Lenny Bruce & the Post-War Counterculture

PBA Galleries
1233 Sutter Street
94109 San Francisco, CA
United States
[email protected] · +1 (0)415 9892665 · +1 (0)415 9891664

Date of the auction: 13.06.2019

Back

Image
Lenny Bruce's address books

22x16 cm (8¾x6½") or smaller, flexible covers. The entries include business contacts, other comedians and entertainers, legal contacts, personal contacts etc. Many entries are certainly secretarial, but many are clearly in Bruce's hand

Lot #: 1

Estimate: US$2,000 - US$3,000

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Vintage audio tapes of Lenny Bruce performances

Reel-to-reel tapes in original boxes, with typed labels. 8 are 5" in diameter, 4 are 7" in diameter. Accompanied by a set of CD's containing transfers from the tapes. Riffs on obscenity trials, free speech, sex, church, marriage, the police, taxes, etc. The performances at the Gate of Horn in

Lot #: 2

Estimate: US$5,000 - US$8,000

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Lenny Bruce's bar tabs

Each approx. 20x10.5 cm (8x4¼"). Lenny drank well and tipped generously

Lot #: 3

Estimate: US$300 - US$500

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Lenny Bruce's bar tabs

Each 18x10.7 cm (7x4¼"). Lenny seems to have been a generous tipper

Lot #: 4

Estimate: US$300 - US$500

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Lenny Bruce's bar tabs

Lot #: 5

Estimate: US$300 - US$500

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Lenny Bruce writes to Melvin Belli

One page, retained typed carbon, unsigned, on Bruce's South Doheny Drive letterhead. Bruce begins with reference to a Melvin Belli sexual encounter, "Please don’t fuck me around. Did that chick, the seventeen year old goddess that you asked for seconds on (so I don’t assume she gave you a dose

Lot #: 6

Estimate: US$1,000 - US$1,500

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Note from Lenny Bruce to lawyer Melvin Belli

Unsigned file copy, with Bruce’s original handwritten draft on a brown paper bag, and the original mailing envelope in which it was sent to his secretary Jan Mathews. Memo from Lenny Bruce to legendary lawyer Melvin Belli, with marvelous association, reading in large part: "ASSAULT TRIAL - Subpoena

Lot #: 7

Estimate: US$2,000 - US$3,000

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Melvin Belli & Lenny Bruce's 1962 L.A. trial

Typed correspondence with some holographic notes by Lenny Bruce. Comprises: a) Typed carbon from Bruce to Belli. 24 Nov 1962, 1-page. Bruce has December engagement at the Gate of Horn in Chicago but someone in Belli’s office apparently set the trial on dates that conflict. He is asking Belli to get

Lot #: 8

Estimate: US$1,500 - US$2,500

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Lenny Bruce plans gig at Berkeley Community Theater

Autograph letter in red ink, an unsigned draft, possibly incomplete as the letter ends abruptly. Bruce asks for a cashiers check, apparently because he wasn’t paid for an appearance the prior year. Written on the back of a letter from Harry Kalven, Jr., at the University of Chicago Law School, to

Lot #: 9

Estimate: US$300 - US$500

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Lenny Bruce's Kennedy routine during election campaign

5 leaves, on rectos only, with numerous pencil holograph corrections and annotations by Bruce, followed by another copy of the typescript without corrections. 28x20.5 cm (11¼x8"), in blue paper binder. Ruminations on politics, our political and economic system, and JFK during his successful

Lot #: 10

Estimate: US$2,000 - US$3,000

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Carbon typescript for Lenny Bruce screenplay

[4], 93 leaves, carbon typescript on rectos only. Plus 13-leaf typed & handwritten budget for the movie. 29x21.5 cm (11½x8¾"), unbound. A thriller, never produced, possibly a collaboration either with photojournalist William Karl Thomas or Hollywood Ten screen writer Alvah Bessie (whose annotated

Lot #: 11

Estimate: US$1,500 - US$2,500

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Transcripts for Lenny Bruce breakout performances, 1958

59 pages on leaves typed on rectos only, comprising 17 pages for June 13, 1958 routine; 21 pages for October 7, 1958 show; 21 pages for October 25th, 1958 show, and several short routines. about a third of the pages with Bruce’s holographic corrections and notations. 28x20.5 cm (11x8½"), binder with

Lot #: 12

Estimate: US$7,000 - US$10,000

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Honey Bruce's tell-all memoir of her marriage to Lenny Bruce

309 pp. Quarter cloth, in dust jacket. Third Printing. Honey Bruce's tell-all memoir of her marriage to comedian Lenny Bruce. Inscribed by Honey Bruce on front free endpaper, April 8, 1982. Laid in is a photo copy of a picture depicting Lenny Bruce, also inscribed by Honey

Lot #: 13

Estimate: US$200 - US$300

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Lenny Bruce's business records

Housed in a banker's box, with not much room left over. Of the 60 or so with Bruce’s holographic annotations or notes, some have just a few words to approve an expenditure or explain what it was for [$200 to take Playboy magazine writer Shel Silverstein out to dinner in 1962!]; others up to a full

Lot #: 14

Estimate: US$5,000 - US$8,000

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Check signed by Lenny Bruce as Leonard A. Schneider

Printed check filled out in ink, for $1,000, payable to Lenny Bruce, in Bruce’s hand and signed by him with his birth name Leonard A. Schneider. Also endorsed by Bruce on the back. Checks signed by Bruce as Leonard Schneider [as opposed to Leonard Schneider aka Lenny Bruce] are quite scarce

Lot #: 15

Estimate: US$300 - US$500

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Lenny Bruce check returned for insufficient funds

Printed check filled out in ink, for $20, made out to Cash. Lenny Bruce seems to be facing financial challenges, his check being denied, with "Insufficient funds" notice affixed to the check, and red "Endorsement Cancelled" rubberstamp on the back

Lot #: 16

Estimate: US$300 - US$500

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Lenny Bruce sells records at S.F.'s City Lights

Typed letter serving as a contractual agreement, signed by McBride, and also signed by Bruce in acceptance of the proposed change. On City Lights Books letterhead. Bruce consigned 65 copies of his self-produced record to City Lights, but they had sold only two. The store asks permission to reduce

Lot #: 17

Estimate: US$500 - US$800

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Lenny Bruce's breakout at Chicago's Cloisters night club

Printed contract filled out in pencil. 11x8½". Printed form contract completed in pencil, including Bruce’s signature. Until the Cloisters, Bruce had played mostly a few small clubs in Los Angeles and San Francisco; he was virtually unknown outside the west coast. Hugh Hefner caught Bruce’s act at

Lot #: 18

Estimate: US$800 - US$1,200

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Copies of Lenny Bruce letters with rare content

12 pp. total. 3-page draft letter from Bruce to an unknown recipient explaining why Bruce voted for John F. Kennedy. 2-page letter from Bruce to Max, Sol, and Saul [Fantasy Records] about possibly breaking their contract. Sept 12, 1960. 7-page reply to a club owner who read a critic’s review in

Lot #: 19

Estimate: US$300 - US$500

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Love letter to Lenny Bruce

Autograph letter, signed Lynn, 2 pp., on rectos of 2 sheets of writing paper. Handwritten love note to Lenny Bruce when he was a patient at Cedars of Lebanon hospital in Los Angeles. Bruce was flown there from San Francisco after he fell [or jumped] from the second floor of a North Beach hotel

Lot #: 20

Estimate: US$300 - US$500

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Letter to Lenny Bruce from a fan

Autograph letter, in ink, signed with initials. A one-page holographic letter and mock basketball ticket - from a fan who caught Bruce’s act in Baltimore in February 1961. Probably retained by Bruce because it skillfully satirizes his act. “I thought you might be interested in a basketball game we

Lot #: 21

Estimate: US$200 - US$300

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Significant performances by Lenny Bruce

Letters, invoices, etc., relating to significant performances by Bruce. Includes: a) 440 Club [San Francisco]: two typed invoices from Bruce’s management agency for his April-May 1958 engagement at the 440 Club in North Beach -- this was Bruce’s breakout SF performance. Jazz/rock critic Ralph J

Lot #: 22

Estimate: US$300 - US$500

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Birthday poem to Lenny Bruce

One page, in ink, signed Sheila. “What does he look like this man on the hill / with his books of justice and his plastic reels

Lot #: 23

Estimate: US$200 - US$300

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Letter to Lenny Bruce c.1961

Typed letter, 2 pages on 2 leaves, stapled. Provocative letter referring at various passages to "Campbell's Hallucogenic Mushroom Soup," filming a group-improvised orgy, "Slavery Riders," etc., and noting that Bruce "may be making an impact on comedy parallel to the impact of Charlie Parker on

Lot #: 24

Estimate: US$200 - US$300

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Lenny Bruce writes about error in trial, 1964

Two pages, on single sheet folded in half, being the back of a photocopy of a court document from 1963 stating Bruce to be a drug addict. Written in ink, signed with initials LB. Very rough, some sentences incomprehensible. “...a superior court document was antedated, a superior court reported

Lot #: 25

Estimate: US$1,500 - US$2,500

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Lenny Bruce tries to get out of record contract

Autograph letter, signed by Lenny Bruce. Two pages, on both sides of single sheet. The letter concerns record sales in 1962; possibly trying to establish improper reporting of sales to get out of a recording contract and still retain a $25K advance

Lot #: 26

Estimate: US$500 - US$800

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Lenny Bruce buys a drum set

Pink NCR purchase receipt, signed by Bruce in blue ink at the bottom. 28x21.5 cm (11x8½"). Purchase contract for a Gretsch drum set, for $338.52 (on which Bruce paid $34.52 down) - Bruce lists his marital status as single (he was divorced in 1959), perhaps the purchase was in celebration of being

Lot #: 27

Estimate: US$400 - US$600

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Eulogy service for Lenny Bruce

One page. On Spector Productions letterhead, signed by Phil Spector in the plate. The Eulogy Service was to be held at Eden Memorial Park in Mission Hills, California. Accompanied by a vintage photostat of Bruce’s 1925 birth certificate

Lot #: 28

Estimate: US$200 - US$300

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Agreement for Lenny Bruce concerts in 1964

Typed 1 page agreement for three concerts in May 1964 in Boston, Philadelphia and Detroit. Signed by Friedman but not signed by Bruce. At the top of the letter, Bruce has lined out J.Z.Z. Productions and written in blue ink “I want deal between me & Don”, returning it with a copy of his 1959

Lot #: 29

Estimate: US$500 - US$800

Date: 13 Jun 2019

Image
Judy Garland attends Lenny Bruce act in Chicago

Autograph letter, one page, in ink, on The Croyden hotel letterhead. Bruce writes that he “Will be home monday no jobs yet except unimportant ones. Judy Garland came last night and flipped over me with Sid Luft. See you soon…” The note is oddly signed “Gabel” but it is clearly Bruce’s handwriting

Lot #: 30

Estimate: US$700 - US$1,000

Date: 13 Jun 2019