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For Sale: Elvis’ Card, Curt’s Blood

January 18, 1995

NEW YORK (AP) _ Goin’ on the rock block: Elvis’ musicians union card, Jerry Lee’s passport, Paul’s guitar _ everything but John’s kitchen sink.

His bathroom sink, however, WILL be offered this week, during the biggest rock ‘n’ roll auction ever.

The plumber who renovated Lennon’s apartment hopes to get $3,000 to $5,000 for the porcelain memento.

Starting Thursday, these and about 5,000 other items, including posters, records, guitars and photographs will be knocked down in a four-day extravaganza.

``There have been rock auctions with a couple of hundred lots and maybe a Michael Jackson glove and a few other interesting items,″ Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey’s auction house, said Wednesday. ``But this is many times larger than anything else like it.″

It’s not all rock. Bandleader Guy Lombardo’s Grammy Award is expected to sell for $300 to $400.

In addition to Jerry Lee Lewis’ passport and Presley’s union card, some of the more intriguing items for sale in the ballroom of the Puck Building included:

_The first Fender electric guitar, a prototype built in 1948 by Leo Fender and George Fullerton. The catalog describes it as ``arguably the most historically significant guitar in the world″ because it paved the way for today’s mass-produced, solid-body electrics. It is expected to bring perhaps as much as $500,000.

_A Stratocaster electric guitar that was smashed by Kurt Cobain and bears the late rocker’s blood. The instrument was given to a fan who was pulled onstage during a Nirvana concert in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1993. It was wrecked by Cobain and the fan, and later signed by all three band members. The bloodstain on the white pickguard, according to Guernsey’s, is Cobain’s. (Price estimate: $10,000-$15,000.)

_The earliest known Elvis acetate, ``I’ll Never Stand in Your Way,″ recorded in 1954 at the Memphis Recording Service. Presley supposedly paid $4 to make it; bidders may pay at least $200,000 to own it.

_A Nativity scene displayed at Graceland, Elvis’ Memphis estate, in 1964. It includes a stable with a 9-foot ceiling and slightly larger-than-life statues of Mary, Joseph, the Three Wise Men, two shepherds, assorted animals and one angel. No Jesus, though. ($20,000-$40,000.)

_Ringo Starr’s customized 1957 Chevrolet Bel Aire coupe. ($40,000-$50,000.)

Where does such stuff come from? Well, an Elvis-signed library checkout card is being sold by a woman who ``was three years behind Elvis in high school and had a big crush on the handsome senior, who often said hello to her and admired her for her prettiness and grace″ _ if she does say so herself.

And what title did the King check out? ``The Art of Effective Speaking,″ thankyouverymuch.

Paul McCartney’s Hofner violin bass guitar, specially equipped with gold-plated hardware, was sold to a musician, probably during the liquidation of the Beatles’ Apple record label around 1970.

Ettinger said word of the auction brought in all sorts of unsolicited, last-minute offerings.

On Tuesday night, he said, the gallery got a call from upstate New York. When the item was brought in Wednesday, he said, ``It gave me goosebumps. It summed up, to me, what the ’60s were all about.″

He walked over to a display case and pointed to an old, peeling, orange-and-blue sign with a picture of a Guernsey cow and these words: YASGUR’S DAIRY FARM, Bethel N.Y. (That’s where Woodstock was held.)

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