Sunday, September 5, 2010

Elton's Mum Auctioning Unique Memorabilia

Sir Elton John’s mother is to sell off 40 platinum and gold discs from the star’s chart-topping pop career.

The treasure trove for pop fans also includes the disc for his first major hit single, 1970’s Your Song, a platinum award for the first million sales of his 1973 album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and another for the phenomenal success of Candle In The Wind as a re-released tribute to the Princess of Wales after Diana’s death in 1997.

Sheila Farebrother, 85, is even putting up for auction copies of recordings Sir Elton has given her over the years, as well as the VIP passes she used for backstage access to her son when he was on tour.

Sir Elton, 63, who was born Reginald Dwight, has sold more than 250 million records and is the most successful solo British artist of all time.
The Oscar- and multiple-Grammy-winner is the third-most successful act in US chart history and has amassed an estimated £235 million fortune. He was voted the 49th greatest star of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2004.

Mrs Farebrother used to store all the memorabilia in a room at her former home in Bray in Berkshire. But she has downsized to a smaller property on the South Coast and is believed to be keen to save space.

However, it is not clear why she is selling the items rather than giving them away or back to Sir Elton.

Music industry experts said it is impossible to predict how much the amazing collection would raise because comparable items rarely come on the market in such volume.

Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini said: ‘This is an extraordinary opportunity for Elton devotees. There will be global demand for these items precisely because of
the provenance.

‘To say you own a platinum disc which belonged to Elton’s mother is a dream come true for fans. The mothers of Paul McCartney or John Lennon never lived to see their
success. There hasn’t been anything like this.’

Mr Gambaccini – whose career was launched by an interview with Sir Elton in Rolling Stone magazine in 1973 – added: ‘I think she is at the stage in her life when she wants to start dispensing with items rather than keep collecting them.’

Sir Elton’s mother keenly encouraged her son’s musical ability as a child. She and Elton’s RAF officer father Stanley Dwight divorced when the star was 15.

She then married Fred Farebrother, a painter, who became a devoted stepfather.

Mrs Farebrother has remained close to her son and was a witness to his civil partnership ceremony with David Furnish in 2005.
Until 2007 she was also listed as a director of William A Bong, the star’s company.

The auction at Gorringes in Lewes, East Sussex, in October will also feature items belonging to the star’s ex-manager Bob Halley, including a diamond-studded crucifix valued at £3,000 from elite jeweller Theo Fennell, inscribed by the singer and given as a Christmas present.
Andrew Elliston-Elhinn of Gorringes said Mrs Farebrother was keen to sell after moving house.

He said: ‘I asked her if the records she was selling were autographed. But she said, “Why would they be? He’s my son.” ’

A spokesman for Sir Elton declined to comment.

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