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Records and memorabilia of late DJ John Peel will be auctioned off next month

John Peel’s record collection at his home in Suffolk (Bonhams/PA)
John Peel’s record collection at his home in Suffolk (Bonhams/PA)

Items from the personal archive of late DJ John Peel, which include a record signed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, are set to be auctioned off next month.

Peel – real name was John Ravenscroft – died in 2004 from a heart attack aged 65.

In the 1980s, he was a presenter on Top Of The Pops, and regularly covered the Glastonbury Festival, with The John Peel Stage being dedicated to him in 2004.

He also helped launch the careers of many musicians and bands, including David Bowie, Queen and The Sex Pistols.

Items including records, personal correspondence and memorabilia are to be offered at auction at Bonhams Knightsbridge on June 14 at their Live In Session: Property From The John Peel Archive sale, which is the week before Glastonbury’s 50th anniversary.

An Autographed Copy Of The Album, Unfinished Music No. 2_ Life With The Lions, 1969, the inner sleeve signed and inscribed by John and Yoko
An Autographed Copy Of The Album, Unfinished Music No. 2_ Life With The Lions, 1969, the inner sleeve signed and inscribed by John and Yoko (Bonhams/PA)

One item which has an estimate of between £15,000 and £20,000 and is set to be one of the stars of the auction is a mono pressing LP called ‘Two Virgins,’ 1968, which has been written on by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

The Ravenscroft family said: “By virtue of the role he played in it, John/Dad 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.

“In going through the accumulation of 40 years of pop music moments, we decided that some of the most interesting items might find a home, with fans of his programme or of the artists whose music he played.”

Other items which are set to feature at Bonhams in June include a handwritten letter signed by David Bowie, a 7in 1988 single Love Buzz/Big Cheese from Nirvana and the DJ’s personal gramophone, which sat on his desk at his home in Suffolk.

John Peel’s horn gramophone., which has a blue interior and brass exterior
John Peel’s horn gramophone. First Half 20th Century, with an estimate of between £800 and 1,200 (Bonhams/PA)

Katherine Schofield, director of Bonhams Popular Culture department, said: “John 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.”

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