The John Peel music memorabilia auction realises more than £450,000

The “Live in Session” property from the John Peel music memorabilia auction has closed at Bonhams, London realising £465,783 in total.

Peel became an icon of music discovery, helping to launch the careers of the Sex Pistols, Queen, Nirvana, Davie Bowie and countless other household names.

It was actually a Sex Pistols piece of memorabilia, a test pressing of Anarchy in the UK that starred at the auction selling for £20,400 against an £8,000 estimate.

Sex Pistols test pressing at Bonhams

Image: Bonhams

The lot consisted of two single-sided 7 inch discs with handwritten recording details in black ballpoint and John Peel's handwritten track timing and band name.

A John Lennon & Yoko Ono autographed copy of Unfinished Music No.1 : Two Virgins sold for £15,300.

John Lennon album at Bonhams

Image: Bonhams

The album which is signed “To John love John x Yoko x” also included a handwritten note from John Lennon reading “Dear John - this isn't the proper master cut - its in stereo really but here it is anyway love John”.

A rare example of the famous 1968 ‘Evolutions’ Southampton University Concert poster featuring Pink Floyd, Jimmy Cliff and the Shakedown Sound and T-Rex sold for £8,925.

Pink Floyd at Bonhams

Image: Bonhams

Ed: Plenty of students will be kicking themselves now, but not as much as those who attended the Beatles' August 23, 1966, concert at New York's Shea Stadium where a poster sold for a world record $220,000 at Heritage auctions in April 2022.

The John Peel auction also featured a copy of An Ideal for Living by Joy Division with a fold out picture sleeve.

Joy Division at Bonhams

Image: Bonhams

The album included a letter to John Peel reading;

We did send you a copy about six months ago and we weren't going to release it because the sound quality wasn't very good...we would be grateful if you could give it another spin and tell your listeners that it is now available in the shops” which sold for £6,375

Another personal piece was Peel’s NME "God Like Genius" Award presented to him in 1993 by readers of NME magazine for services to music which sold for £3,187.

John Peel NME award at Bonhams
Image: Bonhams


Other eycatching items included:

  • A demo cassette recorded by The Smiths which sold for £17,850.
  • £15,300 for a signed copy of Lennon & Ono’s Two Virgins album.
  • A Fugees Platinum CD for The Album The Score And The Single Killing Me Softly which sold for £357.
  • £2,295 for a signed postcard send from David Bowie to John Peel.
  • £5,355 for a An Original Christmas On Earth Jimi Hendrix/John Peel Concert Poster from Olympia, London

This was the ultimate music geek auction.

You can view all the results here

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