Mick Fleetwood’s wooden balls featured on Rumours album sell for £100,000

More than 700 memorabilia items from members of the British-American rock band were up for auction over the weekend in Los Angeles.
More than 700 memorabilia items from members of the British-American rock band were up for auction over the weekend in Los Angeles.

A pair of wooden balls worn by Mick Fleetwood on the cover of Fleetwood Mac’s classic album Rumours has gone under the hammer for $128,000 (£104,892).

They were part of a collection of more than 700 memorabilia items belonging to three members of the award-winning British-American rock band – Mick Fleetwood and Christine and John McVie – that were up for auction over the weekend in Los Angeles.

The sale held by Julien’s Auctions included instruments, awards, wardrobe items, equipment and memorabilia from the trio’s landmark recordings, live performances and appearances, as well as furnishings, artwork, jewellery, and personal items from their homes.

(Julien’s Auctions/PA)

The wooden balls which dangle in between Fleetwood’s legs on the album cover were estimated to go for 100-200,000 dollars (£88-176,000).

A maxi dress worn by Christine McVie, who died on November 30 aged 79 following a short illness, on the back cover of the 1977 album Rumours sold for $56,250 (£46,082), five times its original estimate of $10,000.

The auction house said the sale of her collection, which had been organised by McVie and her team with Julien’s a year ago, proved to be an “emotional moment”.

Also among her items sold was her 1976 Rock Music Awards polka dot hippie dress designed by Thea Porter which sold for $31,250 (25,586).

Other items included her American Music Award presented to Fleetwood Mac in 1978 for Rumours, which sold for $16,000 (£13,100) and her Weltmeister piano accordion used for live performances of the song Tusk, which went for $11,517 (£9,428).

(Julien’s Auctions/PA)

Another highlight was the sale of John McVie’s one-of-a-kind alembic custom fretless electric bass guitar used to record the hit song The Chain and used extensively by him in the studio and onstage from 1976 to 1980 sold for $100,000 (£81,880), far over its estimate of $40,000 (£32,758).

A number of his other guitars also sold for tens of thousands with his 1976 Rumours Tour prototype Alembic Series 1 electric bass guitar going for $28,800 (£23,591) and his 1960 Fender Precision bass guitar selling for $25,600 (£20,991).

A portion of the auction proceeds will go be donated to MusiCares, who honoured Fleetwood Mac in 2018 as the organisation’s person of the year, to support the charity’s work providing services to underserved members of the music community.

Martin Nolan, executive director and chief financial officer of Julien’s Auctions, said: “Julien’s Auctions was honored to be entrusted in the stewardship of this tremendous event this weekend, offering to the public these rock and roll artifacts and personal items from the legendary three members of Fleetwood Mac, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie, whose extraordinary life and legacy we celebrated in this auction.”

Despite its tumultuous history, Fleetwood Mac became one of the well-known rock bands of the 1970s and 80s, comprising Fleetwood and the McVies, as well as Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

Perhaps their best known record Rumours, released in 1977, became one of the best-selling albums of all time, and included hits such as Go Your Own Way, Second Hand News and You Make Loving Fun.