NEW YORK – It's one for the money this week as 59 pieces of rare rock 'n' roll memorabilia go up for grabs — including one of the few guitars Buddy Holly owned in his short career.
Expected to be snapped up for $350,000, the guitar — complete with a leather cover crafted by the bespectacled crooner himself — is widely recognized as the instrument which launched rock 'n' roll.
Holly fans can also fight over the banjo he strummed as a teen, set to go for $40,000, and a signed Buddy Holly and the Crickets concert program from their 1958 tour of Britain.
Online bidding starts today for the treasure trove of music mementos from rock 'n' roll pioneers including Ritchie Valens, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash. Sponsored by Sothebys.com and Gotta Have It! Auctions, the bidding runs until June 5.
Two rare Ritchie Valens signatures are up for grabs on a double-signed "La Bamba"/"Donna" 45 rpm, scrawled by the tragic rocker at the Ed Sullivan Theater in 1959 — shortly before the "day the music died" plane crash that killed Valens, Holly and the Big Bopper.
Elvis Presley's personal jukebox is on the block plus a letter he penned to fans from his Army barracks in 1958 saying: "Don't believe these rumors you read or hear about marriage, I have not found anyone I care much about yet."
Last but not least, up for $18,000, is the 1934 Hoboken-issued first driver's license of Ol' Blue Eyes himself — with his name misspelled "Frank Sintra."