Rare items from the extensive personal archive of pioneering DJ John Peel will be up for auction, including by John Lennon, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and a hand-written note from Queen’s Freddie Mercury.
The legendary BBC Radio 1 host, who died in 2004, had an enormous musical collection of 120,000 albums estimated to be worth around £250,000.
His family is now auctioning off items in more than 200 lots, including radio-played test pressings from landmark musicians, rare records, personal correspondence, and memorabilia. They will go under the hammer through Bonhams Knightsbridge on 14 June.
Among his collection up for sale, are a Mono Pressing LP ‘Two Virgins’, 1968, annotated by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, which has an approximate value of £15,000-20,000.
Albums by the Rolling Stones, Marc Bolan and the Damned will also be auctioned, in addition to singles from Joy Division and Nirvana, and a handwritten note by Queen’s legendary frontman Freddie Mercury.
The Ravenscroft family said Peel “was in a position to have access to many of the most celebrated people and events in the history of popular music.”
“This is reflected in a wealth of souvenirs he collected throughout his life. He had not only a voracious appetite for vinyl, but a keen sense of what memorabilia, ephemera and correspondence might find an interested audience in decades to come.
“We had no desire to split up his beloved record collection but have included in the sale a selection of particularly rare or unique records that do not take away from the integrity of his archive.”
Director of Bonhams Popular Culture department, Katherine Schofield, said Peel had “an incredible impact on the new music landscape. Without his passionate advocacy of emerging talent, generations of music lovers may never have heard the sounds of The Fall, The Undertones, The Sex Pistols, and countless others.
“This collection, offered directly by the family, comprises some of Peel’s most collectible and rare records, spanning decades in music – many of which are accompanied by letters from the artists or their management.”