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Auction News: Bonhams hosts sale for early Elton John albums

Four songs on acetate pressings by Elton John (Reg Dwight) from his early pre-fame years will be offered at Bonhams Entertainment Sale in Knightsbridge, U.K. A handful of other famed rock 'n' rollers also have items up for bid at this sale.

Four songs on acetate pressings by Elton John (Reg Dwight) from his early pre-fame years will be offered at Bonhams Entertainment Sale in Knightsbridge, U.K., on Nov. 25, 2008.

Each seven-inch, 45 rpm disc carries an estimated sale price of £500 to £600. It is believed that this is the first time that discs bearing Mills Music labels have ever appeared on the market. Believed to be recorded in 1967 or possible earlier, the songs are titled: "Desdemona/Love's Merry-Go-Round," "Long Time Comin'" and "Here’s to You."

 “These previously unknown recordings from the earliest days of Elton's career are an exciting find and a significant addition to a catalogue of work spanning five decades," said Bonhams Entertainment Specialist Stephen Maycock.

"Desdemona" has John taking the vocal, while the lead vocal on "Love's Merry Go Round" is sung by an unidentifed male voice, but John may be singing and/or playing on the track.

In early 1965, teenager Reg Dwight left school to begin work at West End music publishers Mills Music. This came about via his cousin, Roy, who had a friend who knew someone at the publishers. An interview was arranged, and Reg was offered a job as office boy with a salary of £5 per week. Reg's decision dismayed his family, as it seemed he was throwing away his chance of further academic qualifications and a possible place at the Royal Academy of Music.

In his spare time, Reg continued his musical activities as singer/pianist with Bluesology. In July 1965, the band released its first single, with Reg singing his own composition, "Come Back Baby." Over the next few years, he became involved with writing and recording demos of his own compositions and those of other writers. Interestingly, none of the three titles offered in the sale on which Elton is clearly identifiable was included in the extensively-researched discography in "Elton," Philip Norman, Hutchinson, 1991.

Also in the sale is a rare autographed pressing of the 12-inch single "U2: Three' produced in 1981 (estimate £2,000-3,000). Hand-numbered 46 from a limited edition of 1,000 by CBS executive Jackie Hayden, the sleeve is signed by the band in ballpoint or ink and inscribed by Bono, all the way from Holland.

The vendor was a neighbor of drummer Larry Mullen who followed the band's early career. On the day of the record release, he went to Pat Egan Records in Dublin's Nassau Street, arriving just a few minutes after the records were delivered. The record was autographed by the band two days after purchase.

Other highlights in Bonhams' entertainment sale include:

• Phil Daniel’s Lambretta from "Quadrophenia"

• Elton John's palm-tree glasses

• A jacket worn by Bob Dylan in the film "Hearts Of Fire"

• John Pertwee’s plum-colored velvet "Doctor Who" jacket

• The Reliant used in “Only Fools Horses”

• Several Beatles lots

• An Elvis Presley collection of lots, including his waistcoat and tie

• The Tim Rice collection of music awards

• A good collection of film and rock 'n' roll posters.

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