King Crimson’s Mellotrons

In March 1999, Robert Fripp put his Mellotrons up for auction.
None were sold during this sale, Fripp having accepted none of the offers offered.

Mellotron Mark II #113 | In the Court of the Crimson King | Thrak
Mellotron Mark II #232 | In the Wake of Poseidon
Mellotron M400 #211 | Islands | Larks ’Tongue in Aspic | Starless
Mellotron M400 #354 | Islands | Larks ’Tongue in Aspic | Starless
When Robert Fripp dissolved King Crimson in 1974, John Wetton joined Uriah Heep with this Mellotron, which would be acquired again by Fripp years later.
Mellotron M400 #1199 | Red
Black M400 acquired in 1974

Photos: Robert Cervero

John Lennon and his Mellotron

The Beatles first discovered the Mellotron during a visit to the IBC studios in London on August 9, 1965.
Totally enthusiastic, John Lennon ordered a Mark II which was delivered to him on August 16, 1965. Several improvised sessions with this Mellotron were recorded in his house in Weybridge.

Mike Oldfield and the Mellotron

During an auction of equipment from the Abbey Road studios on October 15 and 16, 1980, Mike Oldfield acquired for £1,000 the Mellotron FX Console which was used in particular on The White Album by The Beatles.
There is no record of recordings of this Mellotron by Oldfield.
In 1993, Streetly Electronics bought this SFX. It was put up for auction at Christie’s Rock Memorabilia in 1994 but was not sold.
Streetly then contacts Paul McCartney who will eventually become the owner of this Mellotron.

Sound International
November 1980

Ken Townsend, director of the EMI / Abbey Road studios at the auction in October 1980

Streetly Electronics archive photos

Thanks to Martin Smith and John Bradley for permission to post these photos

Meetings with John Bradley and Martin Smith (Streetly Electronics)

April 1997 : First meeting with Martin and John in Paris to restore my first M400
Photos by Mathieu Roger, in his apartment

August 1997: First trip to Staffordshire

August 2005: Second trip to Staffordshire at Martin Smith’s, to retrieve my M300, after a complete restoration

UK trip - Août 2005
From left to right: John Bradley, me, Mathieu Roger, Martin Smith, Brian Soukal