Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Christie's Auctions Rock and Punk Memorabilia

Original Metallica Cover Art Sells For $35,000

According to, the original cover painting done for Metallica's classic 1986 album Master of Puppets, done by artist Don Brautigam, sold for $35,000 at an auction held by Christie's in New York City. The painting was one of many pieces of pop culture art that went up for bids on Monday (November 24th), with many of them coming from the punk and rock genres.

The sale, which also featured items from Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, the Beatles, the Ramones and others, netted a total of $750,000.

Among the items which sold were:

- A ring worn by Elvis Presley during one of his final tours for $32,500

- A trumpet that belonged to Louis Armstrong for $27,500

- Original tapes from Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland sessions for

- Proof of smallpox vaccination certificate for Paul McCartney for $5,000

- A postcard handwritten by Elvis for $7,250

- Vox Continental Portable Organ used by John Lennon at the August 15, 1965 - Shea Stadium show and the August 13 Ed Sullivan Show - $182,500

- Collection of photos and audio material from John Lennon's stay at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Toronto during the Bed In for Peace - $22,500

- Gold record award for the Beatles' I Want to Hold Your Hand - $15,000

- Collection of 36 early Hip-Hop posters from the late 70's and early 80's - $12,500

- Drawing and signature from John Lennon during the Toronto Bed In for Peace - $11,875

- 1959 Fender Musicmaster guitar signed by over 170 musicians including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Elton John, David Bowie, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, B.B. King, more - $7,500

Items that did not reach their reserve price and remained unsold included the original album art for the Beastie Boys'1986 debut "Licensed to Ill" and Kurt Cobain's childhood bass guitar.

The Beatles' White Album 40th Anniversary Tribute

The White Album turned 40 this week and still is one of the best rock and roll records of all time. Although there are some forgettable cuts ("Honey Pie," "Revolution #9," "Martha My Dear," "Don't Pass Me By," "Goodnight" -in my opinion), the double LP is one of the most remarkable records of our generation. With cuts like the Lennon-led "Yer Blues," "Cry Baby Cry," "Happiness Is A Warm Gun," Glass Onion and the McCartney tunes like "Blackbird" & "Rocky Racoon" and even George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" - this is probably one of my favorites set of Beatles songs; I never get tired of listening to them. These songs have certainly stood the 'test of time' and if you have never heard the LP, do yourself a favor and buy one.

I have put togther a small celebration of the LP and will post something about it for a few days. Enjoy:

Beatles Music

White Album

"The Beatles" is the ninth official album by The Beatles, a double album released in November of 1968. It is more commonly known as "The White Album" as it has no text other than the band's name (and, on the early LP and CD releases, a serial number) on its plain white sleeve, which was designed by pop artist Richard Hamilton. The album was the first The Beatles undertook following the death of their manager Brian Epstein. Originally planned to be "A Doll's House," the title was changed when the British progressive band Family released an album earlier that year bearing a similar title.

Many interpret this album as actually having no title, the words “The BEATLES” only being intended to indicate the group, as all Beatles albums contain this identification.

In 1997, The Beatles was named the 10th greatest album of all time in a 'Music of the Millennium' poll conducted by HMV, Channel 4, The Guardian and Classic FM. In 1998, Q magazine readers placed it at number 17, while in 2000 the same magazine placed it at number 7 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2001, the TV network VH1 named it as the 11th greatest album ever. In 2006, the album was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 100 best albums of all time. It was ranked number 10 in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time in 2003.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles is The Beatles' best-selling album at 19-times platinum and the tenth-best-selling album of all time in the United States.

Album Cover Art

The album's sleeve was designed by Richard Hamilton, a notable pop artist who had organised a Marcel Duchamp retrospective at the Tate Gallery the previous year. Hamilton's design was in stark contrast to Peter Blake's vivid cover art for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and consisted of a plain white sleeve. The band's name was discreetly embossed slightly below the middle of the album's right side, and the cover also featured a unique stamped serial number, "to create," in Hamilton's words, "the ironic situation of a numbered edition of something like five million copies." Indeed, the artist intended the cover to resemble the "look" of conceptual art, an emerging movement in contemporary art at the time. Later vinyl record releases in the U.S. showed the title in grey printed (rather than embossed) letters. Early copies on compact disc were also numbered. Later CD releases rendered the album's title in black or grey. The 30th anniversary CD release was done to look like the original album sleeve, with an embossed title and serial number, including a small reproduction of the poster and pictures.

The album's inside packaging included a poster, the lyrics to the songs, and a set of photographs taken by John Kelley during the autumn of 1968 that have themselves become iconic. This is the only sleeve of a Beatles studio album not to show the members of the band on the front.

Tape versions of the album did not feature a white cover. Instead, cassette and 8-track versions (first issued on two cartridges in early 1969) contained cover artwork that featured a black and white (with no grey) version of the four Kelley photographs. In both the cassette and 8-track versions of the album, the two tapes were sold in a black slip-cover box that bore the title, "The BEATLES" in gold lettering along the front. This departure from the LP's design not only made it difficult for less-informed fans to identify the tape in record stores, but it also led some fans at the time to jokingly refer to the 8-track or cassette not as the "white album" but as the "black tape." In 1988, Capitol/EMI re-issued the 2-cassette version of the album, still with the same cover artwork as the original cassettes - but without the black slip-cover box.

SOURCE: (wikipedia)

Track listing
All songs written and composed by Lennon/McCartney, except where noted.

Side one
# Title Length
1. "Back in the U.S.S.R." 2:43
2. "Dear Prudence" 3:56
3. "Glass Onion" 2:17
4. "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" 3:08
5. "Wild Honey Pie" 0:52
6. "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" 3:14
7. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (George Harrison) 4:45
8. "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" 2:43

Side two
# Title Length
1. "Martha My Dear" 2:28
2. "I'm So Tired" 2:03
3. "Blackbird" 2:18
4. "Piggies" (Harrison) 2:04
5. "Rocky Raccoon" 3:32
6. "Don't Pass Me By" (Starkey) 3:50
7. "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?" 1:41
8. "I Will" 1:46
9. "Julia" 2:54

Side three
# Title Length
1. "Birthday" 2:42
2. "Yer Blues" 4:01
3. "Mother Nature's Son" 2:48
4. "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey" 2:24
5. "Sexy Sadie" 3:15
6. "Helter Skelter" 4:29
7. "Long, Long, Long" (Harrison) 3:04

Side four
# Title Length
1. "Revolution 1" 4:15
2. "Honey Pie" 2:41
3. "Savoy Truffle" (Harrison) 2:54
4. "Cry Baby Cry" 3:01
5. "Revolution 9" 8:22
6. "Good Night"

The Beatles-The White Album Demos

Beatles White Album #5 sells for $28,448.20

I reported about a week ago about this treasure going on the market. I actually thought it would go for a higher price. Very interesting:

A piece of history just sold on eBay. As I previously announced, the rare, lowest of the numbered Beatles' 1968 self-titled vinyl LP, more commonly referred to as "The White Album" just sold for $28,448.20.

There is truly a one of a kind item, the first four printed albums were giving to The Beatles band members and this is the earliest edition that has ever seen the open market as it is marked 0000005. The vinyl records are in an extremely good shape for their age and come to the market as the album celebrates its 40th anniversary of release on 22nd November (1968).

Here was the listing of the auction:

"Some years ago, this album was taken into the collectors shop named 'Vinyl Revival Records' in Newbury, Berkshire, England by a musician (they did not disclose who) who had visited John in the flat that he shared with Yoko in late 1968 (that was owned by Ringo) at 34 Montague Square, Marylebone, London W.1. The musician saw a pile of White Albums on a table and asked for one. John readily agreed, but said 'Don't take No.1 - I want that'. Instead he took No. 5'.

The album then passed into the hands of Beatles specialist dealer 'Good Humour' who then sold it to its current owner who has now commissioned me to sell it on his behalf."

What I find most interesting is that Disc 2 is heavier than Disc 1. Here's the specifics:

This unique, complete copy is UK 1968 MONO 1st pressing on the dark green Apple labels: PMC 7067 & PMC 7068. All labels carry the 'Sold in UK..' texts but omit the 'An EMI Recording' text found on later editions. The discs are housed in a thick card stock, fully laminated, top-loading 'Garrod & Lofthouse printed mono cover numbered: No.0000005. This copy is 100% complete with both its matt black die-cut inner-sleeves, 4 colour portrait photos, matt UK printed poster and white paper photo spacer.

Rolling Stone Gets an Earful from Readers on Greatest Singers List

Two weeks ago, Rolling Stone published their list of the 100 greatest singers of the Rock era as picked by a panel of people from the music industry. This past Friday, they asked their readers to let them have it. Tell them the names of all the singers that they felt should have been on the list.

The list is interesting in that it didn't totally skew towards modern artists, as so often happens when the general public is asked to name lists of "greats." There is also at least one questionable singer on the list in Billie Holiday who, while truly one of the great singers of all time, is more of an influence on rock music than a singer of the era. The same could be said of Ella Fitzgerald, although she was recording after 1955.

The following are the top vote getters from the follow-up poll:

Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam)
Chris Cornell (Soundgarden)
Michael Stipe (R.E.M)
Maynard James Keenan (Tool)
Joe Strummer (Clash)
Paul Westerberg (Replacements)
Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle)
Ian Curtis (Joy Division)
Ella Fitzgerald
George Michael
Harry Nilsson
Frank Black (Pixies)
Peter Gabriel
H.R. (Bad Brains)
Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age)
Billie Holiday
Liam Gallagher (Oasis)
Joey Ramone (Ramones)
Chris Isaak
Richard Manuel (Band)

As with any 'best of' list, there are names on both lists that can be debated. I had posted the list and had to question the inclusion of several artists- including Bob Dylan, who I suggest can't sing a lick. I saw him in concert and I was so disgusted that I even paid for the tickets, we walked out, it was that bad. A poet and songwriter? One of the best, but as a singer he belongs on the 'worst of' list in my book.

Then the readers include Maynard James Keenan (Tool). I guess if screaming into a micrphone constitutes 'singing' then he belongs I guess- certainly an acquired taste (like diarrhea on Christmas)

ASCAP Announces Top 25 Christmas Songs

ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) has announced their annual list of the 25 most performed Christmas songs over the last five years. Keep in mind, this list is only for songs written by ASCAP members, while some unlisted popular songs may be licensed through BMI (Broadcast Music International).

The ranking was done with information from Mediaguide, which monitors radio airplay on over 2,700 radio stations.

Winter Wonderland stays at number one for a second year in a row. Leaving the list is last year's number 25, Paul McCartney's Wonderful Christmas.

(1) Winter Wonderland - Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith (Eurythmics)
(2) The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) - Mel Tormé, Robert Wells (Nat King Cole)
(3) Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin (Pretenders)
(4) Sleigh Ride - Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish (Ronettes)
(5) Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie (Bruce Springsteen)
(6) Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne (Aaron Neville)
(7) White Christmas - Irving Berlin (Bing Crosby)
(8) Jingle Bell Rock - Joseph Carleton Beal, James Ross Boothe (Bobby Helms)
(9) Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer - Johnny Marks (Gene Autrey)
(10) Little Drummer Boy - Katherine K. Davis, Henry V. Onorati, Harry Simeone (Harry Simeone Chorale & Orchestra)
(11) It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year - Edward Pola, George Wyle (Andy Williams)
(12) Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Johnny Marks (Brenda Lee)
(13) Silver Bells - Jay Livingston, Ray Evans (Kenny G)
(14) I'll Be Home For Christmas - Walter Kent, Kim Gannon, Buck Ram (Amy Grant)
(15) Feliz Navidad - José Feliciano (Jose Feliciano)
(16) Frosty The Snowman - Steve Nelson, Walter E. Rollins (Ronettes)
(17) A Holly Jolly Christmas - Johnny Marks (Burl Ives)
(18) It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas - Meredith Willson (Johnny Mathis)
(19) Blue Christmas - Billy Hayes, Jay W. Johnson (Elvis Presley)
(20) (There's No Place Like) Home For The Holidays - Bob Allen, Al Stillman (Perry Como)
(21) I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Tommie Connor (PRS) (John Mellencamp)
(22) Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) - Gene Autry, Oakley Haldeman (Elvis Presley)
(23) Carol Of The Bells - Peter J. Wilhousky, Mykola Leontovich (David Foster)
(24) Do They Know It's Christmas? (Feed the World) - Midge Ure (PRS), Bob Geldof (PRS) (Band Aid)
(25) This Christmas - Donny Hathaway & Nadine McKinnor (Gloria Estefan)

No "Barking Dogs" on the list this year :O(

Top Ten TV Theme Songs

Let's explore's list of theme songs, this time see what made #3 on their list:

3. Sanford & Son - Quincy Jones

Forget Thriller, "We are the World" or his work with Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald and Sammie Davis Jr. If all Mr. Jones had given us was the funky intro to one of the best sitcoms of the 1970s, it would have been enough.

Sanford and Son is an American sitcom that premiered on the NBC television network on January 14, 1972, and was broadcast for six seasons. The final original episode aired on March 25, 1977. The show was based on the BBC sitcom Steptoe and Son.

Sanford and Son starred Redd Foxx as Fred G. Sanford, a 65-year-old junk dealer living at 9114 S. Central Ave. in the Watts neighborhood of southern Los Angeles, California; and Demond Wilson as his 28-year-old son, Lamont Sanford.

Redd Foxx played Sanford as a sarcastic, stubborn, and argumentative antiques and junk dealer, whose frequent money-making schemes routinely backfired and created more troubles. Lamont dearly would have liked to enjoy independence but loved his father too much to leave him to his devices and schemes. Although each owned an equal share in the business and technically Fred was the boss, Lamont often found himself doing all the work and having to order his father to complete tasks and duties.

On the show's premiere in 1972, newspaper ads touted Foxx as NBC's answer to Archie Bunker, the bigoted white protagonist of All in the Family. (Both shows were adapted by Norman Lear from BBC shows.)

Season Ranking
1971-72 #6
1972-73 #2
1973-74 #2
1974-75 #2
1975-76 #7
1976-77 #27

interesting tidbits:

The truck driven in the series is a 1951 Ford, which was still functional as of July 2006 and used by its owner, Donald Dimmitt of Dimmitts Auto Salvage, a real-life junk dealer in Walnut Township, Marshall County, Indiana.

On King of the Hill, Dale routinely refers to Sanford and Son, frequently returning from an extermination job and saying "Good, I didn't miss my show," before settling in to watch Sanford and Son.

The episode "Fred Sanford, Legal Eagle" was edited before being aired on the cable TV network TV Land. In the unedited version, Fred represents Lamont in traffic court as his legal counsel. At the climax of the episode, Fred confronts the white traffic policeman who wrote Lamont the ticket. "Hey, look here", Fred asks the policeman, "why don't you arrest some white drivers?" When the policeman answers, "I do", Fred gestures to the court observers, who are all black, and asks, "Well where are they? Look at all these niggas in here!" Upon uttering this statement, the live studio audience went crazy with laughter and applause. Redd Foxx had to pause for the crowd to settle down before delivering the coup de grâce: "There's enough niggas in here to make a Tarzan movie!" In the TV Land version of this episode, Fred's questioning of the policeman abruptly ends after "What do you have against black people?".

In my opinion, this show did as much for TV as "All In The Family." It is one of my favorites and I must have seen every episode 5 times over, but will never turn the channel if I happen to be surfing and catch it on. Classic and timeless.

Classic Rock Videos

Janis Joplin "Me and Bobby McGee"

Album Cover Art

Let's continue our look at the list of the top 50 dirtiest and sexiest album covers (as compiled by their staff- Gigwise comments in quotes):

27. Slunt: ‘Get A Load Of This’ –" If a woman in a bikini dripping ice cream down her chest isn’t the sign of a band desperately trying to grab some much-needed attention, then we don’t know what is. Then again, if you were a young teenage lad with awful music tastes, ‘Get A Load Of This’ would be perfect for the ole wank bank." Uh- ewwww, could do without that reference.

The debut album from NYC's "rauch-rock" band SLUNT! The Jägermeister and PBR-fueled "Get A Load Of This", co-produced by Scrap 60 (Eddie Wohl and Anthrax's Rob Caggiano,) the band is moving forward with full head banging force. From the cocky, tongue-in-cheek "The Best Thing" to the band's hardly-ironic cover of Romeo Void's "Never Say Never," Get A Load Of This is a brutally honest, no frills rock and roll catalyst to the greatest party you've ever attended.