Woodstock Memorabilia Selling for Thousands
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This Memorabilia From Woodstock Performers Sells for Thousands

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Woodstock Memorabilia Selling for Thousands
Archive Photos/Stringer/Getty Images

Woodstock Wayback

Woodstock took place 50 years ago at Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York, but baby boomers never stopped chasing its legacy. The three days of peace, love, brown acid, mud, and merchandising were considered a '60s countercultural touchstone. But an MTV-driven anniversary concert in 1994 and a particularly violent follow-up in 1999 — followed by what looks to be an ill-fated 50th anniversary festival this summer — made clear what the Hell's Angels and Altamont couldn't: Woodstock simply couldn't be replicated. That's what's made the artifacts from it and its performers so valuable. We combed through some recent auction history and found a handful of Woodstock and Woodstock-related items that have fetched thousands for simply surviving the half-century.

Jimi Hendrix Wah Wah Pedal
Courtesy of jlevines.com

Jimi Hendrix Wah Wah Pedal

Sold: 2017
Price: $27,500
In 1969, "amp doctor" Dave Weyer knew Vox was coming out with a new "wah" effects pedal and wanted to create a special one for Jimi Hendrix. He built this one before Woodstock and gave Hendrix a prototype fuzz box (which sold for $11,000) to go with it. "We've spent a lot of time reviewing the provenance, listening to audio recordings, and examining photos and films from Woodstock, and we are confident that this was the wah pedal Jimi used during Woodstock," says Antoine Gedroyc, a J. Levine's auction house expert.

Woodstock Poster Signed By Arnold Skolnick
Courtesy of entertainment.ha.com

Woodstock Poster Signed By Arnold Skolnick

Sold: 2017
Price: $10,625
Signed by artist Arnold Skolnick, this poster gave the festival its iconic bird-on-guitar logo and its "3 Days of Peace & Music" tagline. Even signed versions are more common than you may believe — but this 2- by 3-foot version is not only in great condition; it has a certificate of authenticity from Skolnick himself.

Woodstock Original Schedule
Courtesy of christies.com

Woodstock Original Schedule

Sold: 2017
Price: $10,000
This wasn't just some printout: This was the original plan for the festival. Originally meant to run Aug. 13-20, the festival initially had Joan Baez, The Grateful Dead, The Jefferson Airplane, and The Who playing four nights in a row for a whole lot of time. While Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Janis Joplin, Crosby Stills & Nash, and other scheduled acts made it to the stage, bands including Spontaneous Sound and Iron Butterfly did not. Meanwhile, this lot also came with an autographed note from farmer and Woodstock site owner Yasgur.

Jimi Hendrix 1968 Fender Stratocaster
Hulton Archive/Staff/Getty Images

Jimi Hendrix 1968 Fender Stratocaster

Sold: 1993
Price: $1.3 million
More than 25 years ago, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen got his hands on the guitar Hendrix used at Woodstock when playing the "Star Spangled Banner." Allen, who died last year, actually had some chops — he could play the guitars in his vast collection admirably. Today, the Hendrix Stratocaster lives with Allen's other prized guitars at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle.

Peace Flag From Woodstock
Courtesy of sothebys.com

Peace Flag From Woodstock

Sold: 2002
Price: $22,705
Sewn out of dyed denim, this flag was flown from the Woodstock stage and found on a farm next to the Woodstock site. The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on the Woodstock site sells $20 replicas, but this one's seen some things.

Jimi Hendrix Amp
Courtesy of jlevines.com

Jimi Hendrix Amp

Sold: 2017
Price: $17,000
Dave Weyer said this amplifier, which he repaired and modified for Hendrix, was used originally to record songs during his early days with The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Weyer worked with Neil Young; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Ike and Tina Turner; and other acts, but his work with Hendrix still resonates. Dimwitted thieves robbed the auction house that held Weyer and Hendrix's amp and wah pedal, but somehow missed them.

Unused Three-Day Woodstock Ticket
Courtesy of auction.steinersports.com

Unused Three-Day Woodstock Ticket

Sold: 2016
Price: $1,476
Finding an unused version of this ticket is incredibly rare, but this one would've gotten you into the Aug. 15, 16, and 17 sets. For it to survive this long intact required some care and a whole lot of luck, but then again, so did Woodstock.

Woodstock Ephemera
Courtesy of christies.com

Woodstock Ephemera

Sold: 2008
Price: $4,213
If you don't want to just buy one Woodstock keepsake, buy a bunch at a time. This lot at Christie's included three unused concert tickets; a white envelope with the festival office's New York City mailing address, a flyer/ticket application form; a press book for the 1970 film "Woodstock," a British quad cinema poster for that film; and a special Woodstock edition of Life magazine.

Woodstock Security Jacket
Courtesy of lelands.com

Woodstock Security Jacket

Sold: 2011
Price: $3,751
Yes, even Woodstock had security. This size-small jacket was worn by a crew member and has the word "Peace" inside a circle on the front and the Woodstock logo on the back. It's been kept in a thick plexiglass display box and only has some minor wear and tear.

Original Woodstock T-Shirt
Courtesy of christies.com

Original Woodstock T-Shirt

Sold: 2007
Price: $1,188
You can likely find a decent replica online, but it's rare to find a true relic such as this, which lends the festival T-shirt some gravitas. "Vintage Rock Shirts" author Johan Kugelberg explains: "While middle-American malls flood with shoddy replicas, these original shirts positively shine forth from the inmost light of true wabi-sabi; In which the feel of fabric that has been there and done that provides that magical link to the past."

The Who "Woodstock"
Courtesy of christies.com

The Who "Woodstock"

Sold: 2017
Price: $4,076
The Who did not have a good time at Woodstock and were paid only about $6,250 for their trouble. But their set made the soundtrack to the 1970 "Woodstock," and this record was presented to The Who's Pete Townshend when the album went gold.

'Woodstock' (1970) Press Book/Poster
Courtesy of sothebys.com

'Woodstock' (1970) Press Book/Poster

Sold: 2018
Price: $2,123
This 21.5- by 15-inch press book was sent out by distributors to promote the 1970 documentary "Woodstock." The poster came as part of the book, and it's a minor miracle to find both in pristine shape.

'Woodstock' (1970) Poster
Courtesy of sothebys.com

'Woodstock' (1970) Poster

Sold: 2018
Price: $1,003
Why shouldn't the documentary have as much artwork associated with it as the festival itself? This 22- by 25.5-inch "sit on" poster was part of the ad campaign for the film and managed to capture the festival's overarching aesthetic.

Joni Mitchell's 'Woodstock' Lyrics
Courtesy of sothebys.com

Joni Mitchell's 'Woodstock' Lyrics

Sold: 2014
Price: $37,500
Joni Mitchell didn't play at Woodstock or even attend, but she wrote the definitive song for the event (and a generation) by watching the "half a million strong" on television. Scheduled to play on Sunday, Mitchell was blocked by traffic and watched the concert in a hotel room with manager David Geffen — though Crosby, Stills & Nash performed and made it back in time for Crosby and Stills to appear on Dick Cavett's talk show with Mitchell on Monday. She used their account to help write "Woodstock," which she later gifted to the band and Neil Young.

Woodstock Signed Poster
Courtesy of proxibid.com

Woodstock Signed Poster

Sold: 2018
Price: $1,600
You've already seen a poster autographed by Skolnick. This lithograph print surrounds Skolnick's signature with those of performers and attendees Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, John Entwistle, Stu Cook, Doug Clifford, Stephen Stills, Wavy Gravy, Country Joe, and Carlos Santana.

Jimi Hendrix 'Unfinished Rough Sketch of Woodstock Festival'
Courtesy of christies.com

Jimi Hendrix 'Unfinished Rough Sketch of Woodstock Festival'

Sold: 2013
Price: $39,652
There are just 17 lines written in black felt pen and blue ballpoint pen on notepaper, but this was Hendrix's unreleased ode to Woodstock Festival. Complete with a phone number and notes for the verses, this outline contained observations including "500,000 Halos ... outshined the mud and History," and "We washed and drank in ... thanks in God's tears of joy, And for once ... and for everyone — the truth was not a mystery."

Original Woodstock Exit Sign
Hulton Archive/Staff/Getty Images

Original Woodstock Exit Sign

Sold: 1995
Price: $7,475
This sign at the Woodstock exit on the New York State Thruway came as a direct result of hundreds of people taking the exit even though the event was in Bethel. To clear things up, local authorities stenciled the following in black and red paint onto white wood "Woodstock Music and Art Fair is not in Woodstock. Location: White Lake, Sullivan Co. N.Y. — Return to thruway and Exit 16 or take Rt. 209 South from Kingston." The sign sold with unused one-day and three-day tickets.

Woodstock Program Signed By Jimi Hendrix
Courtesy of christies.com

Woodstock Program Signed By Jimi Hendrix

Sold: 2010
Price: $5,551
Hendrix signed this original program in blue ballpoint pen on his biography page that included the printed lyrics to "Foxey Lady." If that wasn't enough, this lot at Christie's included three candid unpublished photographs of Hendrix at Woodstock, one showing him with this program, and two ticket stubs — one from Madison Square Garden (May 18, 1969) and from The Singer Bowl, Flushing Meadows (Aug. 23, 1968).

Woodstock Tower Banner
Courtesy of entertainment.ha.com

Woodstock Tower Banner

Sold: 2006
Price: $2,988
How do you get free-spirited hippies to stop climbing your light towers without harshing everyone's mellow? Stage designer Chip Monck made these nearly 3- by 4-foot cloth banners on the spot as deterrents, installing grommets and stringing them to the towers. Not only did his freak flags fly, but Monck claims this one inspired the Rolling Stones' logo.

Keith Moon's Drum Kit
Courtesy of christies.com

Keith Moon's Drum Kit

Sold: 2004
Price: $177,196
The Who drummer Keith Moon bought this kit and its orange-and-black The Who logo in 1968 and used it through 1970. Its life spanned some of the most significant moments in rock history, including The Rolling Stones' "Rock N Roll Circus" in 1968; The Who's U.S. tour and Woodstock in 1969; the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969; and a show at Leeds University in 1970 that would become the "Live At Leeds" album.

Gypsy Sun and Rainbows Signed Photo
Courtesy of christies.com

Gypsy Sun and Rainbows Signed Photo

Sold: 2008
Price: $3,250
Hendrix's short-lived band, Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, formed in mid-August 1969 and disbanded by September. But they were together long enough to play Woodstock and appear in this Polaroid photograph jamming at his Ashokan House in Ulster County. Hendrix, guitarist Larry Lee, bassist Billy Cox, and drummers Juma Sultan and Gerardo Velez signed the back of the photo mount in blue ink.

Jimi Hendrix Hagstrom H8 Bass Guitar
Courtesy of entertainment.ha.com

Jimi Hendrix Hagstrom H8 Bass Guitar

Sold: 2018
Price: $35,000
Hendrix isn't known for playing an eight-string Hagstrom H-8 — that's more for Entwistle (The Who), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam), and Hendrix's own Experience bassist Noel Redding. But Hendrix played a Hagstrom H8 on his "Electric Ladyland" album and was known to own two of them. He gave this one to Lee during their time together in Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, and Lee played it on stage at Woodstock. This one comes in its original gray chipboard case, with an original strap, several previously used strings, and a Lee-signed, notarized, and laminated letter of authenticity. There's also a mounted photo print of Hendrix holding the bass.

Jimi Hendrix's Guitar Strap
Jimi Hendrix's Guitar Strap by Sam Howzit (CC BY)

Jimi Hendrix's Guitar Strap

Sold: 1995
Price: $11,500
This strap was sold with a letter of authenticity from Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding and photos of Hendrix at Woodstock wearing the strap. The fabric-and-leather strap stands out largely because of its square patchwork pattern and yellow, red, and white flowers.

Signed Color Photographs from Woodstock
Courtesy of bonhams.com

Signed Color Photographs from Woodstock

Sold: 2014
Price: $1,000
This pack of images by photographer Jason Laure contains photos of The Who, Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Country Joe McDonald, sleeping concertgoers, the crowd, and nude bathers. Housed in a custom brown leather box stamped "Jason Laure / Woodstock Festival / 1969-2009," each photo is signed by the photographer.

Signed Woodstock Program
Courtesy of entertainment.ha.com

Signed Woodstock Program

Sold: 2016
Price: $10,000
There are a few signatures in this 27-page program, including Hendrix and Lee, his Gypsy Sun and Rainbows bassist. Two pages later, acclaimed guitarist Johnny Winter adds his signature in black ballpoint ink. We have a couple of programs on this list, but few are signed with as little wear and tear as this one.

Autographed Original Woodstock Poster
Courtesy of movieposters.ha.com

Autographed Original Woodstock Poster

Sold: 2014
Price: $2,629
Artist David Byrd designed this poster back when Woodstock had originally leased land in Wallkill, New York. Wallkill, however, wanted no part of it and zoned the festival clear out of town. Byrd's poster — based on Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingre's "La Source," but surrounded with vibrant, 1960s flourishes — hit the scrap heap, and Skolnick was brought in to design a new poster. This lot gave buyers signed version of both posters, and several smaller versions as backups.

Jimi Hendrix Assorted Items
Courtesy of entertainment.ha.com

Jimi Hendrix Assorted Items

Sold: 2013
Price: $2,125
Lee had a lot of memorabilia from his days with Hendrix in the early '60s and, later, with Hendrix's band in Woodstock.This lot includes a framed display of a leather pouch, leather watch band, two hotel keys and a plastic string winder — with an accompanying note that doesn't clear up much. There are also four black-and-white snapshots, including one showing Hendrix and Lee circa 1963 and another showing Hendrix with The Bonnevilles. Lastly, there's a display case featuring Lee's union cards and phone numbers related to Hendrix during the Woodstock period, a stage pass to see Hendrix at a Memphis show; and a receipt for $1,500 that Hendrix gave Lee to send to his wife while they were at Woodstock.

Woodstock Gold Record
Courtesy of entertainment.ha.com

Woodstock Gold Record

Sold: 2008
Price: $1,135
This massive three-LP set was given to producer and Woodstock co-founder Artie Kornfeld by the Recording Industry Association of America after the festival's triple live album sold 500,000 copies. The display itself is 3 feet long and 2 feet deep, and comes with a 2- by 3-foot Woodstock concert poster.

Original Woodstock Flyers, Magazines and Programs
Courtesy of bonhams.com

Original Woodstock Flyers, Magazines and Programs

Sold: Currently selling
Price: Est. $1,300 to $1,900
With the 50th anniversary of Woodstock coming up, this lot from Bonham's contains three original Woodstock flyers for original Wallkill, New York, location; another three original flyers for the fair in White Lake New York (Bethel, where it was held); a highly detailed site plan with annotations; two original programs; a special edition copy of Life magazine; a copy of Rolling Stone from September 1969; and other magazines related to the festival.