Presley & Punk

Sotheby’s is on the opposite side of the grid to the museum mile and is not generally listed in the ‘must-do’s’ of the NYC art world. There is a perception that this imposing institution is only for the rich, and that stiff noses and intimidating staff may glare down any non-bidding visitors. But this is Sotheby’s New York. If the wine shop on the ground floor is not invitation enough, there is a café on the roof, school groups have scheduled tours, the local hospital staff swing by on their lunch breaks and the public is actively encouraged to visit. Unlike most other museums or galleries around town, the exhibitions you will see here may never be available for public viewing again. Treasures pass from one private hand to another, so during this brief exchange, make the most of it.

Punk may be dead, and the burning of several million dollars worth of memorabilia last week by the son of the Sex Pistol’s manager may have created some heat, but Sotheby’s nevertheless salvaged the band’s boat banner proclaiming God Save the Queen. It may be one of the few remaining souvenirs from that time – and that is only one piece of the amazing Rock & Roll exhibition about to go under the hammer. A hand written copy of the words to ‘Blowing in the Wind’ by Bob Dylan is expected to fetch up to $500,000. Having a Nobel Price is obviously good for sales. Then there are alternative covers for the Beatle’s Abbey Road album, posters from the Rolling Stones tour of Australia in 1973 and a double billing of The Beatles and The Beach Boys in Washington for the fab four’s first USA concert. But by far my most favorite piece in the whole collection comes from Elvis. Of course. An intercom system from the 70’s with a bullet hole through the front also has a hand written message on the top saying ‘to open the gate faster next time’. Elvis signed it ‘E.P’. I wonder if it would look any good on top of the fridge…


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2 Responses to Presley & Punk

  1. Rowan Kennedy says:

    I heard you on the radio yesterday morning (or was it the morning before) ☺
    I was wondering something…I have looked and looked but can’t seem to find a one-day class on making Turkish Delight in NYC.
    I’m coming up in April for a week, and was hoping to learn how to make Turkish Delight while I am there. There are plenty of places to buy it – but I can’t seem to find anywhere that actually teaches you to make your own.
    I know you’re not a directory – but…I’m hoping.
    I was up there in July when your report talked about the little liquorice place (somewhere near the Trump Tower). Anyway I went in there and bought some. Good stuff; and I’ll go back there in April when next I’m up.
    I heard you talk (some time ago now) about one of the Greek Islands (Samos, I think) and how wonderful it was. Have always kept it in my mind, and will get there sometime as well.
    See how influential you are ☺ ☺
    Anyway – if you can advise me about the Turkish Delight, that’s be just great.
    Take care – Rowan
    Oh, and when I was up there in April I went for a walk on the raised walkway you talked about a LONG time ago. It was beautiful and I loved being able to peek into peoples’ backyards.

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