Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction

A jumpsuit worn by Elton John is flanked by a guitar, left, owned by Robbie Robertson and used by Bob Dylan, and another guitar used by Jeff Beck at the Hard Rock Cafe, Monday, May 14, 2018, in New York. (AP)
Updated 20 May 2018
0

Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction

NEW YORK: A guitar that played a key role in Bob Dylan’s artistic evolution from folk music to rock fetched a half million at auction on Saturday.
The guitar, a 1965 Fender Telecaster that belonged to Robbie Robertson, Dylan’s guitarist, was used by Dylan, Eric Clapton and George Harrison, Julien’s Auctions said Saturday.
It had been expected to fetch between $400,000 and $600,000.
The guitar marked the singer’s path from folk stylings like “The Times They Are A-Changin’” (1964), to electric rock, like his 1965 hit “Like a Rolling Stone.”
Other famous guitars went under the hammer on Saturday: George Harrison’s first electric guitar, a $40,000 Hofner Club 40, and a Fender Telecaster rosewood guitar made for Elvis Presley in 1968, priced at a cool $115,200.
More than 40 years after his death, Elvis items still fetch a handsome price.
A heavily decorated Elvis belt, which he wore during a concert in Hawaii in 1972, sold for $354,400.
A star-shaped diamond ring donated by Elvis to an admirer at a concert in 1975 brought in a sparkly $100,000.
The sale also included show costumes that belonged to artists from Elton John, to Britney Spears and Michael Jackson.
A leather jacket and pants suit from the late “Thriller” singer, with a yellow shirt, brought in $217,600, Julien said.


No politics please for Baghdad bikers aiming to unite Iraq

Updated 20 January 2019
0

No politics please for Baghdad bikers aiming to unite Iraq

  • That is why the first rule of his bikers club is: you do not talk about politics
  • The Iraq Bikers — who now number 380 — are men of all ages, social classes and various faiths

BAGHDAD: Roaring along Baghdad’s highways, the “Iraq Bikers” are doing more than showing off their love of outsized motorcycles and black leather: they want their shared enthusiasm to help heal Iraq’s deep sectarian rifts.
Weaving in and out of traffic, only the lucky few ride Harley Davidsons — a rare and expensive brand in Iraq — while others make do with bikes pimped-up to look something like the “Easy Rider” dream machines.
“Our goal is to build a brotherhood,” said Bilal Al-Bayati, 42, a government employee who founded the club in 2012 with the aim of improving the image of biker gangs and to promote unity after years of sectarian conflict.
That is why the first rule of his bikers club is: you do not talk about politics.
“It is absolutely prohibited to talk politics among members,” Bayati told Reuters as he sat with fellow bikers in a shisha cafe, a regular hangout for members.
“Whenever politics is mentioned, the members are warned once or twice and then expelled. We no longer have the strength to endure these tragedies or to repeat them,” he said, referring to sectarian violence.
With his black bandana and goatee, the leader of the Baghdad pack, known as “Captain,” looks the epitome of the American biker-outlaw.
But while their style is unmistakably US-inspired — at least one of Bayati’s cohorts wears a helmet emblazoned with the stars and stripes — these bikers fly the Iraqi flag from the panniers of their machines.
The Iraq Bikers — who now number 380 — are men of all ages, social classes and various faiths. One of their most recent events was taking party in Army Day celebrations.
Some are in the military, the police and even the Popular Mobilization Forces, a grouping of mostly Shiite militias which have taken part in the fight to oust Islamic State from Iraq in the last three years.
“It is a miniature Iraq,” said member Ahmed Haidar, 36, who works with an international relief agency.
But riding a chopper through Baghdad is quite different from Route 101. The bikers have to slow down at the many military checkpoints set up around the city to deter suicide and car bomb attacks.
And very few can afford a top bike.
“We don’t have a Harley Davidson franchise here,” said Kadhim Naji, a mechanic who specializes in turning ordinary motorbikes into something special.
“So what we do is we alter the motorbike, so it looks similar ... and it is cheaper.”