An electric guitar once belonging to late Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone has sold at auction for $937,500. The winning bidder wishes to remain anonymous.
The 1965 Mosrite Ventures II was used by the guitarist – whose real name was John William Cummings – on each of The Ramones' 14 studio albums, as well as at every single one of the almost 2,000 shows between 1977 and their disbandment in 1996.
While in relatively good condition, the guitar sports several heavy scuff marks, likely obtained as a result of Cummings' aggressive playing style.
The listing also included the guitarist's original guitar strap, three guitar picks and a set of guitar strings, all of which were used during the Ramones' final show at The Palace in Los Angeles on August 6, 1996.
According to guitar historian Chris Lamy, Cummings originally bought the guitar in 1977, replacing his blue Ventures II model – which was stolen from a van with the rest of the band's gear after a show at the Chicago's Aragon Ballroom.
Cummings actually had the opportunity to buy the guitar earlier in 1977 (prior to the gear theft), but passed as it was priced at $500, a little less than ten times what he paid for his original blue Ventures II in 1974.
The guitar originates from the collection of Daniel Rey, a musician and producer who for three decades was a trusted member of The Ramones' inner circle.
“The consignor was thrilled with the results and is very happy that the guitar is in the hands of someone who will curate Johnny Ramone's Mosrite for future generations to enjoy,” says Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction, the auction house which hosted the listing.
The listing also included several other items of Ramones memorabilia, including Johnny Ramone's Mark-2 signature guitar – which sold for almost $47,000 – some stage-used microphones used by frontman Joey Ramone during the band's final concert – which sold for just over $13,000 – and lyrics handwritten by Joey Ramone for She Talks to Rainbows, which sold for just under $4,000.