The Beatles in 1967
The Beatles at TVC animation Studios in London in November 1967. (left to right) Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney. They were taking part in a short film called 'A Mod Odyssey' about the making of 'Yellow Submarine.' (Mark and Colleen Hayward/Getty Images)
The Beatles in 1967
The Beatles at TVC animation Studios in London in November 1967. (left to right) Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney. They were taking part in a short film called ‘A Mod Odyssey’ about the making of ‘Yellow Submarine.’ (Mark and Colleen Hayward/Getty Images)

 

Sotheby’s upcoming rock-and-roll auction is the origin story of one of the priciest mixed tapes ever recorded. With an emphasis on rare handwritten lyrics for iconic songs and other high-end oddities, the sale—which is set for Dec. 10 in New York—will bring music diehards out of the woodwork to write multi-zeroed checks by the dozen.

Topping the auction is a red-and-black John Broadwood and Sons piano once owned by The Beatles’ John Lennon, until he gifted it to a friend circa 1971. Upon giving it away, Lennon noted on a plaque affixed to the instrument that he’d written some of band’s most notable songs on it, including a handful from The Beatles’ groundbreaking 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. These included “A Day in the Life,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “Good Morning, Good Morning,” and “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite.” The pre-auction estimate on the piano is $1.2 million to $1.8 million. (Click here for more on the item.)

John Lennon's Piano That He Wrote 'Sgt. Pepper's' Songs on
(Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

 

The auction also includes items from The Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin, and Bob Dylan. RealClearLife has pored over the lots and curated a list of our Top 10 picks, each of which includes the pre-auction estimate.

Elvis Presley – Blue Topaz and Diamond Ring – $7,000–$9,000

Elvis Presley Ring
(Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

 

The Velvet Underground/Lou Reed – Set of Typescript Lyrics, With Autographed Changes by Lou Reed and Donald Lyons – $150,000–$200,000

Lou Reed and Velvet Underground Lyrics
(Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

 

Jim Morrison/The Doors – Handwritten Notebook From Paris Circa 1971 – $180,000–$220,000

Jim Morrison Notebook
(Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

 

The Eagles – Autographed Draft Manuscript of ‘Hotel California’ (1976) – $500,000–$700,000

The Eagles' Hotel California
(Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

 

Bob Dylan – Autographed Manuscript With Minor Corrections of ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ – $300,000–$500,000

Dylan Blowin in the Wind
(Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

 

Brian Wilson/Beach Boys – Autographed Draft Manuscript for ‘Catch a Wave’ and Lyric Fragment From ‘Little Deuce Coupe’ – $200,000–$300,000

Brian Wilson Manuscript for Two Beach Boys Songs
(Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

 

Led Zeppelin – Autographed Robert Plant Manuscript for a Live Performance of ‘Kashmir’ – $120,000–$180,000

Led Zeppelin Lyrics
(Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

 

The Beatles – Six ‘Abbey Road’ Cover Shot Outtakes – $50,000–$70,000

Beatles Abbey Road Cover Shot Outtakes
(Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

 

Joni Mitchell – ‘Birds in a Fantasy Landscape’ (Original Pen and Ink Drawing) – $5,000–$7,000

Joni Mitchell Drawing
(Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

 

To browse the rest of the lots in the auction, click here.