Many music fans have signed t-shirts, albums, ticket-stubs; the experience of receiving (collecting) gig/album-related ephemera, of meeting someone famous, or simply bidding on a signed item (after someone else did the work of meeting, greeting and coaxing the signature) is all part of being a music fan. For some fans anyway.
But what about when that goes wrong.
What about the memorabilia you never needed – or wanted…what about when it goes wrong – when someone tries to get you a signed item, or when you yourself figured you should collect a gig souvenir only to realise you don’t need it at all…don’t want it.
I thought about this just recently as I still have a signed ticket stub by The Proclaimers. Well, it’s not even the ticket to the gig, it’s the Ticketek receipt. And the signature’s not made out to me, it’s for my wife Katy. Except it’s not – really – for her, it’s for someone named “Katie”.
The full story is there behind that link above. But basically I was in a situation where a) I felt I had to get something signed at a rather awkward and forced meet-and-greet (as if there’s any other type). And b) it was my attempt at a perverse joke since Katy had left the gig early, not all that interested in ever being there.
Over a decade on this worthless piece of mistimed and meaningless memorabilia has (still) avoided the recycling bin.
I was clearing out a few old CDs recently and found I still have the signed copy of the album from that tour too. This is made out to me. “To Simon”, the brothers Reid wrote, wrestling inertia. And signed their names – there emblazoned across the album Persevere, their 2001 “comeback” album; I’ve had to hold onto it ever since. Perhaps I should try and find a bigger Proclaimers fan than me also named Simon…the first part wouldn’t be hard…
To clarify, I’m not not a Proclaimers fan. I feel like I might have played 500 Miles more than the actual Proclaimers, at one astonishingly sad point in my career I was in two separate bands concurrently and both played that song – it was often requested more than once of an evening. There was one weekend in my life where I performed dubious covers of 500 Miles some eight times across three different gigs. It was a shower twice and burn your clothes kind of a moment.
But, that song aside, I have some fondness for Sunshine on Leith, I still have the record my mum bought at the time of release. There are some decent songs on it. I was mildly curious about seeing a Proclaimers gig back in 2002 – even though it was a job, a review, work. And I did enjoy the show – at least as much as I can remember.
I’m not so much of a Proclaimers fan that I should have a signed CD and ticket-stub/receipt. (I’m also really not that much of a hoarder, by the way. I’ve managed to exhume and move off site a lot of music-related detritus, particularly across the last three years as it fights for space with a drumstick-wielding toddler maniac).
And yet a quick look at what’s left of a once proud and towering CD collection might suggest I’m a dedicated fan of not only The Proclaimers but The Little River Band, Moody Blues and one or two other bands where I have a CD, my name scrawled across the cover. Their name/s too…
So do you have any stories of a piece of gig or album-related memorabilia gone wrong, miscalculated or just horribly dated? Do you have a friend (or foe) that set you up with something you really never needed or wanted? And have you carried with you – across several flats and homes – apparently unwanted gig souvenirs? Your name (or some mystery name) meaning you could never TradeMe or eBay the item away to top up the parking-money coffers…which reminds me, it was only recently that I put a Will Calhoun card (from a drum clinic) made out to “Jane” in the recycling bin.
I believe I had tried to say Gene – had hoped to send it on to a drum-tutor who had helped me tune a pesky snare drum. A quick thought during another awkward meet-and-greet moment, my Kiwi accent too much for the Living Colour drummer…