Rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia adds a splash of rebellion to any collection. When items like T-shirts and vinyl records are original, they can even be good investments. A recent auction by Bartkus Auctioneers in Indiana featured more than 500 items from the collection of the legendary Fort Wayne, Indiana, rock radio DJ Doc West.

The collection represents the spoils of West’s 40-plus years on the air. It includes autographed guitars from the world’s biggest rock stars—KISS, ZZ Top, Green Day, Queen’s Brian May—as well as autographed photos, platinum sales awards and even holiday cards.

West’s current radio home, WXKE, is well represented in the sale by a branded “Quiet Please On Air” studio sign, which sold for $575. The whimsical side of radio promotion also emerges in the form of a “Mick Jaguar” costume that brought $190. This isn’t a replica of the Rolling Stones’ lead vocalist. It is a soft, 78-inch-high three-piece jaguar mascot costume with a head, body, feet and radio station advertising on its chest.

Working in the radio industry offers perks like collectibles that aren’t sold in stores to fans. That often includes musical instruments, like a cymbal autographed by the hard rock band Godsmack, signed by vocalist Sully Erna and others, that sold for $265. Another is a festive Christmas card autographed by the members of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden which brought $270. The card’s greeting (“Beast Wishes In Y2K”) nods to the band’s music catalog and flamboyant live show. Also inside the card are signatures of and greetings from band members Steve Harris, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, Bruce Dickinson, Nicko McBrain and Janick Gers.

The vinyl resurgence means that rare and original LPs tend to be in demand. A promotional-only KISS vinyl record, First Kiss … Last Licks, sold for $242. The limited-edition LP includes songs from the over-the-top hard rock band’s 1989 album Hot in the Shade and some rarities, like demos of early 1970s hits “Deuce” and “Strutter.” Classic rock also remains a popular draw. A 30-by-25-inch silver inflatable blimp (pictured on cover) emblazoned with a logo for Led Zeppelin and the record label Atlantic Records brought $219. It’s the perfect thing to put on a shelf (or hang from the ceiling) to add some rock edge to a room.

As a teenager, West saw the Doors in 1968 in Cleveland. Later in life, he obtained a concert poster autographed by the band’s guitarist, Robby Kreiger, advertising an August 4, 1966, Doors concert in Greenwich Village, New York City, with special guest Jefferson Airplane. The 22-by-14-inch poster auctioned for $276.

Vintage band T-shirts also remain one of the most in-demand rock & roll items, with shirts from the 1970s through the 1990s fetching hefty price tags depending on the artist. West’s collection naturally contains some rare gems, such as an XL T-shirt for the British rock band Pink Floyd that sold for $253. Designed by the band’s virtuoso guitarist David Gilmour, the black shirt features a drawing of a pig and dates to Pink Floyd’s 1977 tour supporting their Animals LP.

Photos courtesy of Bartkus Auctioneers, 11595 E. State Rd., 205, Laotto, Indiana, 46763. The August 13, 2022, Doc West Rock-n-Roll Memorabilia auction can be viewed at BartkusAuctioneers.com.

Led Zeppelin display zeppelin

Led Zeppelin display, silver inflatable blimp with red nose, band and Atlantic Records logos, 30 in. l. x 25 in. dia., $219.

 

Kiss vinyl album

Kiss vinyl record album, First Kiss … Last Licks, pictures band members in costume and blindfolded in street clothes, marked “Limited Collectors Edition” on front and “Promotional Copy Not For Sale” on back, 12 1/2 in. sq., $242.

 

Mick Jaguar advertising costume

Rock104 “Mick Jaguar” costume, three-piece jaguar mascot costume includes head, body and feet, advertising on chest, 78 in. h., $190.

 

Autographed Christmas card, Iron Maiden

Christmas card autographed by Iron Maiden, inside reads “Beast Wishes In Y2K” and signed by band members, $270.

 

Doors concert poster

Poster autographed by Robby Kreiger, guitar player for The Doors. Poster advertises Jim Morrison and The Doors concert, Aug. 4, 1966, in Greenwich Village, New York City, with special guest Jefferson Airplane, 22 in. h. by 14 in. w., $276.

 

Radio station On Air sign

WXKE Quiet Please On Air sign, FM radio station serving the Fort Wayne, Indiana, area, $575.

 

Autographed cymbal, Godsmack

Cymbal autographed by Godsmack, signed by Sully Erna and others, $265.

 

Pink Floyd T-shirt

Pink Floyd Animals T-shirt, pictures drawing of a pig, designed by David Gilmour, Pink Floyd’s Animals concert tour, 1977, size XL, $253.

 

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