Julien’s Auctions has exclusively announced to Variety that former Rolling Stones bass player Bill Wyman will be donating his complete steel wheels tour bass rig toward MusiCares to aid music professionals who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The legendary bassist helped launch the initiative in which several other high-profile artists will be donating one-of-a kind items to the auction set to take place on Sept. 16.
“When MusiCares reached out to me about providing something for their COVID-19 Relief Fund, I decided to help by offering my original bass rig that I used on the ‘Steel Wheels’ U.S. Tour of 1989, which I consider to be an important part of the Stones and music’s history,” Wyman said in statement. “Nothing would please me more than to know that the proceeds from the sale of this will go to support my fellow musicians during this time of need, and to also know that my bass rig will find a new home where it will be appreciated for years to come.”
The historical item is being sold at no reserve with a conservative pre-auction at $200,000 to $300,000 and has been appraised at $2 million. The complete bass setup includes its custom Mesa/Boogie Road Ready 118 speaker cabinet loaded with an 18-inch Electro-Voice speaker, a Mesa/Boogie Road Ready 1516 speaker cabinet with one 15-inch speaker, one 10-inch speaker and two 6-inch speakers, Mesa/Boogie Road Ready 1516 speaker cabinet with one 15-inch speaker, one 10-inch speaker and two 6-inch speakers and a Mesa/Boogie Bass 400 Bass Head rack mounted in a Mesa/Boogie SUS-3 Super Shockmount System case and Mesa/Boogie Strategy 400 Stereo Slave Head.
Wyman traveled with the beloved bass rig during the Rolling Stones’ 1989-90 Urban Jungle World Tour that would be his last live concert with the band.
“In this new world of social distancing and isolation, music and the arts has brought us together and given us hope and salvation from the despair and loss that we’ve all felt these last months,” said Darren Julien, president and chief executive officer of Julien’s Auctions. “We thank Bill Wyman for his generous offering and are calling on all artists from film, music, sports, fashion and more to look into their closets and archives and donate an iconic item or two to this urgent initiative.”
Barbra Streisand, Billie Eilish, Blake Shelton, Brandon Flowers, Cher and several more artists have committed to donating items toward MusiCares, the charitable foundation of the Recording Academy, to support the initiative.
The auction will take place live in Beverly Hills and online at juliensauctions.com.