Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    The Who - A Significant Piece of Pete Townshend's 1965 Stratocaster as Smashed on Stage in a 1968 Concert, also includes the Concert Poster, Autographs, Ticket Stub, Receipt, and Original Photos, with Full Provenance (Kansas City, MO, August 22, 1968). An incredible piece of Rock & Roll history. This is a complete archive of material related to a young man named Vance's attendance at a Who concert near his home town and his good fortune in catching a piece of Townshend's guitar and meeting the band after the show. The entire story is told in a signed and notarized statement from him, included in the lot, the transcribed text of which is found on our website. Amazingly, he managed to keep this collection of relics together for nearly fifty years. Included material is as follows.
    Pete Townshend's Guitar: Not just a small bit, but the entire pickguard on a 10.5" x 4" (overall) section of wood from the upper treble-side bout with the three single coil pickups, the tone and volume knobs, the switch, and all pots still intact. This was smashed at the end of their performance of "My Generation." At a later date, Pete's signature was obtained by Arthur Brown for the original owner on the pickguard: "For Vance/ Pete Townshend". Unfortunately, that has faded somewhat. As is.
    Concert Poster: A 23" x 28.5" original poster for this exact show. It features a large group photo with the text: "The Zaniest In-Person Rock Show Ever Seen In America! Featuring Peter Townshend". At the bottom is the ad for Jenkins Music Stores; this is where Vance ordered his tickets for the show. He managed to get it out of the store's window the next day. Fine.
    Autographs: Ink signatures of all four members on a lined 5.75: x 2.625" sheet, obtained after the concert by Vance. Quite faded and stained. Included is a 10" x 8" b&w photo from the period. Ticket Fair; photo with pinholes in the margins, Fine.
    Ticket Stub with Purchase Receipt: A 1.5" x 1.5" cardstock stub showing his seat as Right Center, Row A, Seat 1. Also, his carbon copy, 6.5" x 4", where he paid $35 cash in advance for seven tickets to the show to be mailed to him when available. Both Fine.
    Original Concert Photographs: Seventeen 3.5" square color snapshots from the concert taken from the first two rows by Vance and a friend. They show Pete playing this Strat and a few show him as he destroyed it. Fine. COA from Heritage Auctions.

    More Information:



    I grew up near Higginsville, Missouri, about 50 miles east of Kansas City. In 1968 I was in Kansas City one day, in line at Jenkins Music Store downtown to get tickets for a Quicksilver Messenger Service concert.


    While the person in front of me was buying his tickets, they put up a sign that said The Who were coming to the Music Hall in Municipal Auditorium on August 22nd. I bought the Quicksilver tickets and asked if I could buy Who tickets. They didn't have any tickets yet, but said I could pay for them then and they would mail them to me when they got them. I spent all the money I had with me and reserved 7 tickets in the 1st and 2nd row, in the center section. I left with a receipt for the tickets.


    Six friends and I went to the concert. I remember that Tom Schneider, Don Atchley, and Rick Rankin went. Rick thinks he took his girlfriend (now wife of many years) Margie Franklin. I'm not sure who the other two people were. Probably Ken Sturke and Jerry Neal as they were in a band with Tom and Rick and I spent a lot of time with them and was always bugging them to cover Who songs.


    Tom Schneider and I drove to the concert together. I had seat A1, first row, right in the center. I took photos during the concert as did someone sitting behind me (the back my head is in a couple of the pictures). I think it was Rick, but we're not sure.


    Pete Townshend smashed his 1965 Fender Stratocaster at the end of My Generation and threw several pieces into the crowd. I caught a piece with the pick guard, pickups and volume knobs. Rick caught a nice piece with the bridge. The neck went further back in the crowd.


    After the concert Tom and I hung around outside where the band would come out when they left. I thanked Pete for the guitar and we both got their autographs.


    That was a Thursday night. I was back in Kansas City on Saturday and went by Jenkins. The concert poster was still in the window. I asked if I could buy it and they gave it to me.


    I have kept the guitar and poster for 47 years. Amazingly given all the different places I've lived I also managed to keep the ticket stub & receipt, autographs, and photos from the concert. I put the Union Jack Who stickers on the guitar and poster sometime after the concert.


    In 1985 or 86, while I was living in Austin, Texas I got to know Arthur Brown, of the Crazy World of Arthur Brown. We became sort of related by marriage. Arthur was married to my now ex-wife's 2nd ex-husband's sister. Anyway, we played bridge together with some regularity and Arthur sang at our wedding. Arthur and Pete Townshend are old friends.


    I owned a pinball machine and Arthur and his son Ali would come over and play on occasion. One evening, in 1988 I think, we were playing pinball and Ali got ahead of me and wanted to play for $1 a point. I agreed and proceed to beat him by several thousand points. It was my machine after all. Arthur and I agreed to settle the debt by playing each other. If Arthur won, Ali's debt would go away. If I won, Arthur would get the guitar autographed by Pete the next time he saw him. In 1989 Arthur went to see Pete when he was playing in either Dallas or Houston and Pete signed the guitar.


    I am selling the guitar fragment, poster, ticket stub & receipt, autographs, and original photos to Rockaway Records. I attest that they are all authentic and were obtained by as described above.


    [signed] Vance Rabius

    October 19, 2015


    State of Texas, County of Harris


    Before me, Sheila M. Murraine, on this day personally appeared Vance Rabius, personally known to me to be the person whose name is subscribed to the foregoing instrument and acknowledged to me that he executed the same for the purposes and consideration therein expressed.


    Given under my hand and seal of office this 19th day of October, A.D., 2015.

    [Notary Seal]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2016
    24th-25th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,034

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $200,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $200,000 and $2,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 21 days left to consign to the 2019 September 22 2019 Fall Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - Beverly Hills Luxury Accessories - Beverly Hills!

    Learn about consigning with us

    We are extremely pleased with your company. Personally, I will ensure that if we go back to Dallas area we ask you guys for Mr. Walker again. I got nothing but praises from you and your team!!
    Rafael Vega,
    Miami, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 March 16 - 17 Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 March 16 - 17 Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,070,365