Fifty years after his first appearance on the show that became known as "American Bandstand," Dick Clark is ready to let go of the microphone, and many other objects he accumulated during his career as a rock 'n' roll host.
The legendary television host is auctioning off close to 1,000 items from his vast collection of musical memorabilia, including the microphone he used beginning July 9, 1956, his first day on the rock 'n' roll show that made him famous.
"It's tough to part with that one," Clark said of the microphone. Its auction value has been estimated by Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's auction house, at between $10,000 and $100,000.
2Among the items up for grabs at the auction, pictured from the top of this page:
• The tasseled bustier Madonna wore on her first big tour, and the harmonica Bob Dylan played on the tour immortalized in the movie, "The Last Waltz."
• Michael Jackson's single beaded glove from 1983, the performer's moonwalking phase, when "Thriller" was a sensation; and Elton John's signed red and yellow boots.
• A guitar made for Dick Clark by Bo Diddley.
• The first Frank Sinatra recording—a performance of "Our Love" made during an experimental vinyl recording session in New York on March 18, 1939. The record, shown at a preview by auctioneer Nicole Parisi, is currently owned by Mary Mane, 84, whose husband Frank Mane recorded the session. It is the only item not owned by Clark in the collection to be auctioned. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
3Other items to be sold include a left-handed bass guitar that Paul McCartney played when he was a Beatle, a suit worn by John Lennon, and a guitar Bruce Springsteen played on "The River" tour.
Clark, now 76, describes himself as "a pack rat" since childhood and said his scripts and memorabilia filled 28,000 square feet in a California warehouse.
"I've got every Life magazine that was ever printed, because my grandmother saved them for me," he said. "I've got most of the Playboy magazines. I've got Fortune - lovely photographs in there. I saved everything."
Clark, who suffered a stroke in 2004, still goes to work daily and undergoes therapy, Ettinger said.
4The auction is scheduled for Dec. 5 and 6 at Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan, and online on eBay. Guernsey's said it would be a no-reserve auction, with everything selling for the highest bid.
Much of the profits are to go to the T.J. Martell Foundation, which was founded by the music industry to raise money for research on cancer and AIDS.