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Rock Relic Auction Staged At New York’s Fillmore East Print-ready version

Washington Post
November 10, 1970
Original article: PDF

NEW YORK---The Fillmore East, this city's mecca for rock music, was transformed recently into the city's largest auction hall.

New Yorkers turned out for Bill Graham's rock relics auction show, an event sponsored by the Fillmore to raise funds for advertising budgets of 1970 peace candidates.

"You spend your money on rock music, on records, on clothes, and heaven knows what else." read ads in New York newspapers. "This is your chance to buy peace."

As the auction began, a crowd of some 1,000 persons had arrived for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to bid on a vast horde [sic, hoard] of rock memorabilia.

What can you buy at a rock relics auction?

---A guitar shattered by Peter Townsend
---A vial of rose petals thrown by Mick Jagger into the audience at Madison Square Garden during the 1969 Thanksgiving Day concert.
---Joni Mitchell's spiral notebook containing the handwritten draft of all the songs from her first album.
---A fringed, tie-dyed suede jacket worn by Roger Daltrey, the Who's lead singer, at the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival.
---A Swiss Army knife belonging to Roger McGuinn of the Byrds.
---B. B. King's orange, plush-lined case for his guitar, Lucille.
---Carlos Santana's switchblade knife (given up for peace).

The idea for the auction developed several months ago when Mike Ahern, the Fillmore's stage manager, was trying to clean up the basement of the auditorium. When one of his assistants collected a large assortment of items that had been left by various rock bands, he asked Ahern what they could do with the stuff.

"Let's have an auction," snapped Ahern.

The idea gained momentum rapidly, and many rock stars began to contribute other items for the auction. In addition, bands like the Elvin Bishop Group, Mungo Jerry, Sha-Na-Na, and Edgar Winter offered to play at the event.

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Added to Library on May 2, 2021. (247)

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