How much would you pay for a guitar signed by your favourite band? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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11-26-2003, 07:30 AM
My husband and I attended a charity dinner last night for The Special Olympics. It was a sports theme with lots of sports celebs wandering around, chatting with us ordinary folks, taking pictures and signing autographs. There was also a silent auction of, mostly, sports memorabilia.

One of the items being auctioned off, although not sports related, was an electric guitar signed by all three members of Rush. Now, I don't have a lot of cash, but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. So, I figured out how much cash I could scrape up and set a number in my head that I thought was reasonable and affordable. Well, that guitar ended up going for more than any other item at this auction. It sold for $3,500!!!! Way more than the number in my head.

It's not that I wouldn't pay that amount if I had the money. But, sadly, I don't.

So, share some of your experiences. How much would you pay for an item from your favourite band? How much have you paid for such items that you own? What's the craziest thing you've done to meet one of your faves? Or just share general brushes with greatness.

Here's a general brush with greatness, also Rush related. I was parking in a downtown lot about this time last year. There was a car that pulled in and parked in a spot just across the aisle from me. I got out of my car as the guy in the other car was getting out. I looked at him and thought to myself, "hey, that guy looks like Geddy Lee". Then it hit me that he looked way too much like Geddy Lee to not BE Geddy Lee. He looked at me and smiled, knowing that I had recognized him. But then he turned and walked away. He was also not alone, so I didn't pursue him. But was it ever cool to just unexpectedly run into him like that.

11-26-2003, 07:51 AM
I paid 1000 GBP for one of Mike Rutherford's guitars a while back. It's not signed but I have a certificate/letter confirming his ownership and I have a photograph of him playing on stage at Wembley Stadium in the late 80's which was provided with the guitar.

Genesis auctioned off a whole host of equipment on Ebay, in the main stuff which had been lying around The Farm Studios. They also sold things like road cases and a whole host of other gear and cables including drums and keyboards, speakers and mikes. The guitar was one of about 15 on the auction. A couple went for say 2000 GBP and one I think maybe 3000. I think I was 'lucky' in that my successful bid was the lowest of all the guitars sold. It also cost me another 75 GBP to get it shipped from London to my home. It's an original red sunburst 80's strat. I had a display case made for it and it hangs on a wall for all to see. It's been plugged in and briefly played .... once. I wouldn't sell it for any amount at all, ever.

I bought it on impulse and without reference to my good lady wife :o and I spent a good few months in apology mode ..........

11-26-2003, 08:13 AM
I'm certainly not a Rush or Mike Rutherford fan, and I doubt either one of you will have what amounts to a collectors' dream by any means, but you never know. I know that a Jimi Hendrix autographed guitar would be worth many, many thousands of dollars or more, because they are so very rare (I think there was just a big deal about one that was sold for $250,000 or so. His estate complained that it wasn't original or something...the details escape me). If it means something to you, I hope that would be your main, or only, reason for buying them, since there are so collectors items available these days with artists willing to sign anything/evertything for people.

I own four guitars that I bought to play, and I don't want anyone witing anything on them, and I can't think of anyone I'd want signing a perfectly fine instrument and destroying its asthetic value. I've seen plenty of signed guitars in the various Hard Rock Cafe's that I've been to, and they're always crappy guitars, so that's not a bad thing. I don't want to play a POS guitar, so they can sign their Strat and Les Paul copies all day long and hang 'em on a wall.

Just my 2 cents.

11-26-2003, 08:20 AM
I bought it on impulse and without reference to my good lady wife :o and I spent a good few months in apology mode ..........

Hehehe. I kept going to check the price on the Rush guitar and if it had been low enough for me to bid on, I wasn't going to tell my husband about it until after the fact either. ;)

That's totally cool Les. I should check out ebay more often.

Dusty Chalk
11-26-2003, 08:54 AM
I got Milla Jovovich's autograph after attending her concert in New York City. That's about the best I can do.

11-26-2003, 09:54 AM
Zero. I never understood the allure or value in autographs, but a lot of the rest of the world seems to disagree with me. But that's okay. I see the pleasure it brings to some people & I guess the world needs as many good vibes as it can get.

Six years ago today I stood in line to buy the then-new Ramones CD & video We're Outta Here, which came in an unusual box package & was a document of the final show the Ramones ever played. The band had officially broken up the year before, but they did an in-store at Tower Records to sign copies. It was a bit of an unusual thing because every member of the band was there except for one drummer who had been with them for a few years in the mid-1980s. So not only was that a first, since the band was gone, it was a pretty good bet that it was going to be a one-time-only event. And of course it was.

So I got home & listened to the thing. The video was really good, because it took some time to try to be an overview of their entire career, but the CD was just another live show. As a Ramones fan I like it plenty, but to anyone else it's just another Ramones show & their first live album was all anyone who's not a rabid fan would ever need or want. Point being, as cool as it was having it autographed, it wasn't & never would be a favorite of mine. So last year when I was helping to organize a benefit for a close friend with ALS (who kind of ironically played in Marky Ramone's band for awhile) it seemed like the perfect item to offer up in a raffle. It was a far more suitable purpose & I don't miss the thing.

As for guitars...I can see the appeal signed items would have for collectors & fans, I guess. I think a lot of players probably look at it differently. There is a 'memorabilia mentality' that I've just never had. I look at sports trading cards these days & they have cards with pieces of player's uniforms (usually game-worn) featured as a part of the cards that have, I swear, a sliver of a hitter's bat, or even a piece of a hardwood basketball floor, on/in the card. These are unnatural extremes, I guess, but still, the idea of autographing a twanger...what are you going to do with it, then, play it, or mount it on the wall? If it's one of those auction jobs it's not likely to be something most people are going to want to actually play, but if it's a real good piece of gtr, it seems like a shame to have it sitting on the wall. Though if you play it, you are potentially altering the state the instrument was in when signed, which affects the value. Then again, if you're playing it, value probably doesn't enter into the equation much for ya.

Dick Dale comes out into the crowd after his sets & autographs anything & everything anyone wants him to sign. Every show. And he's friendly & has no problem talking or telling stories. The guy worked with Leo Fender when he started building amps, created surf music, played with & knew the Beach Boys, & taught Hendrix a thing or two. So talking to him, eccentric though he is, is a valuable slice of rock history. Which I recommend heartily, autograph or not.

As a ridiculous aside, my friend with ALS had played a gig awhile back with some band opening up for Joan Jett. They know some people in common, so they'd crossed paths before. She signed his guitar for him, which was a little odd, because he wasn't really an autographs kind of guy. Last summer he auditioned for & got the gig playing with her...but had to turn down the opportunity because the ALS symptoms were starting to make it impossible for him to play & sing properly. And the guitar sits there...