Sex Pistols Set Record!

Nov 08, 2019
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Wessex Auction Rooms held their final specialist Vinyl & Music Memorabilia of the year on November 1st and broke a number of worldwide auction records for hammer prices.

When news broke online that Wessex would be selling one of the rarest and most sought after records in the world ( the much talked about unreleased Sex Pistols single ‘God Save The Queen’ ) there was a worldwide media frenzy to cover the story. The band signed a record deal with A&M Records in 1977 amidst much controversy including a well publicised contract signing outside of Buckingham Palace that caused media uproar. A&M Records baulked under the weight of the attention and terminated the band’s contract after only 6 days.The head of the record label also instructed the factory to destroy all 25,000 copies of the forthcoming single.It is believed that only nine were kept in the vault at A&M records.When Polydor (who owned A&M) closed the London A&M offices in 1998 a small number of long term employees were given one of the remaining copies along with what is known as a ‘golden handshake’ letter from A&M Chairman John Kennedy.

Wessex Auction Rooms were selling one of these Golden Handshake examples in unplayed condition with all of the original mailing envelopes, letter, and even an additional letter from John Kennedy stating that they “didn’t trust the postman to deliver it undamaged” so it was being kept at the office for collection.

The record had an estimate of £12,000 - £15,000 and auctioneer Martin Hughes was confident that it would sell within that range.“It was certainly the best example that I have ever seen of the few that have been found, and the amount of interest that I received from collectors around the world was a good indication that there would be a small bidding war”. The bidding opened at £10,000 with a buyer in the room who had been looking to find one of these ‘holy grail’ records for many years, but was eventually outbid by an internet bidder in Luxembourg who paid £15,990 to secure the punk rarity – which was a worldwide auction record for this item. Martin says “It was an absolute honour to be the custodian of such an important part of music history for a short time, and I was glad that it ended up in the hands of a true punk rock collector”.

Wessex Auction Rooms are currently consigning for their next specialist Vinyl Records & Music Memorabilia auction. Martin can be contacted on 01249 720888 / martin@wessexauctionrooms.co.uk