Townshend’s Guitar Sells For $50,000 At Auction

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June 14, 2011 | 8:45pm EST

A guitar once owned by The Who rocker Pete Townshend has raised $50,000 at a music auction in London.
The Gibson Les Paul Gold Top guitar, which smashed its original $32,000 estimate, was played by Townshend during the U.S. leg of the band’s Quadrophenia tour in 1973 and 1974.

It was among the highlights to go under the hammer on Tuesday at a Christie’s pop and rock memorabilia sale.

Other top items included a 1967 handwritten letter John Lennon sent to a fan, a trumpet once owned by Louis Armstrong, a harmonica Bob Dylan gave to Jimi Hendrix, and a bass drum from Dave Grohl’s Nirvana kit which Kurt Cobain wrecked at the end of a 1991 concert. It fetched $13,000.

The auction also featured items of memorabilia relating to the Sex Pistols, Michael Jackson, Sir Elton John, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones.