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Music

John Peel's family are selling some of his rarest records

A set of rare records owned by the legendary DJ and champion of new music, John Peel, are to be sold at an auction in London in June. 

Peel passed away in 2004, but before his death, he had managed to amass a collection of 26,000 LPs, 40,000 7″ singles and countless CDs. Now, it has been announced that a selection of this extensive collection, including pieces of other memorabilia, will be put up for auction at Bonham’s in Knightsbridge on June 14th. It takes place a week before the 50th anniversary of Glastonbury, the festival which houses a stage named in the late DJ’s honour. 

Per a statement by Bonhams, the albums they’re selling were “carefully selected by the family, whilst retaining the integrity of the John Peel Record Collection”.

Some of the highlights of the collection are an annotated mono pressing of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Two Virgins album, which is valued between £15,000-£20,000, a promotional record signed by The Rolling Stones, a rare copy of Marc Bolan’s Hard on Love, and a pressing of Queen II, including a hand-written letter to Peel by Freddie Mercury

In terms of merchandise, there is a rare poster of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, a five-page letter from David Bowie, featuring original sketches and Peel’s 1993 Award for the NME’s ‘Godlike Genius’.

In their own statement, the Ravenscroft family explained: “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.”

Adding: “He had not only a voracious appetite for vinyl, but a keen sense of what memorabilia, ephemera and correspondence might find an interested audience in decades to come (though it could be argued that this was achieved by a strategy of keeping almost everything that crossed his path).”

“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. Bonhams have assisted us to carefully select what is being offered for sale, and we hope these items find the attention and appreciation that we’re sure John/Dad would feel they warranted”.

They continued: “We had no desire to split up his beloved record collection but have included in the sale a selection of particularly rare or unique records that do not take away from the integrity of his archive.”

Watch a documentary of John Peel below.

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