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Lot 373W: Sgt. Pepper's Amp?

“One of the most coveted and most expensive amplifiers in existence” — maybe.
“One of the most coveted and most expensive amplifiers in existence” — maybe.

Those who may have searched Bonham’s auction website in the days following November 29 for news about “sale 19037, lot 373W” found a cryptic message posted in red: “This lot has been withdrawn.” Lot 373W consisted of a rare amplifier, a Vox UL730, made all the more rare by the discovery that it was said to have belonged to George Harrison.

“If this is the actual Vox UL730 used by George Harrison on sessions for Revolver and Sgt. Pepper,” says Greg Dorsett, a San Diego–based rock memorabilia dealer, “this would have to be one of the most coveted and most valuable amplifiers in existence.”

Dorsett, an ex-roadie, founded the San Diego–based Rock Stars Guitars in 1996 with record producer and Hendrix afficionado David Brewis. Rock Stars Guitars is binational — Brewis lives in the U.K., while Dorsett resides in the San Carlos area. The two deal in collectible guitars, amps, and tour gear, and they have a private reserve of their own.

In their collection is Harrison’s 1964 Gibson SG Standard, a guitar used in both the “Paperback Writer” and “Rain” videos; it is likely that Harrison played that guitar through the UL730 amp that was to be auctioned — if that was his amp. But the key to authentication of ownership of any equipment, Dorsett says, lies in the provenance.

“It will be very interesting to see what happens with this amp,” Dorsett said upon hearing of the amp discovery. But for many who collect such musical rarities, the actions of the mystery vendor raise more questions than answers.

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“One of the most coveted and most expensive amplifiers in existence” — maybe.
“One of the most coveted and most expensive amplifiers in existence” — maybe.

Those who may have searched Bonham’s auction website in the days following November 29 for news about “sale 19037, lot 373W” found a cryptic message posted in red: “This lot has been withdrawn.” Lot 373W consisted of a rare amplifier, a Vox UL730, made all the more rare by the discovery that it was said to have belonged to George Harrison.

“If this is the actual Vox UL730 used by George Harrison on sessions for Revolver and Sgt. Pepper,” says Greg Dorsett, a San Diego–based rock memorabilia dealer, “this would have to be one of the most coveted and most valuable amplifiers in existence.”

Dorsett, an ex-roadie, founded the San Diego–based Rock Stars Guitars in 1996 with record producer and Hendrix afficionado David Brewis. Rock Stars Guitars is binational — Brewis lives in the U.K., while Dorsett resides in the San Carlos area. The two deal in collectible guitars, amps, and tour gear, and they have a private reserve of their own.

In their collection is Harrison’s 1964 Gibson SG Standard, a guitar used in both the “Paperback Writer” and “Rain” videos; it is likely that Harrison played that guitar through the UL730 amp that was to be auctioned — if that was his amp. But the key to authentication of ownership of any equipment, Dorsett says, lies in the provenance.

“It will be very interesting to see what happens with this amp,” Dorsett said upon hearing of the amp discovery. But for many who collect such musical rarities, the actions of the mystery vendor raise more questions than answers.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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