It’s not uncommon to buy a tshirt at a gig that you’ve been to. It’s not uncommon to maybe, purchase a poster, or a special edition vinyl album you’ve been eyeing off for awhile.
However, there is a huge industry out there for the buying and selling of vintage memorabilia that perhaps goes that little bit too far.
It’s not uncommon for bands to throw out their old guitar picks, battered drum sticks and sweaty towels into the audience. Take a gander at ebay.com and there is a large amount of items listed from fans who have caught items at concerts. The only thing that would be concerning is – There is no real way to be certain that what you’re buying is the real deal. And you certainly don’t want to end up with a sweaty towel of a complete stranger, rather than a heart throb musician. While there is this unofficial type of memorabilia, there is naturally the band endorsed type thats sells with much more ease.
It’s often been said that KISS have the most music memorabilia products available in the world. These aren’t just limited edition items either, some of their more famous products are still in production due to their high demand. These aren’t just limited edition dolls, or maybe the occasional tshirt. There is an entire community out there that is dedicated to finding piece of memorabilia that you might not find elsewhere.
KISS had candy bars, comic books, tv shows, stubby holders, action figures, magnets, and even toiletry products. For this reason, KISS obviously have the monopoly on the memorabilia corner of the industry. There are conventions, as well as smaller meetups for diehard fans to trade and swap according to their value and vintage.
It is not uncommon at all for a rare release KISS product to sell for much more than an original painting by a known artist; it’s fair to say that KISS fans know exactly what they want.
It’s not just KISS however. Bands like ABBA, The Bee Gees, and Kylie Minogue have all had their fair share of memorabilia floating around the market like alarm clocks, costumes and even lunchboxes.
Currently though, it’s fair to say that Miley Cyrus, better known as Hannah Montana may one day out-merchandise KISS. It’s hard to go anywhere near a group of kids that aren’t talking about Hannah Montana, yet dressed head to toe in her merchandise. With shoes, clothes, lunchboxes, bags, hats, bed frames, desks, rollerskates, and even toothbrushes with her name and picture printed all over it, she is fast becoming a huge contender for the favourite of overly obsessive memorabilia collectors.
There is of course, the memorabilia to be treasured. Rare releases of albums on vinyl, and bootleg copies of once in a lifetime gigs are a great piece to hold onto. Vinyl in particular seems to be making a rather large comeback within the trading world, and your small release album could be worth a lot more than you realise.
Naturally, there are some fans that take memorabilia to a whole new level. It’s been done many times before, but it’s always a concern of whether they regret it in the following years: autograph tattooing.Autograph tattooing is quite simple: the fan gets an autograph on their arm (preferably with a marker like a Sharpie), then quickly takes it to a tattoo parlour to be tattooed over, so they are permanently marked by their favourite artist. Unfortunately this level is extreme, and may not be the greatest for those who tend to change their preference of music frequently.
Music memorabilia comes in all shapes and forms. It can be found in an array of places – don’t ever be afraid to check out your local flea market, or op shop as there is usually a field of gold when it comes to finding memorabilia.
Check all possible venues, don’t be afraid to ebay or google your item.
Always remember too: if you’re being hestitant over buying an item at a concert one day, you never know; it could be worth thousands in a few years time!