So it finally got to me. I’m pissed. I really am. Because greedy a**holes are ruining it for the real fans.
What’s a “real” fan, you ask? I’d say it’s someone who’s spent all his/her money on an artist’s records, merchandise and concerts. Someone who’s been standing in ALL kinds of weather for hours, sometimes days, for that precious little scribble by the hand of their idol. THOSE kind of people. Those who actually love the music and the artists that create the music – people who would treasure that autograph, frame it and keep it forever.
I’m one of those. I have spent countless hours waiting for bands, just to get something signed. I’ll never forget when I was given the opportunity to meet Rob Halford for the first time back in 1991, and brought my first Judas Priest LP, a worn out copy of “Unleashed In The East“. He took it to the rest of the band (didn’t get to meet them that time) to have it signed by everyone, and Glenn Tipton even drew a little moustache on himself, it was kinda funny. But it was worth more than gold to me! THAT piece of vinyl in paper and cardboard symbolized the beginning of my life in many ways. I would sell it over my DEAD BODY.
I stood in the pouring rain for hours, my lips were all blue, cause I wanted Lemmy to sign my leather jacket. Not only did he sign it, I was invited by the band’s manager to meet the band after the show for being so persistent. Those were different times.
That leather jacket was signed by everybody. Kiss, Black Sabbath (including Cozy Powell), Whitesnake, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Skid Row, Queensryche, Slash, Twisted Sister, whoever, I don’t even remember, but the amount of TIME could never be measured in cash. I was offered a few thousand bucks for it at an autograph-store in New York back then but just laughed and walked out. Are you kidding? No way.
Every single signature was a memory and I valued it more than money. I would have to be on the verge of starving to death before I would even consider ever parting with that jacket.
But then came eBay. And greedy motherf***ers. And desperate, lazy fans who either couldn’t or wouldn’t try to get their own autographs (I don’t even see the point BUYING an autograph, it’s supposed to be something personal).
So the artists stopped signing stuff, because they don’t like seeing it on eBay. And I don’t blame them.
But I have a few suggestions that might eliminate the problem:
- Always sign it “To xxxxx”. It’s gonna be a lot harder selling something that was signed “To Tina” to some dude named Bill.
- Sign people’s arms or whatever – you can’t sell a leg or an arm on eBay.
- Offer signed items at AFFORDABLE prices in the MERCH. That way, it’s easily obtainable for the fans and takes away the power from the eBayers.
- Sign lots and lots of autographs. The easier they are to get, the more they lose their value. A true fan will always want one though.
- Offer signed items at meet & greets that are ridiculously pricey. Even if somebody tries to sell it, they’d have to pay so much to get it in the first place, that they can’t profit from it.
- Only do selfies. In the video below, “Luke Skywalker” Mark Hamill says that he only does selfies. “If you’re a real fan, you would have settled for a selfie“. And he’s right.
I’d chop off my left arm for a selfie with Paul McCartney, you better believe it!
It’s sad when it gets to this. Fans and artists used to be a lot closer. You had to EARN that signature and it was like winning the lottery when you got that precious autograph.
When I die, someone will probably make a fortune from selling everything they find in my personal Hard rock cafe, but until then, you’ll never see anything of mine for sale on eBay.
At the end of the day – don’t buy it. If you’re a fan, go and get it yourself and make these eBayers go out of business. Power to the people – and the real fans!