Mick Fleetwood's hanging balls sell for over £100,000 at auction

The cover of Rumours alongside a close-up of Mick Fleetwood's hanging balls
(Image credit: Warners / Julien's Auctions)

The two balls dangling between Mick Fleetwood's legs on the cover of Fleetwood Mac's hugely successful Rumours album have been sold at auction for the princely sum of $128,000 (£104,000).

The wooden hanging balls, along with a signed art print, were one of the lots up for grabs at the weekend (December 3/4) in an auction of instruments, stage clothes, jewellery, and personal items owned by Fleetwood and his bandmates John and Christine McVie, hosted by Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.

Other items belonging to Fleetwood Mac's 75-year-old bandleader which went under the hammer included a black felt crow top hat custom-made for Stevie Nicks by Fleetwood with two attached taxidermy crows, a 1998 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Award, a Bill Clinton signed drumhead and Farewell Concert setlist, and a vintage 1967 Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac debut “7th Annual Jazz and Blues Festival Windsor” poster.

Items belonging to the late Christine McVie which were put up for the auction included a rust-coloured, velvet blazer the vocalist/keyboardist wore to the 1998 Brit Awards, a 1960s stage-played, chopped, and customised touring Hammond B-3 organ, and a pair of black, lace-up Zadig & Voltaire combat boots worn to the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. A dress worn by McVie on the back cover of Rumours sold for $56,250, more than five times its estimate of $10,000.

Martin Nolan, Executive Director and CFO of Julien’s Auctions, said before the auction: “These pieces from their storied five-decade career represent the mystique and magic of Christine McVie, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood, whose renowned musicianship, songwriting, vocal harmonies and camaraderie, have given the world a lifetime of illustrious performances and some of the most beloved and best-selling music ever recorded."

A portion of the auction proceeds were donated to MusiCares, to support the charity’s work providing critical services to underserved members of the music community.

Christine McVie passed away on November 30, aged 79.

A statement from Fleetwood Mac read: "There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie. She was truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure. She was the best musician anyone could have in their band and the best friend anyone could have in their life. We were so lucky to have a life with her. Individually and together, we cherished Christine deeply and are thankful for the amazing memories we have. She will be so missed."

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.