Celebrities frequently show up at Barrett-Jackson to pitch their cars. Wolf Blitzer’s appearance may have helped boost the price of the CNN Hummer to seven figures Saturday. But this year, the self-proclaimed world’s greatest collector car auction is not just about vehicles.
Surprise visitor Sir George Martin made that clear by showing up to hawk his old piano and add historical perspective to several other pieces of Beatles history.
Beatles producer Martin used the 1906 Bechstein grand piano from London’s famed Abbey Road Studios on most of the group’s greatest hits. It sold for $46,000 Saturday.
A 1917 piano owned by John Lennon went for $345,000. George Harrison’s guitar fetched $51,750.
And the hand-written lyrics to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” signed by the two living members of the group, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, and dedicated by Martin, sold for $60,000.
“This is the last Beatles score ever written, and the last score I’ll ever write,” Martin said.
Rock music is as much a part of the baby boomers’ youth as the muscle cars they shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for at Barrett-Jackson, said auction president Craig Jackson.
So it’s not surprising that nearly $500,000 of music memorabilia crossed the block Saturday along with the cars.
So far, in the inaugural year of Barrett-Jackson’s rock ’n’ roll memorabilia auction, the take for the celebrity items has already surpassed Jackson’s $1 million estimate.
Today, an extensive Johnny Cash collection goes on sale to up the tote even more.