £300,000.

At least, it would have done if the music memorabilia auction had gone ahead. Lawyers representing Drake’s estate have questioned whether Martyn is the rightful owner of the tapes – and whether, therefore, she has any right to sell them.

Martyn told The Guardian that she was given the tapes by someone from the record company shortly after Drake’s death. "It's getting a bit late for me to hold on to these tapes. And I really would like other people to hear them," she said.

Legal disputes and auctions of music collectibles have a long and star studded relationship. From Bob Dylan guitars to Beatles audition tapes to Elvis’ honeymoon retreat, if it has a celebrity connection the chances are someone will dispute ownership.

If you’d prefer to explore some music memorabilia that isn’t bogged down in legal wrangling, take a look here.

Elvis and The Wiggles. No, really.

The worlds of Hound Dog and Hot Potato collide.

There are levels of fame. Somewhere off in the stratosphere, with no one but the occasional Beatle and Michael Jackson for company, sits Elvis. And somewhere far more earthbound sits the Australian pre-school pop-band who, like Doctor Who, keep regenerating for every new generation of adoring fans.

The funny thing is, ask an under-5 who Elvis is and they’ll look at you blankly. Ask them who the Wiggles are and you’ll be bombarded with their hits. And that explains how founder Wiggle Greg Page has managed to fund his Elvis obsession, collecting an impressively eclectic collection of Elvis memorabilia that includes his childhood library card (which features the first known Elvis signature), a lion’s head pendant the King wore when he met the President (Nixon), and a script for movie debut Love Me Tender.

The collection is to be auctioned at Graceland during Elvis Week, held every August to commemorate Presley’s death on 16 August 1977. You can bid for this officially authenticated music memorabilia, but it’s worth noting that the Presley Estate can also bid, and we’d back it to win any lot it put its considerable weight behind.

If you prefer your music memorabilia without the bidding war, you’ll find it here.

Come as you were

Discover the park bench that’s part music memorabilia, part memorial.

According to the IMDb, the second most famous person to hail from Aberdeen, Washington State is Bryan Danielson. Nope, we’ve never heard of him either.

So it’s fortunate that the town’s most famous son was, for all too short a while, one of the most famous people on the planet. When Kurt Cobain died in 1994, ‘grunge’, a rock style defined by Cobain’s laconic vocals, lost its most potent force. At news of his death, the people of Aberdeen turned a bench in the park close to Cobain’s home into a striking piece of community music memorabilia.

Onto the wooden slats they wrote or carved personal messages and the bench became an unofficial shrine. Later the wood was removed from the bench for safekeeping. Now fitted to a new frame, the messages are being auctioned by Hamilton's Antique & Estate Auctions in Tacoma.

There can be no more unique – or heartfelt - a piece of Cobain or Nirvana music memorabilia. We hope it finds a home with a real fan.

The music, not the memorabilia

Big Audio Dynamite’s Don Letts gives Record Store Day a jolly good talking to.

Don Letts has never been one to mince his words. Speaking to Digital Spy recently, he shared his thoughts on Record Store Day, and in particular on the growing trend towards releasing collectors’ editions of albums to drive up business on the day itself.

"Working that bulls**t's always been a part of the process,” he says. Well, quite. Not that he’s anything against music memorabilia in itself. Collecting has been in his blood – at one time he owned what he believes was the largest collection of Beatles memorabilia in the UK. At least until he traded it all in for a car.

To Don Letts, music memorabilia is something that has been hyped, distorted and twisted by the marketing men. “When marketing comes along it starts to become something else. It was never about that."

What do you think? Is it possible to take a purist’s approach to music collectibles?
Is memorabilia sullied by marketing? Or does it really matter once you’ve got that prized signature hanging on your wall?

Music memorabilia set to raise funds for Teenage Cancer Trust

This April, grab some truly one-of-a-kind music memorabilia.

Every year, the Teenage Cancer Trust holds a show at the Royal Albert Hall in celebration of great music, great comedy and the bravery of young people living with cancer.

And every year, the acts appearing on stage donate some unique music memorabilia to help raise additional funds. This year the memorabilia haul was as impressive as ever, with signed collectibles from Rizzle Kicks, Ryan Adams, Kasabian and Labrinth, all curated by Noel Gallagher.

Also available to the highest bidder are limited edition, signed Adidas trainers designed by Gallagher. Only 200 pairs of his take on the classic Adidas Training ’72 were ever produced, and these are the final pairs left in his collection.

If you want to bid, visit the TCT’s eBay page. The memorabilia auction runs for one week, starting 28 April 2014.

Pharrell Williams auctions his own… er, distinctive memorabilia

The future of music memorabilia is Canadian Mounties hats. Don’t believe us? Here’s the evidence…

Pharrell Williams is about as hot as it’s possible for anyone to be in the music industry right now. Co-writer, performer and producer of last year’s global monster ‘Blurred Lines’, Williams is the go-to guy for an international hit.

At this year’s Grammys, Williams sported a frankly enormous Mounties-style hat, designed by Vivienne Westwood.

Then, at this year’s Oscars, Williams auctioned the hat on eBay where it fetched $44,100.

Indisputable evidence that if you want to get ahead in music memorabilia, get a (very large) hat.

When Bad was good

The hat. The glove. No two items better summed up the look of Bad-era Michael Jackson. And at a recent music memorabilia auction in Beverly Hills, you could have bought them both.

It was the look that defined an album. 1987’s Bad may not have had quite the same impact as its predecessor Thriller – but it was still a hugely successful follow-up to the world’s biggest selling album. And in the videos that accompanied the album’s 5 hit singles, two items of clothing stood out: that fedora hat, and that sequinned glove.

Examples of both went under the hammer at Julien’s auction house at the end of 2013, amidst a huge array of Michael Jackson memorabilia ranging from signed photos and gold discs to tour costumes.

The hat sold for $5,760; the glove for $19,200 - proving that when it comes to music collectibles, Michael Jackson is still the king of pop.

You can add to your own collection by browsing our Michael Jackson music memorabilia.

The Bob Dylan guitar that changed history

How often does a piece of music memorabilia come along that represents a point where music changed? A Bob Dylan guitar that did just that has fetched nearly $1m at auction.

In 1965 Bob Dylan released "Like a Rolling Stone" as a single. A stonking good song it may have been, but it differed from its predecessors in two key ways: (i) it wasn't a political song and (ii) it was electric.

That may not have been a big deal for the music buying public, but it was a big issue for fans, organisers and other artists when he came to play the song at the Newport Folk Festival. As he launched into "Like a Rolling Stone" on stage, the Fender Stratocaster auctioned earlier this month took his music into a new electric phase.

This piece of music memorabilia had a tough time reaching its level of fame. Dylan’s set was booed by some sections of the crowd (although some suggest that was more a case of poor sound quality than Dylan offending folk sensibilities with an electric guitar). After the event - and perhaps because of it - the guitar was left on a plane.

The BBC reports that for 48 years it remained in the home of the New Jersey pilot flying the plane that day, until finally seeing daylight again at a music memorabilia auction in New York. It fetched $965,000.

If you’re looking for Bob Dylan music memorabilia that’s a little less pricey, you’ll find it here.

John Lennon bucks Liverpool housing market

John Lennon’s childhood home in Wavertree, Liverpool has just sold at auction for rather more than your average Liverpool terrace.

For any collector of music memorabilia, finding a home for it all can be a bit of an issue. Just imagine how much greater the challenge when the home is the music memorabilia.

A quick check of estate agents in Liverpool will tell you that terraces in the Wavertree area of the city tend to fetch between £100,000 and £150,000. But one red brick house, currently festooned with hanging baskets and window boxes, has sold for rather more.

After a bidding war broke out at the auction (held, appropriately enough, in the Cavern Club), this rather immovable piece of music memorabilia sold for £480,000.

The buyer, believed to be based in the US, is now the proud owner of a three bedroom terrace on Newcastle Road, where Lennon lived until he was 5 years old. It’s unclear what plans the owner has for the house but it already attracts Beatles fans from across the world and this sale is unlikely to change that.

We can’t promise music memorabilia of the bricks and mortar variety, but at least our collectibles are easier to hang on your wall. You’ll find them here.

Music memorabilia in the making?

Is it possible to know just what items of music memorabilia will be most sought after in years to come? Let’s just put it this way: if you’re one of the lucky ones who’s snapped up a ticket to Glastonbury 2014, keep hold of it.

120,000 tickets gone in the space of an hour and a half. No Glastonbury has sold faster – and small wonder.

First there was the demand fuelled by this year’s headliners The Rolling Stones. Then there’s the anticipation of next year’s crowd pullers. The line-up has yet to be announced, but rumours are rife that the festival will mark the return of one D Bowie.

Bowie hasn’t toured since 2004. He hasn’t played live since 2006. So if he does take to the Pyramid Stage the ‘I was there’ appeal of tickets to the event will likely hit fever pitch. In the usual course of things it’s not easy to predict the music memorabilia of tomorrow, but in this case we’d make an exception.

If you haven’t got your ticket yet - well, sorry, they’ve all gone. If you have, you’re holding a readymade piece of music memorabilia – and the promise of a legendary weekend.

Rare Radiohead memorabilia auctions

Cassettes are officially cool again.

The year is 1986. Your school mates are in a band with the throwaway name On a Friday. They’ve just given you a copy of their latest demo cassette. It features six songs you listen to politely before shoving in a drawer and forgetting about for the next 26 years.

A few years after the tape starts gathering dust the band changes its name – to Radiohead.

Which explains how the cassette fetched £2,000 at auction this week. The tape, sold by Omega Auctions, is the only one known to exist, and was snapped up by a US collector, reports the NME.

It’s a fair bet that Radiohead have more than their share of ‘old school friends’ who profess to know the band, most of whom almost certainly don’t. But the claims of this particular friend can be verified. He’s in the school yearbook with Thom Yorke et al.

If you happen to have any early recordings by school friends who became global megastars, we’d love to hear from you.

Sweden: douze points

Well where else would you go for the rarest Abba music memorabilia?

Go on. Admit it. No matter how outlandish or avant garde your music tastes, you have a favourite Abba track. Dancing Queen? SOS? Super Trouper? How about Hovas Vittne? If you've never heard of it, you're not alone. But for Abba fanatic Thomas Nordin, it's a music collectible that has just taken pride of place in the world's largest Abba auction.

Stockholms Auctionsverk reports that Thomas' love of all things Abba began that night in Brighton in 1974 when Benny, Bjorn, Agnetha and Anna-Frid stormed to Eurovision victory with Waterloo. In the years that followed he amassed a staggering collection of rare singles, press clippings and music memorabilia – and earlier this week he auctioned 25,000 of them.

The piece that exceeded its estimated price more than any other was Hovas Vittne, an extremely limited edition single (only 200 were pressed) recorded for manager Stig Anderson's 50th birthday. At $6,446 the price was almost 75% higher than expected.

If there's no valuable Abba collection lurking in your attic, perhaps it's time you started creating one. Start your search for Abba music collectibles here.

Ankle-deep in music memorabilia

Only in one place on earth could a wellie count as a piece of music memorabilia: Glastonbury.

Wellies and Glastonbury usually go together like Wimbledon and strawberries. But not this year. So while the crowds enjoyed the sunshine, it's well done to Small Steps, who are keeping Glastonbury's wellie tradition alive and well – and raising money in the process.

Small Steps is a charity that aims to provide shoes for children in poverty. Paul Fraser Collectibles reports that this year, they asked the Glastonbury A-list for some suitably appropriate music collectibles for auction. And from Rita Ora to the Rolling Stones, Jake Bugg to Professor Green, the wellies and other footwear rained down – even if the rain didn't.

Organiser Amy Hanson told Paul Fraser Collectibles: "We are quite overwhelmed by the response (in a good way) thanks to the platforms and support from both Glastonbury and Wimbledon."

You can claim these unusual pieces of signed music memorabilia when they're auctioned soon. Check the Small Steps site for details.

Iron Maiden memorabilia now comes bottled

You know how some music moments are so spectacular you just want to bottle them? Here's some heavy metal memorabilia (with added hops) that's done the job for you.

Following hot on the heels of Elbow's 'Build a Rocket Boys!' beer, Stockport brewers Robinsons have launched another music-inspired tipple. This time it's the creation of Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, but both he and the brewery were adamant that this should be no cheap, short-term celebrity tie-in. This was a beer created to go the distance.

Dickinson explains on the beer's own website that he wanted to create, "A proper, real, long term beer." When he discovered that Robinsons felt exactly the same way, Trooper – so named because it's "suitably patriotic" – was born.

It's a safe bet that few other items of Iron Maiden memorabilia have ever been quite so refreshing. Buy online or find it in pubs across the UK. Just don't ask us to frame it.

Bob Dylan music memorabilia auction goes nuclear

Some song lyrics are meant to be disposable. Some are so scary it's hard to believe anyone took time to write them down ("Oo-ee, chirpy chirpy cheep cheep" anyone?). And some are sheer poetry – and that's what turns a scribbled lyric into prized music memorabilia.

On June 26, Christie's will auction an unpublished lyric by Bob Dylan. Written in 1963, this single sheet is an appealing insight into the writing process, and full of personality. There's anti-nuclear sentiment ("I hate you 'cause you make my life feel like nothin' at all"), a fastidious approach to punctuation (every dropped letter has an apostrophe ("feelin'"; "nothin'")) and plenty of XXXXXX-type deletions that prove a) nobody's perfect; and b) typewriters are hard work.

There's no music to accompany it – so unless Dylan decides to oblige we'll never know how this was meant to sound. But for a music collectible this charming, the £35,000 valuation seems oddly low-key. Perhaps the recession has hit music memorabilia. Perhaps, as Dylan observed, it's just times are a-changing.

Elvis Presley music memorabilia fetches mixed results

You never can tell, can you? Towards the end of last year a pair of the King's (slightly stained) undies failed to meet its reserve. And at a recent sale by Omega Auctions of Stockport it's been a similarly erratic picture for those wishing to get their hands on Elvis Presley collectibles.

A handwritten 'Ode to a Robin' failed to meet the reserve price, as did a hotel directory containing Elvis' handwritten notes.

In contrast, Presley's copy of Khalil Ghibran's 'The Prophet' fetched £2,700. The book had a profound effect on him, as shown by the many handwritten annotations within. A scribbled set-list for a 1969 concert at the Las Vegas International Hotel fetched £1,300.

Pleasingly, first UK pressings of the 'Love Me Tender' and 'Good Rocking Tonight' EPs sold for less than £50 each, which just goes to show that when it comes to music memorabilia – even Elvis Presley memorabilia – you don't have to break the bank to get something very special indeed.

You can see our music memorabilia here.

One Direction auction memorabilia for Red Nose Day

Red Nose Day managed to raise a record breaking £75 million this year, helped in no small part by a major contribution from One Direction. But in addition to recording this year's Comic Relief song, 1D also made money from some rather unusual music memorabilia.

The cameras followed One Direction to Ghana, where they were exposed to the hardship of life in and around the country's slums. When they returned, they Ebayed the clothes they wore on their journey in support of Red Nose Day.

The sale of these rather unconventional (and possibly slightly whiffy) music collectibles raised £11,000, all of which went straight to supporting the life-changing work of Comic Relief.

Although that auction may have ended, there's still one way (sorry) to get your hands on One Direction memorabilia...

The end of Bowie music memorabilia?

A new David Bowie single? A new album? Is it too much to hope that a tour, with all its attendant David Bowie memorabilia, may follow? Well yes, actually, it is.

Many had feared that we'd heard the last of the Thin White Duke. Nothing new since 2003's Reality, dubious reports of ill-health, and not much else.

But as 2013 dawned, a new David Bowie single arrived. What's more, it was really good. It even made the top 10 (although those last two facts aren't necessarily connected). And an album is due in March.

For music memorabilia collectors, this was big news. Not only because the possibility of some signed promo material may be in the offing, but because albums are always followed by tours. And tours mean brand new music collectibles, don't they?

Rumours were rife. Hopes were high that the 66 year old Bowie would reclaim the stage. And then this, from Bowie's producer Tony Visconti, reported in The Independent:

"He's fairly adamant he's never gonna perform live again. One of the guys would say, 'Boy, how are we gonna do all this live?' and David said, 'We're not'."

'Fairly adamant' offers the perennial optimist some carrot-dangling, but if we accept this news at face value then there's a stark truth here: the David Bowie music memorabilia we have is likely to be pretty much all we'll ever get.

You can get your David Bowie memorabilia here.

Colourful music memorabilia

Collect a unique piece of music memorabilia on 22 March when previously unpublished Beatles photographs go up for auction in Stockport.

Yes, we know we covered Beatles collectibles last month, but these photos, from the band's 1964 US visit, are worth particular attention. Firstly, they're in colour, when the vast majority of images from the time are black and white.

Secondly, they were taken by Bob Beck, physicist, inventor and photographer who had access to the band on stage, at press conferences and private parties.

Omega Auctions in Stockport expects worldwide interest from music memorabilia enthusiasts when the auction takes place, exactly 50 years to the day after the release of the Please Please Me album.

If your memorabilia budget doesn't quite stretch to the £10,000 - £15,000 these images are expected to be reach, console yourself with some wonderfully collectible, but rather more affordable pieces of music memorabilia.

Music memorabilia gets straight to the point

Madonna's still at the top of her game. And with a certain notorious piece of clothing fetching double its expected asking price at Christie's recently, it seems Madonna music memorabilia is still going strong too.

In 1990 Madonna could do, say and wear pretty much anything she pleased. And nothing caused quite so much of a stir as the conical bra she wore during her Blond Ambition Tour.

This was Madonna's Vogue period. The tour, coinciding with the release of her first Greatest Hits package and the Dick Tracy movie and album, saw her at peak. And that bra was on every front page around the world.

Even so, this music collectible's final price of £32,450 confounded expectations and proved that, over 20 years on, Madonna still sells. If you'd like to grab your own piece of Madonna music memorabilia, you'll find an ever changing selection in the online store.

'Butcher' Beatles memorabilia auction

There's nothing like a ban or withdrawal from sale to make an album rare. And to music memorabilia fans, 'rare' is collectible catnip.

You're about as famous as anyone, ever. The world tracks your every word and movement. And you're getting a bit fed up of the cute mop-top image.

This was where the Beatles found themselves in 1966. Additionally, their US record company, Capitol, insisted on releasing hastily cut together compilation albums from earlier or unreleased material, something which infuriated the band. The latest was a US and Canada only release called 'Yesterday and Today'.

Perhaps it was a protest against Capitol. Perhaps it was an attempt to be subversive. Perhaps, as Paul McCartney suggested at the time, it was a comment on the Vietnam War, but the band chose to release the album with its infamous 'butcher' cover.

The cover, featuring a smiling Fab Four holding the dismembered bodies of toy dolls amid several cuts of meat, was swiftly withdrawn following complaints. Almost immediately, it became a cherished music collectible.

The album is now extremely rare, with stereo versions rarer still. That's why wealthy music memorabilia fans are so excited by December's LA auction of a stereo copy of the album. A 2006 memorabilia auction fetched close to $40,000 for a similar copy. With Beatles collectibles as popular as ever, this sale could beat it.

Ronnie Wood sells Rolling Stones memorabilia

When most people 'simplify' their possessions the result is a skip-load of unwanted junk. But then most people aren't Ronnie Wood.

Reuters reports that the Rolling Stones guitarist and his ex-wife Jo are auctioning a collection of music memorabilia that spans 4 decades. Items under the hammer include tour clothes, backstage passes and some uniquely personalised, painted Fender Stratocasters.

Auctioneer Darren Julien of Beverley Hills auctioneers Julien's says the sale is a result of the Woods deciding "it was time to simplify and sell some of their property".

The auction of these unique music collectibles on October 27 is expected to raise up to $500,000, with part of the proceeds being donated to music charity MusiCares.

Scribbled notes make Elvis bible even more valuable

As music memorabilia goes, anything Elvis related is likely to be snapped up in an instant. Last month we mentioned that a copy of Elvis' bible (along with other memorabilia including an unwashed pair of the King's underpants) was coming up for auction later this month in Stockport.

As more details have emerged, it seems the bible could be a particular treasure for Elvis collectors.

Elvis, it seemed, favoured the New Testament over the Old. His handwritten notes are more frequent in the latter chapters of his bible, written in capitals, and with the occasional spelling mistake (he writes "Guid" rather than "Guide").

Perhaps most telling, and what makes this an outstanding piece of music memorabilia, is a handwritten passage on the inside cover: "To judge a man by his weakest link or deed is like judging the power of the ocean by one wave."

An original Elvis line, and one that makes an already collectible piece more valuable still.

Elvis Presley's bible up for auction

A bible which once belonged to Elvis Presley is to be auctioned off on the 8th of September. The bible contains handwritten notes by the King himself, making this one piece of music memorabilia for any collector.

The bible is expected to raise over £20,000 and was given to Elvis by his Uncle Vester and Aunt Clettes to celebrate his first Christmas at Graceland.

How do you turn merchandise into music memorabilia?

Well, depends who you are. When Justin Timberlake's half eaten toast is devoured by eBay (not that way) you'd think it's easy.

But what if you're the singer or band wanting to leave a legacy other than the music? Or simply earn a living. If your merchandise isn't selling then you're missing a huge opportunity to keep your career viable. And unless you sell your merchandise today, it can't become the music memorabilia of tomorrow.

Michael Brandvold, music marketing specialist, and Bruce Warilla of Music Think Tank have published 10 golden rules for bands wishing to sell more music merchandise. In brief, they are:

10) Stop selling the old stuff and create something new.
9) Try making it look professional and not like your sister drew it.
8) Make it different. Distinguish yourself from what everyone else is doing.
7) Grey merchandise on a grey table in a dimly lit room doesn't sell.
6) Don't put the merchandise table next to the dance floor/mosh pit.
5) If your manager's doing his/her job right he/she shouldn't be above selling.
4) You don't take cards?
3) You underestimate the difference selling merchandise can make to your overall profit.
2) The lead singer refuses to promote merchandise. So give him or her a "buy my stuff song..." they can have some fun with.
1) You don't connect with your audience so they're less likely to want to take anything home.

Bonus tip: Tell the audience you'll be at the merch table after the show. They'll be there too.

Think about it and it all makes perfect sense. The times you bought merchandise are most likely the times when bands got these things right. And that means they've started the process of turning 'stuff' into music memorabilia that will pass from collector to collector.

And when that happens, your legacy lives on long after you've left the stage.

Justin Timberlake's toast

It seems anything can become a piece of music memorabilia these days. Including the bready remains of an A-list snack.

Justin Timberlake had just finished an early-morning interview at New York radio station Z-100. Eating on the go, the actor/singer had snacked on some French toast but left before he'd had the chance to finish it.

Clearly not one to miss an opportunity, the presenter auctioned the half-eaten toast on eBay. It was bought for $3,154 by a fan who said she planned to freeze-dry it, seal it, then put it on her dresser where she could admire it forever.

If you happen to have any half chewed celebrity collectibles, can we politely request you don't send them to us. They're a nightmare to frame.

Build a brewery boys!

Rochdale's finest, Elbow, aren't content with producing your average music collectibles. For a start, you can drink theirs.

Build a Rocket Boys! is a beer created by Guy Garvey and cohorts and brewed by Stockport brewery, Robinsons. Names after the band's fifth album and described as a 'golden ale with a rich balanced body,' its fanbase already seems to be approaching Elbow album-like proportions.

Cask of Thousands

Intended for a limited launch, 130,000 pints of the ale have already been pulled in its first six months on sale, helping to raise $25,000 for Oxfam's East Africa Appeal.

You can find Elbow (the beer, not the band) in pubs across Manchester and at many branches of Morrisons and Booths supermarkets.

Music Memorabilia | Memorabilia Sale