The sale, “Fleetwood Mac: Property From the Lives and Careers of Christine McVie, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood,” took place on Dec. 3 and 4 at Julien’s Auctions. The previously-scheduled event coincidentally took place just days after Christine McVie died at the age of 79. McVie and her team helped curate the lots in the auction, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Recording Academy’s charitable arm, MusiCares.
Among McVie’s items were the vintage maxi dress she wore on the back cover of Rumours (sold for $56,250); the Thea Porter-designed polka dot hippie dress she wore at the 1976 Rock Music Awards ($31,250); and two of her American Music Awards trophies, including the one Fleetwood Mac received for Favorite Pop/Rock Album for Rumours in 1978 ($16,000). Several instruments and pieces of equipment from McVie’s collection were also sold, including the Weltmeister LM-25-12 piano accordion she used for live performances of “Tusk ($11,517); a touring Hammond B3 organ marked #1 ($28,125); and a Leslie rotary speaker with microphones ($37,500).
While McVie became the main focus of the auction, there were a lot of other lots, including the biggest of them all: Mick Fleetwood’s balls. The wooden balls dangling from Fleetwood’s waist on the cover of Rumours were the top-selling item at the auction, fetching a whopping $128,000. The balls were originally lavatory chains taken from a club Fleetwood Mac frequently played in their early years; Fleetwood regularly wore the balls on stage before incorporating them into the Rumours cover art.
Other big ticket items from the Fleetwood Mac auction include several John McVie instruments, like the Alembic Series 1 custom fretless bass he used on “The Chain” and the Hamer Crusie bass he used on the 1982 Mirage tour ($25,600). And beyond his balls, Fleetwood’s custom collapsible red top hat sold for $10,240, while a DW Collector’s Series Rumours Icon snare drum he used at his home studio in Hawaii sold for $16,000.