Music fans will get a chance to own a piece of history via an upcoming sale from Bonham’s auction house. Among the items set to go on the block November 23rd—December 9th are a drum kit used by Neil Peart from 1974—1977, the original handwritten lyrics to the Grateful Dead‘s “Fire On The Mountain”, and more.
The late Rush drummer was known throughout his career for his extensive percussion setup onstage, so fans will certainly be getting their money’s worth on this lot. The items included are two bass drums (both featuring the Rush logo and “Neil” on one and “Peart” on the other), eight Tom Toms (one of which is signed), one snare, two splash cymbals, a pair of hi hat cymbals, four crash cymbals, a ride cymbal, six cowbells, 35 chimes, 28 bells, five-piece temple blocks, and two drum pedals.
This Slingerland drum kit is a part of Rush history as Peart used it to play his first gig with the band on August 14th, 1974 at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, PA opening up for Uriah Heep and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. Peart went on to use the kit to record Rush’s 1975 breakthrough album Fly By Night, as well as Caress of Steel and 2112. The hardware was also used during the band’s three-night run at Toronto’s Massey Hall July 11—13th, 1976 which was recorded and released as the live album, All The World’s A Stage, soon after which Peart retired the kit. It is expected to fetch between $80,000 and $100,000 at auction.
Also on the block are the original, handwritten lyrics to “Fire On The Mountain”. These lyrics were written by drummer Mickey Hart alongside Robert Hunter in 1972 during the former’s hiatus from the Dead that stretched from 1971—1974. These are only an early draft of the lyrics which would change considerably over time before the track was debuted by the Dead on March 18th, 1977 at Winterland Arena in San Francisco and subsequently pressed onto Shakedown Street in 1978. This piece of Grateful Dead history was originally purchased from roadie Laurence “Ram Rod” Shurtliff from the benefactor who is now putting it up for sale where it is expected to bring in between $15,000 and $20,000.
The auction will also host a signed copy of Jim Morrison‘s California driver’s license, along with additional signatures and a thumb print. Issued on March 18th, 1966 to a James Douglas Morrison, the young singer of The Doors is pictured with his eyes closed. The lot also features several other signatures by the late frontman obtained from various official documents. It is expected to sell for between $4,000 and $6,000.
Lastly, this auction of music memorabilia will contain a collection of 42 vintage Black Flag flyers, which will all be sold together. The flyers are for various concerts in California, Oregon, and Arizona from 1981—1985 and most were designed by Raymond Pettibon. The lot also includes five of Pettibon’s books, all of which are individually numbered and is anticipated to fetch between $8,000 and $12,000.
Click here for more information on any of the Bonham’s lots, and scroll down to read Hart and Hunter’s first draft of “Fire On The Mountain”.
“Fire On The Mountain” First Draft
“Wrong Way Billy what you standin’ th[ere for] / Get up, get off, set out the door / You’re playing cold music on the bar-room floor / Drowned in your laughter, DEAD to the core / There a dragon with matches, he’s loose on the town, / Takes a whole pail of water to cool him down / There’s a FIRE – FIRE on the Mountain 3x / Wound in barb wire, hell I ain’t sore, / Only hurts when I laugh or roll on the floor. / Only hurts a little, least that’s what I’m told, / When you’re drawn in hot oil, it can even feel cold / FIRE 3x / I know I’m in love / but can’t tell you why, / feels like poison, shoots me down when I fly. / FIREMAN, FIREMAN, call off your dogs, / This isn’t a blaze, just a hog en a long [?] / There’s a fire on the Mountain, it’s runnin around / What doesn’t go up, can never come down. / FIRE 3x / Baby’s in Scarlet, Shackles in grey [sic] / elf loves to love, she’s got it salted away / Put it down heavy, pick it up lean / You’ve got to lay it dirty and play it back clean / FIRE 3x”