There to the left is a picture of a water bottle. I’m sure many of you spotted that straight away and had it all worked out before you read this. You looked at the picture and just drew your own conclusion. You didn’t need me to tell you what it was. You knew already. It was obvious. In fact it was, er, quite clear.
Others perhaps started reading the text first but now that they’ve looked at the water bottle, following the prompt, they’re also sure they would have worked it out for themselves.
But why is this picture of a water bottle part of a post on a music blog?
Beyond the most obvious answer: Sweetman ran out of ideas ages ago…
You see this is no ordinary water bottle. This water bottle once belonged to Bobby Womack. I was told on very good authority that on the Saturday night a few years back in Sydney when I saw a very average/struggling Bobby Womack make his way, just, through a mediocre-as-fuck gig this water bottle was sipped from by Mr Womack. He took a drink from that bottle. His backwash was still swimming in with what’s left in that bottle.
So that obviously makes the bottle worth quite a bit. It’s no longer just a water bottle right?
You can check Facebook, eBay and TradeMe to see how it’s doing…I’m aiming to clear my debt with the sale of this item.
Actually, I can’t go on with that lie. This is – or rather was Bobby Womack’s water bottle. But that shouldn’t really mean anything. It shouldn’t make it any different from any other water bottle – except it might actually give you reason to not want to drink from it.
It is not going to be on eBay or TradeMe. Not unless the person from the Shangri-Las Hotel happened to fish it out of the rubbish – and even if they did they wouldn’t have known anything of it other than to just see any old water bottle.
I’ve never understood this desire to make the mundane memorabilia via a celebrity imprint.
It should be no more important to the wider world that Bobby Womack once had that water bottle in his hands than the fact that I did.
A backstager gave me a ride into town when I was over at the Sydney Vivid Festival a few years ago. We got to talking about how thoroughly mediocre the gig was and he reached behind his car seat, while driving, and handed me the bottle. Said, “here mate, have this – Bobby Womack took a drink from it”. That made me instantly afraid to drink from it of course…
I took it back to the hotel, photographed it for a laugh. Not ever quite sure why. And then I threw the water bottle in the bin. I washed my hands of it. (Then I – actually – washed my hands).
But what if it had been Prince’s drink bottle? Or Paul McCartney’s (I love the best of Bobby Womack by the way, he was just past it when I saw him and he under-achieved on that night. Others tell me from other shows on the same tour that he was still magic). I doubt I’d care about owning anyone’s water bottle, much less drinking from it.
But is there a part of you that craves that sort of connection or that hint of ‘personalised’ and ‘used’ memorabilia.
Have you purchased a tiny square of hotel linen once slept on by The Beatles? Or do you own the glass Justin Beiber drank from during one of his promotional interviews?
Do you – on any level at all – understand that sort of infatuation? I understand getting books, records and CDs signed by the artist or author – and I still do this from time to time. If I know the person – or meet them, chat with them, then I might collect the signature.
Do you have any uber-fan/mad-to-anyone-else music memorabilia? Do you know any stories involving people you know who have paid for found/made-up music memorabilia? That has to be sadder – the water bottle not even passed on to them by the hand of Womack (for example). But they paid a price to own it, to manufacture a memory to go along with the made-up memorabilia…