What rock artifact symbolizes the Who's live prowess more than Pete Townshend's red Gibson SG? Now one of the guitarist's signature axes – windmilled on stage during a Seventies concert in Cleveland – is up for grabs at Lelands.com's Spring 2014 Catalog Auction, which closes on July 25th. Also on the online bidding block is a bundle of Keith Moon percussion accessories – two Premier timbale drums with original heads, a Paiste crash cymbal and a drum stool – used during the recording of the Who's 1978 LP (and Moon's swan song), Who Are You.
According to the listing for Townshend's SG, the instrument was originally gifted to Cleveland disc jockey David Spero (later the personal manager of Townshend's rock pal Joe Walsh); it includes both the original case and a letter of authenticity from Spero that explains how he acquired the item. The Moon listing notes that the drum pieces were obtained from "respected rock dealer and Rolling Stones fanatic collector Matt Lee," who acquired them from Moon drum tech/Who road manager Bill Harrison; that listing also includes a letter of authenticity from Harrison.
The Lelands auction also features a number of sports-related items, including Jim Brown's 1964 NFL championship ring, a custom-designed Volkswagen Beetle "baseball car" (which includes "a white exterior with red baseball stitches, Rawlings baseball glove seats, a baseball gear shift and baseball bat emergency brake") and a 1954-55 "Harry Agganis" uniform worn by Ted Williams.
Meanwhile, a number of high-profile music items have gone up for bid in recent months – including Frank Sinatra's first New Jersey driver's license and a draft of Bob Dylan's lyrics for his 1965 classic "Like a Rolling Stone," which sold for $2.045 million.