Sale Preview | Nye & Company’s Pop Culture Auction

Michael Klenfner (1946-2009)


“Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news!” So sang Chuck Berry in 1956 at the onset of the rock-and-roll age, and the big news at the start of 2013 is the sale of a preeminent collection of keepsakes, rarities and trophies that chart the some of the most monumental moments and careers in rock-and-roll history.

Now, thanks to Nye and Company, baby-boomers, rock-and-roll fans, Dead Heads, and even groupies have the chance to acquire these talismans for their own enjoyment, from January 22 through February 5, 2013. This great trove of rock memorabilia from signed guitars to autographed back-stage passes goes on sale — on iGavel, the online auction platform founded by Lark Mason, the nationally known Antiques Roadshow television personality.

The origin of these precious rock artifacts, with estimates ranging from $50 to $1,000, springs from colorful life of  record executive Michael Klenfner, who during the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s regularly back-slapped and shoulder-rubbed with the biggest boldface names in backbeat music. You name them, Klenfner knew them: The Grateful Dead, The Beach Boys, Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Boz Scaggs, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Patti Smith, the Outlaws, the Marshall Tucker Band, Billy Joel and The Eagles.

Klenfner and his wife Carol, a former publicist for such Rock and Roll legends as The Rolling Stones, The Who, Elton John, The Doors, Cat Stevens, Aerosmith, Jethro Tull, to name a few, recognized from Day One that rock-and-roll was no mere passing trend but rather an enduring musical expression for the ages. Evidencing this astutely correct insight are the mementos that they meticulously preserved and that now bear witness to rock’s glorious history and stature. Posters, T-shirts, set lists, tour jackets, guitars and all-access backstage passes the Klenfners amassed a warehouse full of these unique and irreplaceable treasures.


Highlights from the sale:

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About Michael Klenfner

It’s little wonder that Klenfner was named one of Rolling Stone’s “Heavy 100” and New York Magazine’s “Hot 100” for the pivotal role he played in so many storied rock and roll careers.

Klenfner was also an hands-on participant in some of rock’s landmark events, working the security detail at Fillmore East and pitching in as part of the on-stage crew at Woodstock. A year later Klenfner joined New York’s WNEW-FM as music director and moved on become the first album promoter at Columbia Records. Soon to follow were stints as V.P. at Arista, Atlantic and Front Line Management. As an industry heavyweight and ultimate insider, Klenfner traveled with the Rolling Stones and signed the Blues Brothers for their first record deal. In turn, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd wrote a special cameo for him in the Blues Brothers movie of 1980, wherein he essentially played himself as the president of the made-up “Clarion Records.” Around this time, Klefner’s insider know-how led to his own rock-and-roll consulting business, a field he invented. Clients included Bob Pitman at MTV; Don Ienner at Sony; Clive Davis at BMG; and Charles Koppelman and Martin Bandier at SBK and The Hard Rock.

About Nye and Company Auctioneers and Appraisers

Located in Bloomfield, New Jersey, Nye and Company Auctioneers and Appraisers is a leading regional auction house founded by John Nye in 2003. He worked at Sotheby’s for 15 years, serving as Loan Portfolio Manager, Cataloger, Head of the Arcade Furniture Department, and Senior Vice President and Department Head of the American Furniture and Decorations Department. Nye appears regularly on the award-winning PBS series Antiques Roadshow.

Nye and Company is located at 20 Beach Street in Bloomfield, New Jersey For more information, phone: 973-984-6400 or visit