The annual live auction event will feature Johnny Ramone’s ‘Number One’ Mosrite Guitar. It was played at every Ramones performance until his retirement: from 1977 through 1996 , for a total of approximately 1,985 shows.
The Ramones and Punk Collection of Daniel Rey from RR Auction began August 24 and conclude during The Remarkable Rarities live auction event that will take place on Saturday, September 25 in Boston, MA.
An upcoming auction from Boston-based RR Auction will feature Johnny Ramone’s ‘Number One’ Mosrite guitar.
The 1965 Mosrite Ventures II electric guitar personally-owned and used by Johnny Ramone (John Cummings) for nearly two decades as the guitarist for punk rock legends the Ramones, with the back of the guitar signed in black felt tip, “Johnny Ramone, My Main Guitar, 1977-1996.”
It was played at every Ramones performance until his retirement: from November 1977 through August 1996 , for a total of approximately 1,985 shows.
The instrument was used to record all 15 Ramones albums and can be heard on any live Ramones bootleg from late 1977-1999. It was later displayed at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for a number of years.
Cummings originally purchased the guitar in 1977 to replace his original blue Ventures II slab body, which was stolen from the Sire Records van with the rest of the band’s gear after a show at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Ironically, this guitar had been offered to Cummings earlier in 1977, but he passed on it feeling it was too expensive at $500, which was a little less than ten times what he paid for his original Ventures II in 1974.
The fretboard shows an incredible amount of wear from Cummings’ aggressive down-stroke playing style. The guitar exhibits numerous nicks, dings, and wear to the finish. Secured to the guitar with gaffer’s tape is Cummings’ original strap and three Ramones picks, which, along with the original strings, were used at the last Ramones show, which occurred at The Palace in Los Angeles California, on August 6, 1996.
The Ramones’ entire arsenal of gear was stolen a second time in Los Angeles in April 1983. Thankfully, however, this guitar was in the hotel being worked on by the band’s guitar tech and was the only piece of gear not stolen that night. It is believed that approximately 100-150 slab-bodied Ventures II guitars were produced in 1965, making them rare in their own right, with Cummings owning four of them.
Also included in the auction is Johnny Ramone’s Electro-Harmonix Mike Matthews Freedom Amp. Cummings used this amp live at CBGBs and at various other early Ramones shows and Arturo Vega’s loft throughout 1974 and 1975.
According to Ramones producer and engineer Ed Stasium, he played through this amp for the second guitar on the band’s 1980 End of the Century LP: ‘It was a practice amp for him, but that’s what I used to do my tracking, through all the pain and the glory of making that album.’ This amp can be seen in the video of the Ramones’ first-ever CBGBs performance, as well as in other early videos and photos.
This specially curated auction of rock and roll rarities originates from the collection of Daniel Rey; a musician turned producer from the New Jersey-New York underground who, for over three decades, was a trusted and invaluable member of the Ramones’ inner sanctum. Among the additional highlights; posters, invitations, and handwritten lyrics.
The Ramones and Punk Collection of Daniel Rey from RR Auction began August 24 and conclude during The Remarkable Rarities live auction event that will take place on Saturday, September 25 in Boston, MA. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.
WHERE:The Newbury Boston, 1 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116
WHEN: 3 PM ET Saturday, September 25, 2021