Popular music, as we know it, originated in the swinging sixties, with the iconic artists like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Elvis Presley. Whilst other collectables may have diminished in value since the beginning of the recession, memorabilia from this era continues to hold its value due to the cultural history and intrigue surrounding them.
Purchasing memorabilia as an investment has the potential to not only retain value better than say stocks and shares, but can also be enjoyed as works of art and pieces of cultural history; just make sure if you are the proud owners of some you take out adequate home insurance to protect your investment.
For these reasons, it is older pop memorabilia associated with pivotal moments in pop culture that are most sought-after and, as you’d expect, most valuable. The most expensive item ever sold was John Lennon’s 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limo which sold for £1,768,462. It was painted yellow with a psychedelic design on the outside, with the inside back seat being able to convert to a double bed—probably handy for nights on the road!
John Lennon also enjoys number two on the list of most expensive pieces of pop memorabilia, as in 2000 George Michael purchased his Steinway Model Z Piano (on which Lennon penned the unforgettable Imagine) for £1,450,000. After adding seller’s commission, the total cost of the piano was £1,670,000.
Jerry Garcia, guitarist in the band The Grateful Dead, makes it to number three and four on the list, thanks to the sales of two of his guitars in 2002. “Tiger” (the guitar Garcia played for eleven years) sold for $850,000, whilst his “Wolf” guitar sold for $700,000.
Making the last entry on the five most expensive pieces of pop memorabilia is Eric Clapton’s “Brownie” guitar which cost its owner a total of £313,425 at auction in 1999. It was one of Clapton’s favorites and was used to record the popular album Layla and Other Assorted Love songs.