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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 May, 2003, 17:38 GMT 18:38 UK
Who star auction reaches 1m
John Entwistle
Entwistle had more than 150 guitars in his collection
A sale of hundreds of guitars, costumes and works of art belonging to late Who star John Entwistle has exceeded all expectations, fetching more than 1m.

His rare Gibson Explorer guitar from 1958 fetched 95,200 after going under the hammer at Sotheby's in London on Tuesday.

Entwistle's favourite bass guitar, a pink Fender Precision, which he nicknamed Frankenstein, was sold for 62,400, despite only having an estimate of 7,000.

Entwistle, bassist with the veteran British rock band, died last year in Las Vegas on the eve of The Who's US tour. He was 57.

The star's collection of more than 150 guitars and bass guitars had been expected to reach 500,000.

Painting of The Who

Entwistle called his favourite guitar Frankenstein, he said, because it had been built out of pieces from five separate basses he had destroyed at the end of concerts.

It was used in several Who tours, including for their famous 1973 album Quadrophenia.

One of the more poignant lots was a flight case containing five bass guitars that Entwistle had taken on his last tour to Las Vegas.

The case, which also contained sheet music, doubled its estimated price and was bought by the Hard Rock Cafe for 20,000.

A Gibson Flying V from 1958, for which Entwistle paid 3,700 in 1973, sold for 38,400. An Alembic Explorer bass went for 50,400.

Nadia Bartolucci, from Southebys, makes some final adjustments to some of the guitars on display
Some of the guitars include Entwistle's notes on their purchase
A Thunderbird IV Gibson, dating from 1964, was among the top lots on the day - selling for 28,800.

Two posters advertising gigs for The Detours - the Who's original name - sold for eight times the estimated value.

Such was the collectabililty of the posters, which could also be seen in the background of the Who film The Kids Are Alright, that they fetched 18,000 each.

Also in the sale were more than 30 life-size casts of fish, which Entwistle caught in the Caribbean and which were suspended from the ceiling of his Gloucestershire home.

There were also tour costumes and examples of Entwistle's artwork, which were studies of himself and his bandmates.

Entwistle joined a band with guitarist Pete Townshend aged 14, which eventually became The Who, fronted by Roger Daltrey, in 1964.

The Who, whose hits include My Generation, Substitute and Baba O'Riley, were one of the biggest bands in the world in the early 1970s.

Entwistle, who suffered from a heart problem, died of a heart attack brought on by cocaine use in Las Vegas last June.

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28 Jun 02  |  Entertainment

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