BOSTON – Johnny Ramone’s Mosrite guitar sold for $937,500 at an RR Auction sale that closed September 25.
The 1965 Mosrite Ventures II electric guitar used by John Cummings, better known as Johnny Ramone, for nearly two decades as the guitarist for punk rock legends the Ramones.
It was played at every Ramones performance until his retirement – from November 1977 through August 1996, for approximately 1,985 shows.
The instrument was used on all 15 Ramones albums and can be heard on any live Ramones bootleg from late 1977-1999. It was later displayed at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
According to guitar historian Chris Lamy, Cummings originally purchased the guitar in 1977 to replace his original blue Ventures II slab body, which was stolen from the Sire Records van with the rest of the band’s gear after a show at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Ironically, this guitar had been offered to Cummings earlier in 1977, but he passed on it, feeling it was too expensive at $500, which was a little less than ten times what he paid for his original Ventures II in 1974.
The fretboard shows an incredible amount of wear from Cummings’ aggressive down-stroke playing style. Secured to the guitar with gaffer’s tape is Cummings’ original strap and three Ramones picks, which, along with the original strings, were used at the last Ramones show, which occurred at The Palace in Los Angeles, California, on August 6, 1996.
The guitar, along with other Ramones and punk rock relics, comes from the collection of Daniel Rey, a musician turned producer who, for more than three decades, was a trusted and invaluable member of the Ramones’ inner sanctum.
The guitar was purchased by a collector in the United States. The winning bidder wishes to remain anonymous.
“The consignor was thrilled with the results and is very happy that the guitar is in the hands of someone who will curate Johnny Ramone‘s Mosrite for future generations to enjoy,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.
Additional highlights from the sale include:
Johnny Ramone’s Mark-2 signature guitar, which sold for $46,875.
A trio of Joey Ramone stage-used Shure Microphones from the final Ramones concert, which sold for $13,125.
Dee Dee Ramone’s hand-drawn map of The Chelsea Hotel Basement, which achieved $8,750.
Arturo Vega’s 1978-1980 loft notebook, which realized $6,875.
The Ramones and Punk Collection of Daniel Rey from RR Auction began August 24 and concluded during The Remarkable Rarities live auction event on September 25 in Boston, MA. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com
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