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From Ringo’s drums to Clapton’s Strat, why is there suddenly so much rock memorabilia for sale?


THE BEAT GOES ON: The pieces of the drumset that Ringo Starr played for the Beatles’ famed 1964 Ed Sullivan Show appearance have been econstituted by billionaire Jim Irsay, an avid rock ’n’ roll collector.

IN JANUARY, 32 NFL franchise owners met in Houston to decide which of three teams would be moving to Los Angeles—a decision with the potential to massively change two of four metropolitan economies (the Rams won, St. Louis lost). During a break in the haggling, Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, huddled with Paul Allen, owner of the Seattle Seahawks. Their chat turned from football to another shared passion. “Paul,” Irsay confided, “I’m just glad you weren’t in on Ringo’s drum kit.” The two are both major players in the world of high-stakes rock ’n’ roll memorabilia collecting. Just the month before, Irsay had been high bidder on an auction item—Ringo Starr’s drum kit—and he was relieved that Allen hadn’t brought his deep pockets and unblinking determination to the proceedings.

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Friends and rivals for most of their lives, top Conservatives David Cameron and Boris Johnson are now in open warfare over Britain’s role in the EU. by Isabel Oakeshott.