Julien’s Auctions offers rock ‘n’ roll from A to Z

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By Patrick Prince

Two auctions highlight the memorabilia power of Julien’s Auctions in the coming days: the Property from the Estate of Frank and Gail Zappa auction tomorrow, November 4, and the 2016 Icons and Idols: Rock n’ Roll auction on Saturday, November 5. Both auctions are impressive for different reasons.

The Zappa auction will let you own (if you are lucky to win the bidding) a piece of Frank Zappa’s everyday life at home. With his wife Gail, Frank Zappa owned exotic furnishings and unusual collectibles to make their home a place to be envied. And, of course, there is plenty of musical gear/items and fashionable clothing, too. Check out the auction catalog to get ready to bid when you wake up tomorrow morning. Or just browse through the catalog and take a glimpse inside Zappa’s private life.

Julien’s Icons and Idols: Rock n’ Roll auction is an ongoing event that all music memorabilia collectors look forward to. Hundreds of items will go up for bid including many items from Eric Clapton’s personal life and career, which will benefit Clapton’s Crossroads Centre founded in 1998. There’s also some undeniably great Prince gear like his 1959 Gibson L48 acoustic guitar or a Paisley Black jacket worn for the premiere of “Under the Cherry Moon in 1986. And to top it all off, there’s more Beatles memorabilia, like the only known “Hard Day’s Night” album signed by all of The Beatles.

There’s a lot more in the Icons and Idols auction. Flip through the auction catalog, start with a signed 1978 AC/DC album and work your way through hundreds of rock ‘n’ roll items. It’s fun whether you’re bidding or not.

Darren Julien, President and CEO of Julien’s Auctions, answered a few questions for us about both auctions.

GOLDMINE: Zappa’s career spans 30 years and over 60 albums recorded, which piece in this estate auction do you think best sums up the man?
Darren Julien: It’s such a difficult question. I went through the entire catalog and really cannot come up with just one item. The instruments are incredible as they are historical artifacts because they were played and owned by Frank Zappa. The album artworks are such important items from his career. Many of them he created himself. What’s great about this auction is if you’re a Zappa fan, there’s something for everyone and something from his personal and professional career.

A room in Zappa's estate, filled with items up for auction. Photo Courtesy of Julien's Auctions.

A room in Zappa’s estate, filled with items up for auction. Photo courtesy of Julien’s Auctions.

GM: What items do you personally find appealing and interesting?
Julien: I usually find personal artifacts of a celebrity’s home the most interesting in auctions like these. You can see that both Frank and Gail were creative geniuses as they decorated their home with the same creativity and passion as Frank approached his music.

Prince's 1959 Gibson L48 acoustic guitar. Photo courtesy of Julien's Auctions.

Prince’s 1959 Gibson L48 acoustic guitar. Photo courtesy of Julien’s Auctions.

GM: The Icons & Idols auction … Would you say the two most important lots this year are the Clapton and Prince lots? What makes them so special in your opinion?
Julien: Well, I think that the Prince guitar and the Slash guitar are the two most important items in the Icons & Idols: Rock ‘N’ Roll auction. This guitar owned and used by Prince was the earliest known guitar and he wrote, as well as composed, so many incredible early songs (on it). We all know Prince with the colorful Cloud guitars but if you want a piece of history from his career, this acoustic guitar is the most significant.  Same for the Slash guitar as he played this on all early Guns N’ Roses albums and performances. It will be interesting to see what both these guitars go for as they are equally important to the artist’s career.

A red B.C. Rich Warlock guitar (above) owned and played by Slash during the early days of Guns N’ Roses (top left). Images courtesy of Julien’s Auctions.

An autographed red B.C. Rich Warlock guitar (above) owned and played by Slash during the early days of Guns N’ Roses (top left). Images courtesy of Julien’s Auctions.

GM: The Beatles always do well at auction — that should be no surprise — but considering the buzz from Ron Howard’s new documentary, could it move the needle even higher? Or does it ever matter with The Beatles?
Julien: Yes, Beatles are always highly collectible globally as they have one of the largest fan bases. The documentary does not hurt but you really don’t need hype to make The Beatles sell for record prices.

Frank Sinatra's gifted piano — a Yamaha G1 baby grand — to Tina Sinatra. Photo courtesy of Julien's Auctions.

Frank Sinatra’s gifted piano — a Yamaha G1 baby grand — to Tina Sinatra. Photo courtesy of Julien’s Auctions.

GM: Is there an item you yourself would like to point out in the Icons & Idols auction?
Julien: My personal favorite item is the Frank Sinatra piano that he gifted to his daughter Tina. He’s highly collectible and this piano has such a great story and the fact that it comes directly from Tina Sinatra gives it a solid provenance.

Go straight to www.juliensauctions.com for all information on auctions.

About Patrick Prince

Patrick Prince is the Editor of Goldmine

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