A rare first ‘pressing’ of The Who’s 1965 album My Generation signed by all four of its’ band members sold at auction recently for a staggering £11,000 in a sale of music memorabilia, posters and autographs at Excalibur auctions near Watford, which was 13 times its pre-sale estimate of £800.
This was the first time that a fully signed copy of the British band’s debut album had come to auction and it was also a first ‘pressing’, meaning a record that was pressed from the first original masters. Even more excitingly is that it was offered by someone with a direct link to the band and bore all four signatures of the band members (whereas most items relating to the band tend to only have one or two). It sold to an American collector, who was bidding via the internet.
Commenting on the sale Auctioneer Jonathan Torode of Excalibur Auctions, said: “It was an honour to offer such an iconic piece of music history for sale today. For a Who fan this was the ultimate buy, as it was signed by all of the band members and was the first ever pressing of the album. It was hard to put an estimate on such a piece, as one has never appeared at auction before and we are thrilled to witness it selling for over 13 times its’ estimate – achieving an amazing £11,000”
The Who, comprising Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon made the album just after their chart success with several singles. It was released by Brunswick record label in the UK in December 1965 and while it reached number five in the UK charts, it has retrospectively been called ‘one of the best rock albums of all time.’
The seller of the album went to school with the son of English music / film producer and esteemed band manager Bill Curbishley of Quadrophenia fame – the sixth studio album by The Who, released in 1973. At the time My Generation was released The Who, who formed in 1964 were on their way to stardom, having enlisted Keith Moon on the drums and changed their band name from The Detours, having briefly been named The High Numbers.
The album cover features a photo of the band standing next to oil drums, looking upwards to the camera. John Entwistle wears a jacket with a Union Jack pattern draped around his shoulders, while Pete Townshend wears his old school scarf!
This version of the album went out of print in 1980, making these first ‘pressings’ extremely sought-after and highly rare, as there was no UK version of My Generation available until a deluxe version remaster of it in 2002.