John Peel’s Astonishing Archives Go Up for Auction, Including Autographed Beatles Albums, David Bowie Letters, and Freddie Mercury’s Autographs

For anyone unfamiliar with John Peel, the late, iconic, veteran BBC Radio DJ was one of the most influential and prominent figures in British music from the 1960s until his death in 2004.

He gained prominence in the mid-1960s as the BBC struggled to update its programming, and for the next four decades, he was a significant and possibly unrivaled figure in just about every wave of contemporary music, from psychedelia to punk, Britpop, and electronic music.
While charges of sexual assault have tainted his reputation, his influence on popular music is indisputable.

Many of those musicians were his pals, and as we can see, he attracted a lot of future superstars.
These include letters from John Lennon, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, and Marc Bolan, as well as Bolan’s handwritten lyric sheets. There are autographed albums and test pressings from John Lennon and Yoko Ono, including a copy of the infamous “Two Virgins” album with a cover photo of the two of them naked (estimated auction price: £15,000-20,000 — $25,000) and an original copy of the Beatles’ “White Album” autographed by Lennon.

There’s a copy of the Rolling Stones‘ rarest LP, the 1969 “Promotional Album,” autographed by all five band members (£6,000-8,000), and a copy of U2’s early “Three” EP with a note from Bono scrawled on the sleeve (£6,000-8,000).
The Stones, John Lennon, Pink Floyd, T. Rex, Captain Beefheart, Elvis Costello, the Specials, the Smiths, and many others have test pressings or acetates.
A ticket to the Beatles‘ “Yellow Submarine” film premiere in 1968. “An Ideal for Living,” Joy Division’s outrageously rare first EP, including a message from drummer Stephen Morris (£4,000-6,000).
T-shirts from the 1973 tours of Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. Freddie Mercury’s letter with a copy of “Queen II”

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those who can afford it. But for music nerds like us with much smaller bank accounts, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fantasize and drool.

Anoosha Khan
Anoosha Khan

Anoosha Khan is a film critic and entertainment editor based in the UK. She has been reporting about celebs and movies for WatchinUK for the past year.

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