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

Update: Beatles Amp Pulled from Auction

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following November 29 for news about sale 19037, lot 373w, found a cryptic message posted in red: this lot has been withdrawn.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 373 w consisted of one extraordinarily rare amplifier, a Vox UL730 made all the more rare by the windfall discovery that it was said to have belonged to George Harrison.

On the eve of the tenth anniversary of Harrison’s death, Bonham’s, one of the oldest auction houses in London announced the chance discovery of the amplifier. Said to have been used in the Revolver and the Sgt. Pepper recording sessions, Bonham's intended to auction the rare amplifier at their Entertainment Memorabilia sale on December 15. Experts thought the unit might go for something in the neighborhood of $100,000.

But the amplifier, as it turns out, was not withdrawn because it was sold. On Monday, Katherine Boyle, Bonham’s press officer emailed from London to say that it was the amp’s current owner who had made the decision not to sell.

“I’m afraid all we can say is that the amp has been withdrawn because the vendor has decided that they (sic) want to keep it.”

And who is the vendor? Boyle would not say.

The UL730 in question had been loaned to Peter Hook for a recording project in England. But the 45-year-old amp broke down and was sent out for repair. It was on the workbench that the name George Harrison was found to have been scratched into the amp’s metal chassis.

“If this is the actual Vox UL730 used by George Harrison on sessions for Revolver and Sgt. Pepper,” said 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 San Diego-based Rock Stars Guitars in 1996 with a record producer and Hendrix afficionado named David Brewis. Rock Stars Guitars is binational; Brewis lives in the U.K., and Dorsett lives in the San Carlos area. The two deal exclusively 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 that was to be auctioned — if indeed that was his amp. But the key to authentication of ownership of any equipment, Dorsett says, lies in the provenance.

Bonham’s produced side-by-side photographic comparisons of chalk markings found on the amplifier’s case and of similar chalk markings in an older photo of what was said to be the same amp. And, there was a vintage photo taken of the Fab Four in the studio; a Vox like the one at issue is sitting in the foreground, its back facing the photographer.

But any Vox UL730 in working order these days is a rare machine. In the late 1960s, the UL700 series combined modern solid-state technology with old-school tube power and was intended to replace the AC15 and the AC30 models. But even with the Beatles’ star power, they never sold well and were subsequently taken off the market and destroyed. It is estimated that there are fewer than 25 UL730 amplifiers in existence.

“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.
Image

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Gonzo Report: Bang Bang’s Tokyo subway motif and Chicago house music

It’s a restaurant, it’s a nightclub, it’s a dope photo op
Next Article

La Jolla RU-486 mogul exposed by Mother Jones

Gore and Kolender's lawyer hired by Orange County, but not without criticism

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 373 w consisted of one extraordinarily rare amplifier, a Vox UL730 made all the more rare by the windfall discovery that it was said to have belonged to George Harrison.

On the eve of the tenth anniversary of Harrison’s death, Bonham’s, one of the oldest auction houses in London announced the chance discovery of the amplifier. Said to have been used in the Revolver and the Sgt. Pepper recording sessions, Bonham's intended to auction the rare amplifier at their Entertainment Memorabilia sale on December 15. Experts thought the unit might go for something in the neighborhood of $100,000.

But the amplifier, as it turns out, was not withdrawn because it was sold. On Monday, Katherine Boyle, Bonham’s press officer emailed from London to say that it was the amp’s current owner who had made the decision not to sell.

“I’m afraid all we can say is that the amp has been withdrawn because the vendor has decided that they (sic) want to keep it.”

And who is the vendor? Boyle would not say.

The UL730 in question had been loaned to Peter Hook for a recording project in England. But the 45-year-old amp broke down and was sent out for repair. It was on the workbench that the name George Harrison was found to have been scratched into the amp’s metal chassis.

“If this is the actual Vox UL730 used by George Harrison on sessions for Revolver and Sgt. Pepper,” said 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 San Diego-based Rock Stars Guitars in 1996 with a record producer and Hendrix afficionado named David Brewis. Rock Stars Guitars is binational; Brewis lives in the U.K., and Dorsett lives in the San Carlos area. The two deal exclusively 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 that was to be auctioned — if indeed that was his amp. But the key to authentication of ownership of any equipment, Dorsett says, lies in the provenance.

Bonham’s produced side-by-side photographic comparisons of chalk markings found on the amplifier’s case and of similar chalk markings in an older photo of what was said to be the same amp. And, there was a vintage photo taken of the Fab Four in the studio; a Vox like the one at issue is sitting in the foreground, its back facing the photographer.

But any Vox UL730 in working order these days is a rare machine. In the late 1960s, the UL700 series combined modern solid-state technology with old-school tube power and was intended to replace the AC15 and the AC30 models. But even with the Beatles’ star power, they never sold well and were subsequently taken off the market and destroyed. It is estimated that there are fewer than 25 UL730 amplifiers in existence.

“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.
Image

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close