Beatles' Guitar, Cobain Letter Up for Auction

By | November 28, 2004 at 12:00 AM

New York – Rock ‘n’ roll fans with deep pockets can buy a Beatles guitar or a mugshot of the pop star formerly known as Cat Stevens

at what Christie’s said on Wednesday was its biggest auction of show business memorabilia.

The Gibson SG electric guitar, played by George Harrison from 1966-1969, is the star attraction among over 400 lots, ranging from Britney Spears’ book report to a handwritten 1991 letter from the late Kurt Cobain to Courtney Love.

The guitar, expected to fetch around $500,000, was used while recording the Beatles’ “Revolver” album and in two Beatles films “Paperback Writer” and “Rain.” John Lennon also played it on what is commonly known as “The White Album.”

Another big draw at the Dec. 17 sale is a Keith Richards guitar from around 1964-1965, which he played when the Rolling Stones appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. Singer Mick Jagger also played the guitar during the “Beggar’s Banquet” recording sessions. It is estimated to sell for about $400,000.

The Beatles guitar was recently rediscovered and has been on loan to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 2002.

Harrison gave the guitar to Pete Ham of Badfinger and after Ham’s death in 1974, it was stored away for 28 years by his brother John Ham. The guitar was found during preparations for a Badfinger retrospective in 2002.

Madonna fans can bid on the veil worn by the pop icon in her “Like a Virgin” video, estimated to bring as much as $2,500.

For an estimated $800-$1,200, fans of Cat Stevens, who changed his name to Yusuf Islam when he converted to Islam in the 1970s, can pick up a 1981 mugshot and fingerprint card of the singer, who was arrested on June 27, 1981, for assault at New York’s La Guardia Airport.

In September, the artist was traveling on a plane from London to Washington when it was diverted to Bangor, Maine. He was deported after his name turned up on U.S. “no fly” lists because of activities the U.S. government said could be potentially linked to terrorism.

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