From Rock to Rap: Insiders Share Their Music Memories

Launch Slideshow

Whether it was a backstage encounter or rocking out in a friend’s car, we all have memories of particular artists – and their indelible music – that we’re not likely to forget anytime soon. But some insiders, like hip-hop icon Fab 5 Freddy, photographer Danny Clinch and Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins, have an even closer view of the action – and the fascinating tales to match. Ahead of Sotheby's auctions A Rock & Roll Anthology: From Folk to Fury and Boo-Hooray Presents: Post-War, Counterculture & Pop, we asked them and others to share their favourite music memories. –Alexandra Owens

A Rock & Roll Anthology: From Folk to Fury
10 December | New York

Boo-Hooray Presents: Post-War, Counterculture & Pop
01–16 December | Online

From Rock to Rap: Insiders Share Their Music Memories

  • Danny Clinch, Photographer and Director
    “In 2000, I got the chance to photograph Patti Smith at Subterranean Records on Carmine Street, which sadly no longer exists. The idea was that she was going to dig through the record bins and buy some LPs. After documenting awhile, I asked her if I could do a portrait with her favourite one she had found, and with a truly loving expression, she pulled out John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme.  She explained to me that she absolutely loves this music and can never resist buying this record when she finds one at a yard sale, garage sale or used record store, because she can’t stand the idea of it sitting there and not getting played. ‘I have about six or seven copies at home,’ she said.”

    Lot 42 . Danny Clinch, Patti Smith Subterranean Records - New York, 2000. Estmate $4,000–6,000.

  • Steph Paynes, Lez Zeppelin Founder and Lead Guitarist
    “The first thing I remember loving about Led Zeppelin was ' Kashmir .' It might be their most powerful track – it’s trance music. As a child, that was my favourite thing, but I really fell for them later. One of the more iconic images of Led Zeppelin from the 1970s is in The Song Remains the Same. I think it’s during the first song they come out and Jimmy’s [Page] got that giant doubleneck guitar – the huge Gibson EDS-1275. I just thought, ‘I’ve got to play that thing.’ It’s as big as me. And so here I am seven chiropractors later. I got my dream.”

    Lot 69 . Led Zeppelin, Konserthuset Concert Poster, Stockholm, Sweden, 26 February 1970. Estimate $5,000–7,000.

  • Stephan Jenkins, Third Eye Blind Lead Singer
    “There are a few: I was six when I first heard Sly [Stone]. It's with me still. I was at a house party when the Beastie Boys’ Check Your Head came out. It felt like everything before it was pretence. And now I had a soundtrack to my flawed, funky self. Once, when I was performing I was so cocky walking onto stage in a white fur coat. Then I saw Bowie standing side stage and I melted. I will never forget seeing the Starman.”

    Lot 123 . David Slania, David Bowie. Palace Theatre, Detroit, 1974. Estimate $1,200–1,800.

  • Johan Renck, Director
    "I made a video with New Order for their track 'Crystal.' For the video, I created a fake band of tweens and named them 'The Killers' (which subsequently came to inspire the Las Vegas outfit for their name). Anyway, as we were shooting, there was a knock on the stage-door and Bernard Sumners and Peter Hook came and visited “to meet the band." The situation became even more absurd when “the band," who were all in their early teens, were greeted and embraced by these icons, without actually having the faintest idea who they were."

    Lot 96. New Order & Lawrence Weiner, Technique Poster, 1989. Estimate $700–900.

  • Fab 5 Freddy, Artist and Hip-Hop Icon
    “Tupac and I met in 1992 during the filming of Juice, his motion picture debut. I did a cameo as myself in the film during the DJ battle scene and interviewed him for my show at the time, YO! MTV Raps. It was the first of several interviews with him for my show over the next few years and we became good friends along the way. I often see the best rappers as good actors, and Tupac would have been Oscar-nominated by now had he lived. I also interviewed Nas in 1994 when he emerged with his now seminal debut album Illmatic. He expressed that he’d been a fan of mine and asked if I’d direct his next music video, which I did for the song “One Love.” It was clear to me at that time he was one of the best lyricists ever. The Beastie Boys are good friends and we moved in the same circles downtown in NYC during the 1980s. I saw lots of their early gigs as they smoothly went from punk to hip-hop, creating a hot new hybrid. I also interviewed them for YO! MTV Raps in what many consider a classic episode , where we walked through Chinatown.”

    Lot 37 . Danny Clinch, Tupac Shakur New York, NY, 1993. Estmate $4,000–6,000.

  • Taylor Hawkins, Foo Fighters Drummer
    “I played at CBGB in 1995. It was actually a really good sounding room to play in. It was grubby, it was grimy, it was gross – everything you'd want in a little hole-in-the-wall rock club. It’s obviously had so much history with the Ramones, Blondie and Talking Heads. The Police did their first American gig there. There was a reason that people went.”

    Lot 25 . CBGB, Original Hand-Painted Vinyl Awning as Displayed Above the Entrance of Hilly Kristal's CBGB OMFUG Venue at 315 Bowery, New York City. Estimate $25,000–35,000.

  • Johan Kugelberg, Boo-Hooray Founder and Editor
    “The first time I saw the Ramones I think I was 14 years old. I went with a childhood friend whose father drove us up to Stockholm for the concert. We were hanging around outside the venue in the afternoon, trying to sneak in for sound check or whatever – and right as we got outside the backstage door it started pouring rain. My friend’s dad, who was a business suit kind of guy, came jogging towards us with an umbrella so that we wouldn’t get wet. Of course, my friend got unbelievably, hideously embarrassed. And the moment that he showed up with the umbrella the door swung open and there was Joey and Dee Dee Ramone looking at us two kids. They waved us all in and we were allowed to stand stage left to watch the entire sound check.”

    Lot 22. Roberta Bayley, Punk: The Book, Signed, 2002. Estimate $700–900.

  • Hesta Prynn, DJ and Musician
    "Prince's music, while a gift to the world, is truly a gift to the DJ. Need to transition from Kool and the Gang to Drake? Prince. Michael Jackson to Paul Simon? Prince. Fela Kuti to Ariana Grande? Prince. (Seriously.) These days when I play Prince songs in my sets, I put my headphones on both ears, turn up the cue, close my eyes and feel his energy from beyond. There will never be another who blends genres, who seduces, who rocks, who inspires you to move the way Prince did."

    Lot 132 . Leni Sinclair, Prince. Cobo, Detroit, 1980. Estimate $1,200–1,800.


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