A fundraising auction of music memorabilia from Jimi Hendrix, The Edge, Bono, Paul McCartney and others brought in $2.4 million (1.76 million EUR), some of which will go to a charity that replaces musical equipment lost to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
"It was the best sale we've ever done," said Darren Julien, president and CEO of Julien's Auctions, which ran the event benefiting Music Rising.
A guitar owned by Jimi Hendrix was sold for $480,000 (352,785 EUR).
Music Rising was co-founded by The Edge, the U2 guitarist who donated his favorite instrument, a 1975 Gibson Les Paul that he has played for years. The guitar had been expected to bring $60,000 (44,098 EUR) to $80,000 (58,798 EUR), but it went for $288,000 (211,671 EUR), including the commission.
Other highlights included a pair of sunglasses donated by Bono that went for $24,000 (17,639 EUR), a guitar from Bob Dylan that sold for $192,000 (141,114 EUR), and a guitar from Paul McCartney that brought in $81,600 (59,974 EUR).
The event Saturday night at the Hard Rock Cafe was so popular that bidding went on for three hours after the scheduled conclusion, Julien said.
The final amount going to the charity had not been tallied yet, he said. For some items, the total selling price goes to Music Rising, while other items designated a portion of the proceeds.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969