Johnny Ramone’s Iconic White Mosrite Sells for Nearly $1 Million at Auction
The down-picking punk legend famously never upgraded his guitar — a 1965 Mosrite Ventures II. Johnny had a second Ventures II in blue, which he famously bought due to its extremely low price and used prominently throughout the Ramones’ early years. He also used Gibsons on extremely rare occasions, but the white Mosrite was his most-played guitar by far and showed the wear of 20 years of touring.
"John Cummings [aka Johnny Ramone] originally purchased this guitar between October 23, 1977 and October 30, 1977, to replace his original blue Ventures II slab body, which was stolen from the Sire Records van (with rest of the band’s gear) on the night of October 22, 1977, after the band’s show at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago,” the RR Auction description reads. “Ironically, this guitar had been offered to Cummings earlier in 1977, but he passed on it feeling it was too expensive at $500, which was a little less than 10 times what he paid for his original Ventures II in 1974."
At the Sept. 25 auction, Johnny Ramone’s white Mosrite sold for $937,500. “The consignor was thrilled with the results and is very happy that the guitar is in the hands of someone who will curate Johnny Ramone's Mosrite for future generations to enjoy,” RR Auction Executive VP Bobby Livingston says.
Johnny Ramone retired in 1996, planning to never pick up the guitar again. "I never played the guitar for fun," Ramone told MTV in 1998. "I played to be up there on the stage performing for Ramones fans." Ramone never performed live again until his death in 2004.