Elvis Presley was known for his love of automobiles, having owned and driven over an estimated two-hundred vehicles in his life. Of these vehicles, few today have been made available for public purchase, and even fewer have received full restorations.
That’s the story for this one-of-a-kind 1977 Lincoln Continental Mark V, purchased by Elvis and gifted to his girlfriend and fiancée, Ginger Alden.
Playing it cool by asking Ginger what kind of car he should buy for himself, Elvis listened as she replied that a Cadillac or a Lincoln in blue or white would be “pretty.” He then scrambled to find the closest white colored Lincoln Continental in the area.
According to Ginger’s memoir, Elvis & Ginger (Penguin Random House, 2014), Elvis said, "There weren't any white Lincoln Continentals in Las Vegas, so we located one in California and had it driven to us." He enlisted his chauffer Gerald Peters to pick up the vehicle and ferry it from Glendale to Las Vegas. After a performance at the Hilton International Hotel in Las Vegas, Elvis asked that Ginger meet him outside in the parking lot, where an enormous surprise awaited her.
In Ginger’s memoir she states, "I was still confused about why this car was here or what we were doing. Then Elvis looked at me and nonchalantly said, ‘It's yours, Ginger.’ To say I was overwhelmed doesn't even begin to describe the enormity of my emotional reaction. I had never even owned a car before, and now I had a Lincoln Mark V?"
Elvis eventually suggested that the Lincoln be given to Ginger’s parents so that they could have a larger family car. It was during this period in which several photographs were taken of Ginger and Elvis enroute to Ginger’s grandfather’s funeral in the Continental, with Elvis riding in the passenger seat.
The 1977 Mark V has seen a complete frame-off restoration in the last two years thanks to the team at Bandit Movie Cars in Palmetto, Florida. This restoration included a rebuild of the original engine, a new exhaust system, reupholstered leather seats and interior, body work and a paint job, new suspension components, a new air conditioning system, and many other components.
This classic luxury coupe will be available for bidding in our upcoming Music Icons auctions this November – make sure you register to bid today!
Considering the acclaim he received for his performance as the iconic musician Johnny Cash in the 2005 biopic Walk the Line, it’s somewhat surprising to learn the exact reason why Joaquin Phoenix was convinced to take on the challenging role.
When Phoenix attended a private dinner with Cash and his wife June Carter Cash in 2000, the musical couple was already firmly established as musical royalty – and Phoenix wasn’t exactly shabby, having already won wide acclaim for his acting range in films as disparate as To Die For and 8MM.
Yet, it was another film that convinced Cash that, after years spent trying to get the story of his life told on the big screen, Phoenix had the goods to portray the “Man in Black,” as Cash was often known. The elder musician had been enthralled with Gladiator, the historical epic in which Phoenix played the depraved power-mad Commodus. For some reason, Cash really responded to this role and performance, and quoted a particularly decadent passage of dialogue from the film.
Phoenix would later recount his pleasure at meeting the Cashes, and described them as “wonderful, unpretentious, and undemanding.” After the guests finished eating, Cash picked up his Gibson Epiphone PR325S acoustic guitar and began to sing the song, "Far Side Banks of Jordan” to his wife. Phoenix recalled it as a beautiful experience he’d never forget. “To see them look into each other's eyes as they sang was magical, absolutely magical,” he’d tell reporters while doing press for Walk the Line, the biopic in which he starred opposite Reese Witherspoon who portrayed June.
"That encapsulated the real Johnny Cash to me, the two separate forces that lived equally inside him,” Phoenix said. “It really is night and day. You wouldn't believe it unless you saw it, but he seemed to relish the dialogue as much as he relished looking into June's eyes and singing that song. That was extraordinary. I've never seen anything like it.”
Phoenix would go on to score an Academy Award nomination as best actor for his work and, even with his Oscar win for 2019’s origin pic Joker, Cash remains one of the talented actor’s most indelible roles. Even veteran critic Roger Ebert noted he’d been stunned to learn Phoenix performed his own vocals, perfectly mimicking Cash’s distinctive bass-baritone and phrasing style.
Sadly, neither Johnny nor June lived to see the film. Still, in a fitting coda to one of the music industry’s greatest and most enduring love stories, Cash passed away in September 2003, a mere four months after the death of his beloved wife. They were always in perfect harmony.
Property and memorabilia from the Cash family has long been a perennial favorite among collectors, and this November, Julien’s Auctions will be offering the very same guitar Johnny Cash used to serenade his wife that night, which so impressed Joaquin Phoenix. Make sure to register for bidding now!
1967’s “Summer of Love” is often remembered as a time of free love, hallucinogenics, anti-war protests, and hippie music that inspired an entire generation of young people. Although there are many notable people who could be identified as figureheads in this historic movement, one of the most recognized is the tough, yet vulnerable queen of rock n’ roll: Janis Joplin.
Primarily gaining notoriety for her soulful ballads such as “Piece of My Heart” and “Me and Bobby McGee,” performed alongside her band Big Brother and the Holding Company, Joplin also cemented her importance in the movement with her unique style of fashion -- a shaggy haircut, flowy patterned clothing, boa feathers, and layers of love bead necklaces, turquoise, silver, colorful cuffs, and other bohostyle jewelry.
On offer in Julien’s upcoming Music Icons sale taking place this November 17-18, is a historic piece of hippie jewelry hidden away for years – a sterling silver and amber ring, stage-worn by Joplin at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, as well as on numerous other occasions.
The ring was given to the wife (Judy Hull) of Cold Blood saxophone player Danny Hull who often toured with Joplin. Hull's second wife, Judy, a former ballerina and staple in the 1960s Whisky a GoGo rock scene, became fast friends with Joplin, and the pair would often run into each other while out in Hollywood. Janis and Judy admired each other's jewelry and even ended up trading certain pieces, which resulted in this ring being gifted to Judy.
Register to bid now for your chance to own an iconic piece of hippie history!
It’s the late 1980s and the music scene in Seattle, Washington is going through a transformation. The birth of grunge. Soundgarden has been around since 1984. Alice in Chains gets started in 1987. And at the dawn of the 1990s, Pearl Jam comes onto the scene. But no band from this era, this location, and of this new genre had quite the effect that’s still felt today as Nirvana. Yet, Nirvana still had to start like every other band trying to make it in the industry – by playing lots of small shows at lots of different venues in lots of different towns, and on the same bill with lots of different bands. While the light of history has continued to shine bright upon Kurt Cobain and his cohorts, let’s take the time to remember some of the other bands that appeared with Nirvana when they were all on the same footing.
One band that played frequently alongside Nirvana also shared band member DNA at one time – Melvins. Melvins hailed from Montesano, Washington and were formed by Buzz Osborne with some friends he went to high school with. Not long after, Dale Crover joined the band as their permanent drummer. In 1988, Crover also sometimes played drums with a band known as Ted Ed Fred and even recorded a ten-song demo with them that year. That band would later be renamed Nirvana. Nirvana credited the Melvins sound as inspiration for their debut album Bleach (Sub Pop, 1989).
Another band that Nirvana spent a lot of time performing with was Tad. Considered as one of the first pure Seattle grunge bands of this time, Nirvana and Tad were hooked up by both being signed by Sub Pop Records. This led to both bands appearing frequently together, including on a 1989 European tour that spanned two months, with stops in Germany, England, Italy, and other locations. This tour was to help promote both bands’ debut albums – Bleach for Nirvana and God’s Balls (Sub Pop, 1989) for Tad.
On the last date of the Tad / Nirvana 1989 European tour, they were joined by Mudhoney – another Sub Pop signed band from Seattle. Mudhoney had broken through with their punk / grunge track, “Touch Me I’m Sick,” and their sound also was credited as a big influence on Nirvana when they made Bleach. Mudhoney also was the band that other grunge bands around at the time were often compared to, including Nirvana. When famed music journalist Push (aka Christopher Dawes) reviewed Bleach for Melody Maker he called Nirvana, “...the only Sub Pop act to date whose songs consistently equal the standard set by their mates Mudhoney.”
Even after achieving worldwide success, Nirvana would continue to appear alongside bands of all levels of fame, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Butthole Surfers, Urge Overkill, The Breeders, Beat Happening, Shonen Knife, The Boredoms, The Auteurs, and Meat Puppets – just to name a few. They even played shows alongside their Seattle brethren Pearl Jam. Even though Nirvana would go on to eclipse these other bands in terms of notoriety and cultural impact, the story of their journey could not be told without these other musicians and groups that influenced them along the way. And while they might not be as well-known as Nirvana, these bands still get the rare glory of having their names listed alongside Nirvana’s on concert posters and flyers from back in the day that are now valuable collec tor’s items. If only you could get your hands on one of them...
This November, Julien’s Auctions will be offering a large assortment of original Nirvana concert posters, flyers, and ephemera from the glorious grunge movement. Register online now to bid!