Ringo Starr auction brings $10 million; $2.2 million for Beatles drums

7 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Colts Owner: Why I Paid $2.2 Million for Ringo Starr’s Drum Kit.

Jim Irsay is calling from Pittsburgh, where his Indianapolis Colts will face the Steelers on Sunday, and regretfully not New York’s Theater at Madison Square Garden, where an all-star gathering to celebrate John Lennon’s 75th birthday is about to take place.Owner of NFL’s Indianapolis Colts pays $2.2million for Ringo Starr’s three-piece drum kit that featured in 1960s hits like Can’t Buy Me Love and She Loves You A drum kit Ringo Starr used to record some of the Beatles’ early hits sold for $2.2million at a Friday auction in Beverly Hills, California, to Jim Irsay, the owner of NFL team the Indianapolis Colts.An auction of items owned by Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach has fetched some phenomenal prices for pop culture items, including a breath-taking $1.75 million for Starr’s original drum set, the one used in such hits as “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.

The NFL team owner is a well-known Beatles fanatic as well as an avid rock memorabilia collector: In the past few months, Irsay has spent millions of dollars adding Lennon-owned guitars and other Beatles-used instruments to his impressive collection. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the most expensive drum set ever sold at auction before was Keith Moon’s Premier drum kit used between 1968 and 1970 with The Who. Rolling Stone spoke to Irsay exclusively soon after the auction concluded to talk about his latest rock treasures and how accumulating these instruments is a spiritual reunion of sorts for the Fab Four. “I was 11 years old when the Beatles broke up.

I was a Lennon fanatic – I mean, I loved Paul too, but Lennon was the guy – and there was always this dream of the Beatles getting back together; there was always this hope,” Irsay says, adding that, like the Beatles themselves, these instruments were long separated after making their mark on music history. “It took over 4 million dollars and 45 years, but we finally got them back together. I know it’s a symbolic thing, but it really means a lot to me.” Despite the heavy price he paid for the Starr kit, Irsay expressed some anxiety over whether he’d be outbid. “The auctioneer started bidding at ‘Do I have $10 million?’ and I thought, ‘What the fuck!’ I thought some billionaire madman might say ‘I have $10 million, what the hell,'” Irsay said.

When the opening number was recalibrated to $1 million, the bidding started to heat up, but Irsay finally placed the high bid after some more nervous moments. “It took like five minutes to say ‘Going once, going twice.'” As for the Rickenbacker guitar he purchased Saturday for $910,000, “John gave that to Ringo, and I can remember when they started to [record] The White Album, and Ringo was like ‘Fuck this, I’m out of here’ with the fighting and stuff. So I know Paul set up a room full of flowers for him, and John gave him that guitar as an apology,” Irsay said. “So getting that guitar is really special, and the fact that it’s a Rickenbacker makes it really special.” In the spirit of the music, Irsay doesn’t plan on just stashing the famed drum kit behind glass; instead, he says he hopes to throw a party – similar to the Lennon tribute in New York – where artists would perform Fab Four songs using the legendary Beatles instruments he’s housing in his collection.

At $1 million, though things were off and running – with Irsay ultimately claiming the prize at a significant premium over $500,000 the auction house had estimated the drumset would go for. Both items, along with a numerous others from Starr including a guitar given to him by Lennon in 1968, went up for auction via Julien Auction’s website. However, the Colts owner expressed some regret about letting Lennon’s “Love Me Do” acoustic guitar slip away at auction, if only because he couldn’t add that instrument to his collection. “I feel I’m just a curator of history. I’m going to pass this thing on as time goes along,” Irsay said of his collection, which also features Bob Dylan’s 1965 Newport Folk Festival guitar, Lennon’s “Paperback Writer” Gretsch guitar and Les Paul’s “Black Beauty.” “It’s just a privilege and an honor.” Irsay, who serves on the Super Bowl Advisory Committee, also gave his seal of approval for Coldplay, the Super Bowl 50 halftime performers. “I think Coldplay is one of the best and biggest bands of the last 15 years, and I think they’ll bring the energy,” Irsay said. “Coldplay is a great choice.

They really have a magical, spiritual ability to do it live.” 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again.

The sale of over 1,300 items by the Beatles drummer and his wife of 34 years, which ends Saturday, will see part of the proceeds go to the Lotus Foundation, founded by Starr and Bach.

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