John McVie’s Rumours Alembic bass sells for $100,000

Photo of Lindsey BUCKINGHAM and John McVIE and FLEETWOOD MAC, John McVie & Lindsey Buckingham performing live onstage
(Image credit: Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)

A collection of Fleetwood Mac guitars and memorabilia fetched thousands when it went under the hammer at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills. The iconic wooden balls worn by Mick Fleetwood on the cover of their 1977 album Rumours were the top-selling item, bringing an astounding $128,000.

Another highlight was the sale of John McVie’s one-of-a-kind Alembic Series 1 custom fretless bass used to record The Chain. The iconic 4-string was used extensively by McVie both in studio and on-stage from 1976-1980, and sold for $100,000, well over its auction estimate of $40,000-$60,000. 

John McVie’s Alembic Series 1 custom fretless bass

John McVie’s custom Alembic Series I with a ‘continuously fretted’ stainless steel fingerboard. (Image credit: Julien’s Auctions)

Additional highlights included a Kramer Ferrington electro-acoustic bass that was used in the music videos for Little Lies and Seven Wonders, which sold for $15,625; a 1976 Rumours Tour Alembic Series 1 brought $28,800; a 1970s Ernie Ball Earthwood acoustic bass fetched $25,600; a 1962 Fender Bass VI gifted by Peter Green sold for $22,400.

A poignant moment during the auction was the sale of the collection of Christine McVie, who passed away three days before the event took place. The dress worn by McVie on the back cover of the Rumours album sold for $56,250 — more than five times its estimate of $10,000.

A portion of the auction proceeds will benefit MusiCares, who honored Fleetwood Mac in 2018 as the organization’s Person of the Year, to support the charity’s work providing critical services to underserved members of the music community.

For more information on Julien’s Auctions, go to
To connect with MusicCares visit

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.