Backbeat: Manny's Auctioning Michael Jackson Self-Portrait, Elvis's First Guitar, Rare Beatles Pix
Backbeat: Manny's Auctioning Michael Jackson Self-Portrait, Elvis's First Guitar, Rare Beatles Pix

The Beatles

"To Manny, keep one eye closed at all cost," scrawled Bob Dylan on well-known mid-'60s publicity photo in which the squinting singer had one fist pushed up on his smiling face.

"Manny" was Manny Goldrich, whose music instrument store on Manhattan's "Music Row," West 48th Street, was a mecca for musicians from the early 1930s through its closing in 2009. The store's owner, Sam Ash Music, subsequently took over the space for a guitar shop but, thankfully, photos of Dylan and many others that hung for years in Manny's were saved in storage.

"I'm in heaven when I'm shopping at Manny's," wrote David Byrne atop his publicity photo, a campy image of a doll-like Byrne floating in the clouds.

On Tuesday Sept. 13 and Wednesday Sept. 14, Guernsey's Auction House on East 73rd Street unveiled those photos and much more in a preview of a Rock & Roll Auction they will stage on Sept. 24 and Sept. 25 at 82 Mercer Street in Soho.

On the block will be hundreds of photos from Manny's, including those personally inscribed and autographed from: Buddy Holly, Janis Joplin, the Ramones, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Beatles, and others.

The Who

The Beatles also are featured in the auction via a collection of rarely seen set of photos taken by photographer Astrid Kirchherr, who met the band during their pre-Beatlemania days in Hamburg.

"Astrid was the one, really, who influenced our image more than anybody," said George Harrison, in a quote reported earlier this month in the New York Times.

Included are marvelously moody black-and-white portraits and a group shot taken at a fair in Hannover, Germany -- one of the best-known early images of the Beatles as leather-clad rockers.

Among other collectibles that will be offered at the auction are: Elvis Presley's first guitar, a Mercedes station wagon that was owned by John Lennon, original paintings by Jimi Hendrix and a self-portrait of a moonwalking Michael Jackson.

An additional preview of the items will be held at Guernsey's Auction House on Monday, Sept. 19.