John Peel Archive Sale Sells Sex Pistols Singles for £20k

Rare artifacts from the late veteran BBC DJ John Peel’s personal collection have been auctioned off, including a signed record from John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

John Peel, who resided in Suffolk, was the longest-serving original DJ on BBC Radio 1 until his death in 2004 at the age of 65.

“People need to be allowed to look at, own, and enjoy” the artifacts, according to his wife Sheila Ravenscroft.

The autographed Lennon/Ono record sold for £15,300, with Sex Pistols test pressings fetching £20,400 as the highest price.

Many musicians’ careers were aided by Peel’s radio programmes, including David Bowie, T-Rex, Queen, The Fall, The Smiths, and The White Stripes.

At Bonhams’ auction in Knightsbridge, London, the 200 pieces sold for a total of £465,784.

Two test pressings of the Sex Pistols’ first single Anarchy In The UK/I Wanna Be Me from 1976, which had been anticipated to sell for up to £8,000 but cost more than twice that, were the lot that garnered the most money.

John Ravenscroft was Peel’s true name, and he was born in Heswall, Cheshire, and attended Shrewsbury School as a boarder.

In the 1970s, he relocated to a village near Stowmarket, and the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, which opened in the town in 2010 and is set to grow, is named after him.

Ms Ravenscroft said the family had been debating whether or not to host the auction for several years and that it was a “wonderful thing to do.”

“It’s been 18 years since John died, and the house is still full of all of his things that he collected, that he hoarded,” she said. “The house shouldn’t be a museum, and things shouldn’t be packed away in boxes; they’re interesting and valuable items that people ought to be able to look at, own, and enjoy.”

Another hot item was an early Smiths demo tape with a letter from the band dated 4 February 1983, which was projected to sell for between £500 and £700 but sold for £17,850.

A note from Freddie Mercury was included with a Queen II LP that sold for £16,575.

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