David Fishof and Ringo Starr go way back.
After all, it was Fishof, the longtime music manager/promoter, who came up with the concept for the Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band concert package, and Fishof produced eight All Starr band tours.
So, it stands to reason that, over time, having worked so closely with the former Beatle, he would have amassed an interesting assortment of Ringo-related memorabilia. That would be an understatement.
Backstage Auctions’ “All Access Rock Auction” will be held Oct. 12-19, and the more than 300 lots in the sale feature Fishof’s private memorabilia collection. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Teenage Cancer Trust, along with other charities. The full auction catalog is available for viewing Oct. 5 at the auction site, www.backstageauctions.com. Registration is free.
Any fan of Ringo or The Beatles looking to add to his or her collection has a lot to choose from in this sale.
“I think this auction probably has more signed Ringo Starr items than any auction ever had in history,” says Backstage Auctions’ Jacques van Gool. “I haven’t even counted them, but there’s got to be at least over 100 Ringo Starr signed items. And typically, in auctions, you will see two or three pieces, or four pieces, or five pieces — whatever it is. But it is generally a single-digit number. Any Beatles fan, and in particular, any Ringo Starr fan … I mean, this is very unique.”
One of the prized pieces is a Peter Max original painting of Ringo. It’s one of only three in existence, and Ringo owns the other two. Fishof tells how he came into possession of it.
“What happened was, [Ringo’s] business manager and I were having lunch, and I told him we were doing a 10th anniversary [celebration] for Ringo’s 10th anniversary tour,” relates Fishof. “I’m doing a big press conference, and he says, ‘Hey, would you like Peter to paint you a picture for Ringo? Let me ask Peter if he’d want to do it. [Max] loves The Beatles and ‘Yellow Submarine,’ and so, it was painted especially for Ringo by Peter and presented to Ringo at a national press conference.”
Talking about the Max painting, van Gool says, “Any original painting by Peter Max itself is unique to own, but in this case he only did three Ringo Starr paintings, and this may be the first and last time you’ll ever have an opportunity to own one of those paintings.”
There’s more artwork in the sale, including a LeRoy Neiman “The Beatles” lithograph and an Al Hirschfeld signed work featuring Ringo, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger.
Of the Neiman item, van Gool says, “Any art by Neiman is very popular. It’s a huge piece. I don’t know the exact dimensions, but it would take up a big chunk of your wall, I would say.”
Among the other Beatles highlights in the sale is a Rock-Ola Beatles Yellow Submarine Jukebox. It’s a rare piece.
“They did that with the approval of Apple,” says van Gool, “but they decided to keep it to a limited edition. Well, limited in this case means only a hundred were ever made, which is an exceptionally low run for a piece like that… and since then, they’ve been a very desirable collectible among Beatles … and not only Beatles collectors, but juke box collectors.”
Fishof adds, “They came out with an exclusive hundred of them. They let The Beatles order them, so Ringo’s lawyer called me up and said, ‘There’s only a hundred and Ringo can order [them]… [he] gets the first allotment of what he wants to order. So, he said, ‘You want to buy on