A bass owned and played by James Jamerson, the 2000 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who Base Player magazine named the “Greatest Bass Player” of all time, set a world record for the most valuable bass ever offered at auction in Heritage Auctions’ June 17-18 Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Event in Beverly Hills.
The Jamerson-Owned and -Played 1961 Fender Precision Bass, Serial Number 60228, with Strap, Case and Photo Archive emerged as a real sleeper prize in the auction, more than tripling its pre-auction estimate when it sold for $68,750.
“James Jamerson was a very important and influential artist who played a vital role on many of Motown’s biggest hits of the 1960s and early 1970s,” Heritage Auctions Entertainment and Music Director Garry Shrum said. “He played on 30 Billboard No. 1 hits and more than 70 No. 1 R&B hits, so it’s no surprise that the artist who played this instrument is enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and that the bass was in such high demand.”
One of the most recognizable album covers in music history, a Beatles Yesterday and Today Sealed Original First State Mono “Butcher Cover” LP in Gem Mint 10 Condition (Capitol T2553, 1996) sold for $57,500. Whether the infamous photo was a protest of the war in Vietnam or a statement about Capitol “butchering” the Beatles’ records, the image was captured in 1966 by Robert Whitaker and had its own title: A Somnambulant Adventure.
Also among the most famous album covers is the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band, featuring the Fab Four posing in front of cutouts and photos of assorted celebrities from the era. The Tony Curtis Cutout from the Cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (U.K., 1967) in Framed Display sold for $57,700
One of the rarest known albums, an Ultra-Rare Version One “Column Back” Introducing The Beatles Stereo LP in Original Sears Sleeve with Perry Cox LOA (Vee-Jay SR1062, 1964) – one of fewer than 20 known copies – sold for $52,500.
Not all items pursued by collectors came from performances. A Two-Piece Track Suit Owned and Worn by John Lennon (circa 1970) sold for $37,500.
Other top lots in the auction included, but were not limited to:
- An Elvis Presley Gold and Diamond “TCB” Necklace (circa 1970s): $26,250
- A Mark Kendall/Great White stage-used BC Rich Guitar (1989): $20,000
- A Beatles 1963 Program Signed for Tour Headliner Chris Montez and from his Personal Collection (UK, March 1963): $18,750
- A Jimi Hendrix Black Leather Biker’s Jacket (circa 1969): $17,500
- A Very Rare Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lone Hearts Club Band EMI Promotional Poster (1967): $15,000
- A First Edition Copy of the Novel The Fountainhead, 1943, 1948, Signed By Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal, Ayn Rand and Others: $9,375
- A Mae West Large and Ornate Mantle Clock (circa 1860s): $7,500