Rolls-Royce’s connection with rock and roll is mostly about a certain Who man driving one into a swimming pool – an incident which may or may not have happened. Now the company is opening a new chapter in the brand’s relationship with musicians. As announced earlier, they are launching nine new bespoke Rolls-Royce Wraith Inspired by British Music models, celebrating the icons of British music and using their names to make more money, which is fair enough since it works both ways.
The nine bespoke Rolls-Royce Wraith Inspired by British Music will be bi ult in partnership with renowned British artists including Roger Daltrey CBE, Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Ray Davies, Ronnie Wood. the first four of the lot was unveiled at the Sanderson Hotel in Fitzroia, London by the artists who created them in partnership with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars: The Who frontman Roger Daltrey CBE, Sir Ray Davies of The Kinks, and Giles Martin, son of songwriter and producer Sir George Martin and a world-renowned producer and songwriter in his own right:
Among the most delightful highlights of these Rolls-Royce Wraith Inspired by British Music there are a representation of seminal The Who album ‘Tommy’s’ famous cover-art adorned to a bonnet, Sir George Martin’s number one records embroidered into Wraith’s signature waterfall and door-flights engraved with hand-written lyrics and quotes. Also notable are ‘Lyrical Copper’ exterior paint finish is completed with a subtle motif of the Union Jack Flag on each of the cars’ C-pillars, celebrating the indelible mark made by each artist on British popular culture.
Here’s the list of all nine Rolls-Royce Wraith Inspired by British Music and their details:
Roger Daltrey CBE – celebrating The Who
The Who’s lead singer and frontman, Roger Daltrey CBE, committed to creating two cars for the project. The first is inspired by his own personal music legacy, and features elegantly expressed pieces of iconography from The Who’s history. Design motifs on his The Who-inspired Wraith include the band’s famous ‘bullseye’ logo, adorning the face of the dashboard clock and stitched into the leather ‘waterfall’ between the two rear seats. The two copper door flights are engraved with famous lyrics from the band’s 1972 singles ‘Join Together’ and ‘I Can See for Miles’, from the 1967 album ‘The Who Sell Out’.
The headrests are embroidered with Daltrey’s signature, while the back of the driver’s seat headrests features a nod to the band’s habit of destroying its instruments at the end of a show. One of Daltrey’s most memorable experiences, this unique embroidery depicts Keith Moon’s ‘Pictures of Lily’ drum kit which – in a magnificent display of television pyrotechnics – famously exploded at the end of the band’s 1967 performance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on America’s CBS TV network.
The second of Roger Daltrey CBE’s cars has been created in collaboration with Mike McInnerney, the artist responsible for the famous album artwork of The Who’s seminal 1969 album ‘Tommy’. McInnerney has worked with Rolls-Royce’s surface finish experts to create an extraordinary expression of the rock opera’s iconic sleeve design – this truly unique car features the cover artwork of the album applied to the bonnet. Daltrey and McInnerney sought to express other elements of the album artwork throughout the car, with the Lyrical Copper exterior finished with a blue coachline of a bird in flight, a reference to the album sleeve.
Each of the four headrests are stitched with unique design motifs from the album artwork, while the song ‘Pinball Wizard’ has inspired the embroidered design of the rear cabin leather waterfall, featuring a tone-on-tone depiction of a pinball machine with contrasting pinball and flippers. The copper door flights are engraved with lyrics from ‘Tommy Can You Hear Me’ and ‘Listening to You / See Me’. The car will be a notable, and truly individual collectors’ item when it is sold later in the year, to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, of which Roger Daltrey CBE is a patron.
Roger Daltrey CBE commented: “It’s been immense fun working in collaboration with Rolls-Royce to create two cars which capture some of The Who’s iconography so beautifully. The ‘Tommy’ car is truly a work of art, and Mike McInnerney and Rolls-Royce’s designers have done a great job bringing to life themes from the album and its artwork. Both cars will raise vital funds and awareness for the Teenage Cancer Trust, and will be among the ultimate collectors’ pieces for any The Who aficionado.”
Sir Ray Davies – The Kinks
Sir Ray Davies has created a tribute to The Kinks, one of the most influential British rock bands of all time. Inspired by his personal legacy and that of the band, Sir Ray has selected lyrics from ‘Shangri-la’ and ‘Drivin’’ – from The Kinks’ 1969 album ‘Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)’ to be expressed on the door-flights. To add an even more personal touch, Rolls-Royce’s designers and craftspeople digitised and engraved Sir Ray’s own hand-writing.
The leather waterfall in the rear of the cabin is embroidered with the band’s iconic logo and the headrests with Sir Ray’s signature. Unique to this ‘Inspired by British Music’ car, Sir Ray was inspired to make his own mark on the two umbrellas housed within the Wraith’s doors, each engraved with a befitting alteration to the lyrics from ‘Sunny afternoon’ – ‘When it’s raining on a sunny afternoon, in the summer time.”
Sir Ray Davies said: “Working with Rolls-Royce’s designers on this car has given me the chance to express some of the themes of the music The Kinks enjoyed performing for many years. There were various elements of the car to work on and we had lots of opportunities to get creative with The Kinks-related themes. It was fun to create this unique collectors’ item and it’s gratifying to know that important charities will benefit.”
A tribute to Sir George Martin – ‘the fifth Beatle’
Songwriter and producer Giles Martin has created a tribute to his father, Sir George Martin, the famous record producer who was dubbed ‘the Fifth Beatle’ by Sir Paul McCartney. This tribute celebrates Sir George’s 30 number-one hit singles with design features that include embroidery of each song title in the rear cabin leather waterfall, and the producer’s signature stitched into the headrests. In celebration of the format with which Sir George made his mark upon the music world, the two copper door-flights feature an engraved quotation – “The recording is not what one hears, but what one must make others hear” – and the other, engraved details from the original handwritten arrangement for ‘Yesterday’ by The Beatles.
Giles Martin said, “My father had a huge impact on British music during his career, and I wanted the Wraith to celebrate a lifetime of achievements. It was a thrill working with the Rolls-Royce team to feature each of his 30 number-one hits, and I hope this is a fitting tribute to a figure who did so much to influence and enhance the world’s perception of a golden era in British popular music.”
Beneficiary Charity – The Fly Navy Heritage Trust
Sir George Martin CBE supported a wide range of charitable causes but one charity that was particularly close to his heart, the Fly Navy Heritage Trust, will benefit from of the sale of the Sir George Martin Rolls-Royce Wraith.
The Fly Navy Heritage Trust, under the brand name Navy Wings, relies on public donations to support its work in restoring, maintaining and flying a collection of rare and historically significant naval aircraft, preserving Britain’s great naval aviation heritage.
Dame Shirley Bassey
Dame Shirley Bassey celebrates a musical legacy which has seen her become one of the most popular female vocalists of all time, with a Wraith ‘Inspired by British Music’ marking a glittering career that has resulted in 37 studio albums, 79 weeks combined in the UK top 10 charts, and three James Bond title songs. Dame Shirley Bassey has used her Rolls-Royce Wraith ‘Inspired by British Music’ to bring to life some of her fondest memories from more than six decades in the spotlight.
Each of the door flights are engraved with lyrics from ‘I Am What I Am’ (1984) and ‘Big Spender’ (1967), the latter having become one of the Dame’s signature songs. The headrests are embroidered with a design inspired by the silhouette design of the 2007 album ‘Get The Party Started’. With three ‘007’ title songs to her name – ‘Diamonds are Forever’, ‘Moonraker’ and the seminal ‘Goldfinger’ – the rear leather waterfall is embroidered with a diamond, while the treadplates and Spirit of Ecstasy are fittingly finished in gold.
Challenging Status Quo
Created in collaboration with Francis Rossi OBE – lead singer and lead guitarist of Status Quo – the Status Quo Wraith celebrates five decades of music from the revered British rock band. Rossi OBE has brought to life the unique design of his iconic green-and-white Fender Telecaster guitar – one which he painted himself and still owns to this day – and the white-and-black Telecaster of his late friend and bandmate Rick Parfitt, with embroidered front headrests boasting a unique impression of each instrument. Inspired by the cover artwork from the band’s 1973 album ‘Hello!’, a silhouette of the four Status Quo legends is stitched into the leather waterfall, while the copper door flights are engraved with lyrics from ‘Caroline’ / ‘Don’t Drive My Car’.
“I’m delighted to be involved in a project that brings together many of my friends in British Music. Status Quo as a band have performed all over the world, meeting and working with incredible people, as we carved out our own story. Rolls-Royce also flies the flag for British creativity and is known throughout the world and I very much look forward to working with Rolls-Royce’s designers to create a fitting tribute to Status Quo’s musical legacy and also to Rick Parfitt who had a lifelong love affair with luxury cars.”
Ronnie Wood – ‘I Feel Like Playing’
Renowned as much for his career with TheRolling Stones as his role with Faces, Ronnie Wood has commissioned a Wraith ‘Inspired by British Music’ to celebrate his solo career. Wood’s signature is stitched into the headrests, with lyrics from ‘I Gotta See’ – taken from his seventh solo studio album ‘I Feel Like Playing’ (2010) – engraved onto the copper door flights. The album’s artwork was created by Ronnie Wood himself, and he has mirrored his cover art in the embroidery adorning the leather waterfall in the rear of the car.