Julien’s Auctions, the industry-leading music memorabilia auction house, returns to Music City with an arsenal of some of the most historically important and greatest guitars ever played on stage, screen, and in studio in their exclusive MUSIC ICONS exhibition at the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum running May 15th through May 18th.  Fans, guitar aficionados and music collectors will have a chance to feast before their eyes a pantheon of legendary guitars played by rock gods, John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Robbie Robertson, Randy Bachman, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, and Mark Knopfler on this tour stop before heading to New York for their final exhibition and auction at the two day MUSIC ICONS blockbuster taking place Wednesday, May 29th, and Thursday, May 30th, 2024 live at Hard Rock Cafe in New York and online at juliensauctions.com.

After its outstanding inaugural Music auction in Nashville in 2023, which reaped two world records and million-dollar sales of the iconic and legendary guitars of Eric Clapton and Kurt Cobain, Julien’s presentation at the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum marks the company’s growth strategy and presence in the area. In support of this commitment, Julien’s announced today that Cristy Barber, a Grammy Award-winning music executive based in Nashville, was appointed VP of Pop Culture & Business Development to head its expansion which includes the opening of its new office in Nashville and curation of Music auctions that will celebrate the genre’s rich musical heritage and the enduring legacies of its artists.

Cristy Barber has held leadership positions at Capitol Records, Columbia Records, Island Records and Elektra, having served as VP of Marketing and Promotions at VP Records, and President of the Marley Family-owned labels Tuff Gong/Ghetto Youths. Most recently she was the VP of Global Marketing & Brand Partnerships at Iconoclast, handling the legacies of artists like Tony Bennett, Robbie Robertson, and David Cassidy amongst others. Over the course of her career, she has worked with artists such as Jay-Z, Pharrell, Method Man & Redman, DMX, Sean Paul, and Beenie Man. Since her start in 1992, Cristy has an unparalleled track record of developing, growing, and promoting global artists – and managing their legacies.

This unparalleled exhibition of axes will be led by the historic re-appearance of John Lennon’s long-lost Framus 12-string Hootenanny acoustic guitar. Long forgotten and believed to have been lost, this extraordinary guitar was recently found in an attic in the UK after being unseen for over 50 years and was unveiled to the world by Julien’s Auctions at Hard Rock® Cafe Piccadilly Circus in London at a press conference that was live streamed. Heard and seen in the recording of The Beatles’ Help! album and film and many of the Fab Four’s greatest hits from the 1960s, it is considered the most important Beatles guitar ever to come to market and is expected to make history not only as the highest-selling Beatles guitar but potentially the highest selling guitar ever sold at auction this May.

Bob Dylan and Robbie Robertson’s historic 1965 Fender Telecaster guitar will electrify the exhibition. The Telecaster, lovingly referred to as the “workhorse,” burst onto the music scene making history as the guitar played by acoustic folk icon Bob Dylan when he “went electric” in 1966. The Telecaster broke ground on Blonde on Blonde, Isle of Wight, Music from Big Pink, The Band, Watkins Glen, Stage Fright, and more and a list of studio credits that includes the likes of Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Jesse Winchester, and of course, The Band.

Taking center stage will be Canadian rock maverick and founder of Bachman Turner Overdrive and The Guess Who, Randy Bachman’s 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard, famously known as “The American Woman Guitar,” the axe that gave birth to one of rock and roll’s greatest songs of all time. The well-traveled storied Les Paul with a sunburst maple top is the centerpiece of Bachman’s collection of over 200 of his most coveted and museum-quality guitars is heading to auction from his five-decade career that brought the world a catalog of rock classics that includes “These Eyes,” “Laughing,” “Undun,” and “No Time.” 

Hurtling out of the mosh pit is the original and legendary 1974 Gibson Les Paul Custom, owned and stage-played by punk rock behemoth Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols. This heavily play-worn instrument bears authentic marks of its rebel past, from its cigarette smoke-yellowed finish to visible breaks and repairs from the Pistols’ performances of punk anthems such as “Anarchy in the UK” and “God Save the Queen.”

Music Icons’ charity initiatives will be part of the celebration with a special item offered by The King’s Trust: Mark Knopfler’s 1987 wine red Gibson Custom Shop Edition Chet Atkins Country Gentleman semi-hollow body electric given to the Dire Straits legend by Chet Atkins himself and signed by the Country Music Royal who, along with Owen Bradley and Bob Ferguson, helped create the Nashville sound.

“Julien’s is thrilled to be back in Nashville to host this incredible exhibition of some of the greatest guitars in all of rock history at the world-class Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum. This event welcomes enthusiasts and collectors to discover Rock and Roll’s musical heritage through these pieces of music history ahead of their auction in May,” says David Goodman, CEO of Julien’s Auctions. “The showcase represents Julien’s growing presence and development in Music City led by the new addition to our senior leadership team, Cristy Barber, whose dynamic experience and award-winning career in the music industry will launch Julien’s as the pre-eminent auction house in this marketplace.”