Former Rolling Stones bass guitarist Bill Wyman will sell part of his vast archive of music memorabilia in May. The sale features more than 1,000 lots from the British musician’s private collection, including instruments, stage clothes, and Rolling Stones memorabilia, that forms one of the biggest archives of the band’s more than 50-year career.
“Collecting and archiving has been one of the great pleasures of my life and will undoubtedly be one of my legacies. It feels like the right time to share my archive with the world. I hope people will get as much joy from my collections as I have,” Wyman said in a statement via Julien’s Auctions.
One of the most coveted items is the 1962 VOX AC30 ‘Normal’ model amplifier that Wyman famously brought to his audition for the Rolling Stones at a London pub in 1962.
The piece, now estimated between US$80,000 and US$100,000 (S$111,000 and S$139,000), caught the interest of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who later commented, “Bill came fully equipped. A Vox AC30 amplifier, which was beyond our means to possess…We used to worship it. We used to look at it and get on our knees. To have an amplifier was crucial.”
Also on sale are several pieces from Wyman’s private collection of guitars, including a 1969 Fender Mustang Bass that he played at concerts and on Stones recordings in 1969 and 1970 (estimated up to US$500,000/ S$695,200). A gold and black satin outfit Wyman wore onstage in the 1970s, a 1965 London concert program from one of the few shows the Rolling Stones played with the Beatles, and early recording contracts will also hit the auction block from May 29 to 31 in Beverly Hills, California, and online.
Although Julien’s Auctions did not provide an estimated total for the sale, a portion of the proceeds will go to Macmillan Cancer Support, British-based youth charity Prince’s Trust, and the Central Caribbean Marine Institute.
Highlights will be on public exhibition in Europe and United States ahead of the auction, debuting at the Museum of Style Icons in Kildare, Ireland, from March 10 to April 20. They will then travel to New York’s Hard Rock Cafe from May 4 to 10, before returning to Julien’s Auctions’ Beverly Hills galleries from May 18 to 28.
In addition to selling part of his music memorabilia, Wyman will release a new photography book chronicling his nearly 30-year career with the Rolling Stones on February 20.
The hardcover, entitled Stones From the Inside: Rare and Unseen Images, offers glimpses of the British band onstage, backstage, and on the road.
(Featured image: Bill Wyman)