A set of handwritten lyrics scrawled by John Lennon and an acoustic guitar that belonged to Elvis Presley each brought in more than $300,000 at a rock memorabilia auction that took place over the weekend at Hard Rock Café New York.
A sheet of paper on which Lennon wrote part of the lyrics to the 1967 Beatles tune “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” as well as a decorative illustration, sold for $354,500. The song’s title was slightly misspelled — “Benifit” rather than “Benefit” — and Lennon highlighted it with shapes drawn in gold marker.
Presley’s 1969 Gibson Dove guitar, which his father, Vernon, gave him as a gift in 1971, fetched $334,000. Vernon Presley purchased the instrument at Guitar City in Memphis, and had custom elements added to it in honor of his son, including an ebony finish and a karate-themed decal in recognition of Elvis recently earning his black belt in the martial art. Presley played the guitar on stage often between 1971 and 1973, including during his historic Aloha from Hawaii television special.
Among the many other interesting collectibles sold at the auction were a drumhead used by The Who‘s Keith Moon, which brought in $187,500; a jacket Queen‘s Freddie Mercury wore during the band’s Magic Tour, which fetched $81,250; and two sheets of handwritten lyrics by Jimi Hendrix that feature the words to the songs “Room Full of Mirrors” and “Shame Shame Shame,” which went for $62,600.
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