These are some of our favorite record awards
we've sold over the years. And some you can bid on.
Available in our Played, Worn, & Torn: Rock ‘N’ Roll
Iconic Guitars And Memorabilia Sale.
What comes to mind when someone mentions Frank Zappa? Eclectic, avant-garde, theatrical, satirical, wild-haired, and cigarette-smoking might make the list. The fact is, Zappa like so many great artists, gave our otherwise monochromatic lives an iridescent glow through his music. To say that he ceaselessly created, and continued to push the boundaries of music composition, production, and arrangement to the very limit only begins to scratch the surface of his monumental career.
Over the last couple of months, we’ve had the rare privilege of delving into the tools used by Zappa to create his art. As fellow gear-heads it has been nothing short of an adventure through time. His unique taste, attention to detail, and efforts to achieve the best possible sound on record are nothing short of impressive. The two most notable pieces that captured our attention are his Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster and B3 Hammond Organ, which are currently a part of our “Played, Worn, and Torn” music highlights auction.
The ES-5 Switchmaster, being the first guitar that Zappa owned, holds a special place in music history. He would go on to use the Switchmaster to record his first three albums with The Mothers of Invention (Freak Out!; Absolutely Free; and We're Only in It for The Money). During the course of this guitar’s life, it has seen many modifications and changes – some of which are still shrouded in mystery. In the Zappa Gear book by Mick Ekers, John Carruthers who is quoted as saying, “Frank had me put all those preamps in, there’s like six of them that were chained together and y’know, I thought it was a little excessive but with Frank you never knew, you’d come up with some way to make it work for what it was that he wanted…the preamps were just fitting in between the controls and were there so there was still a volume for each pickup and a tone for each pickup…it had all these gain boosts that you could switch in, it had like minitoggles.”
The B3 Hammond Organ is another piece that pays testimony to Zappa’s innovation and curiosity, further cementing his role in music history as a sonic adventurer. Zappa Gear quotes FZ as saying "I had it transistorized and put in a road case, and I put a voltage follower on it... so that you can run the Minimoog or any other modern synthesizer with it. I also had a special set of Syndrums so that you could get a scale of 61 bongos or 61 tom-toms or 61 wood-blocks or whatever... you can get any of the Syndrum sounds along with the sound of the organ." The fact that these modifications were being carried out in the 1970s is astonishing, not only was Zappa way ahead of his time but the technical prowess needed and his willingness to swing solo into an audio labyrinth are all indicative of his iron resolve to leave no stone unturned on his quest for tonal bliss.
What struck a chord (pun intended) with us was that Zappa used these items as mere tools to achieve the sounds he wanted to hear. This often meant taking things apart or drilling holes and cutting out pieces from his musical instruments as a means to achieving his ends. When juxtaposed with the idolatry of vintage music instruments amongst collectors and musicians alike, it brings into perspective Zappa’s undying devotion to music composition. Few things were as sacred to him as composing music, lucky for us his gear has not only stood the test of time and rigors of the road, but also give us a rare glimpse into the mind of a musical pioneer. Register to bid now for your chance to own this piece of music history.
Britney Spears is known for many things, from her chart-topping music that reignited the teen pop movement, to performing on-stage with an albino python …but she’s also been known to rock a hot pair of denim shorts.
A perennial style fav for the pop princess – she has sported Daisy Dukes since her debut album Baby One More Time… and continues to post herself with pairs on Instagram. If you run a style timeline on Spears, denim clearly ranks as her signature textile. From 2001’s “Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know” music video, where she’s seen lounging in the sand in a pair of sun-bleached, frayed denim shorts, to the pink-studded Daisy Dukes worn during her 2011 Femme Fatale Tour, to the 2018 Kenzo collection ultra denim short shorts, seen photographed by Peter Linberg. Britney, like Debbie Harry (who was photographed in 1977 on Coney Island wearing cut-offs), makes them look cool, edgy, sexy, and sweet. Spears, who just this month released her anticipated memoir The Woman In Me, writes that her goal is to live life on her terms …and if that includes giving us more denim looks and short shorts, we are here for it!
This November 18th, Julien’s will be offering a pair of Abercrombie and Fitch cut-off denim shorts worn by Spears in 2004, while photographed out and about on the beach in Los Angeles.
Astrid Kirchherr was a celebrated photographer known for her early pictures of The Beatles.
Born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1938, Kirchherr's remarkable journey with the band began when she first saw them perform at the Kaiserkeller Club in Hamburg in 1960. From the start, Kirchherr was transfixed with the band, quickly utilizing her sharp eye and photographic talent to capture their charisma years before they became a cultural phenomenon.
But Kirchherr’s influence was not strictly reserved for photography; she introduced The Beatles to avant-garde art and fashion, helping them to shape their image during their formative years. She has been credited for the band’s stylistic sense, curiosity of modernism and existentialism, and even their mop-top haircuts. In many ways, Kirchherr not only documented the rise of The Beatles, but had a direct influence on who The Beatles would become.
63 years later, we continue to celebrate Kirchherr with our Played, Worn, & Torn: Rock ‘N’ Roll Iconic Guitars And Memorabilia Auction. This auction provides a unique opportunity for fans and collectors to preserve the archives of an iconic photographer and band. These photographs capture not only The Beatles in their formative years, but the creative genius of the woman behind the lens.
There’s no shortage of secular holiday songs that have become perennial favorites – just think “White Christmas” or “Jingle Bells.” Still, one of the bounciest and most venerable is definitely the rockabilly-tinged “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” It’s been covered by an enormous range of recording artists, including Justin Bieber and LeAnn Rimes, and it even provided a duet for Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. However, the original version by 1950s pop idol Brenda Lee is still the most enduring, and did you know she recorded the song when she was only 13 years old!
Lee went on to a substantial career in pop music, selling more than 100 million records worldwide, receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and becoming the first woman inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Country Music Halls of Fame.
Keeping with the spirit of giving that inspired her holiday smash-hit, Lee is participating in Julien’s fourth annual “Lyrics for a Cause: Benefiting Music Health Alliance Auction,” which aids the nonprofit that provides free healthcare advocacy and support, and access to critical life-saving health and financial resources for the music industry.
The singer has donated her own pair of silver-tone California Magdesians short wedge shoes, which she has inscribed in black ink with the words “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree” on one side of the right shoe, and “Love, Brenda Lee” on the other.
The auction will take place live at the Hard Rock Café in Nashville and online November 14. Visit Juliens Live to register to bid on this one-of-a-kind pair.