The Mosrite guitar played by Johnny Ramone will be featured at a live auction event by Boston, MA based RR Auction this January.
The personally-owned and used red 1965 Mosrite Ventures V1 guitar, is signed on the body in black felt tip, “Best always, Johnny Ramone, 5/22/90.”
The six-string guitar features several modifications Ramone made to make the guitar fit his sound and style, the most significant being the replacement of the tremolo system with a stop bar tailpiece and installation of a DiMarzio FS-1 bridge pickup, as well as a tortoiseshell pickguard. Included in the sale, is the original hardshell case.
This is a rare instrument in its own right, and the only red guitar or Ventures Model 1 that Ramone owned; it was in his possession for at least seven years, from circa 1982–83 until he sold it in 1990; the first photographic evidence of Ramone playing the guitar comes from a show at the Eagle's Hippodrome in Seattle on May 5, 1983. Johnny most often used this guitar for TV appearances and it can be seen up-close during a 1988 performance on MTV.
In 1990, Ramone sold this guitar to friend and former Ramones band driver Gene Frawley, signing and dating it on the occasion. A subsequent owner later personally confirmed the ownership details with Ramone, who acknowledged that he owned and used the guitar throughout the 1980s before selling it to Frawley.
“This is one of just nine Mosrite guitars owned by Ramone known to exist—an exceedingly rare and historically important piece of music history,” says Bobby Livingston, Exec VP at RR Auction.
On September 15, 2004, Johnny Ramone died in his Los Angeles home at the age of 55 after a five-year battle with prostate cancer.