Features

Saturday Deluxe / 26 March 2016

bbsigned

SIGNED, sealed, delivered – does an autograph mean anything, anymore?

One of the big announcements of this past week, was the 50th anniversary reissue of The Beach Boys Pet Sounds. Or at least it should have been big, but from the comments and reaction here on SDE I got the distinct impression of Pet Sounds ennui. Just how many times can you reissue the same album? One SDE reader counted eight or nine issues of the 1966 long-player, over the decades, with a mono LP version of the album licensed out to Analog Productions only last year!

Despite The Beatles catalog being regularly reworked, remastered and represented, it’s interesting to reflect that none of their individual studio albums has really ever been reissued as a deluxe edition or an expanded set in the way that Pet Sounds has. The Yellow Submarine ‘Songtrack’ and the Let It Be Naked sets are probably as near to this as they’ve come, but the mouth waters at the thought of a Revolver ‘sessions’ box set.

Perhaps Capitol/Universal were a little bit aware of this and as a result they’ve given the Pet Sounds box set a bit of a promotional push on their uDiscoverMusic store while restricting availability in the UK on channels such as Amazon. One of the limited edition bundles includes the box set, a 50th anniversary Pet Sounds beach ball (yawn), a beach bag (not much better) and lithograph of the album cover signed by Brian Wilson (now you have my attention).

I must admit, I ordered this because despite all that other crap, for less than £100 getting the new box set and the iconic album cover print signed by the music legend seemed a good deal. Although not everyone seems to share my enthusiasm. Am I a sucker, and is this, as someone suggested, going to be signed by some kind of ‘machine’? A Brian Wilson droid whose task it is to spare the REAL Brian Wilson the hassle of signing one hundred prints? We all know the Fab Four didn’t sign all their own stuff back in the 1960s, although I’m pretty sure they didn’t employ a machine. And anyway, does a signature actually ‘mean’ anything unless you also have the experience of nervously going up to the person, ‘autograph book’ in hand and seeing them do it. I once got Darth Vadar’s autograph in the late 1970s when he made an appearance in Collinson’s toy shop in Harrogate. That is an experience the 8-year old me didn’t forget, although I’m pretty sure Dave Prowse wasn’t the man under the mask!

How much do we really value signed items any more? Does anyone even WANT an autograph in these selfie obsessed days? There are so many artists now trying to flog their wares ‘direct-to-fan’ that signed items are rather devalued, are they not? The Manic Street Preachers sold 1000 of their forthcoming Everything Must Go box in less than a day. At least we have evidence that they did this themselves and it wasn’t a bunch of Welsh replicants. But it’s not just artist stores, even Amazon are getting in on the act, flogging “Amazon Signed Editions” of CDs from the likes of Bat For Lashes and Weezer. I suppose if you’re not paying a premium, then why not? I’d rather have a CD with Natasha Khan’s signature on it than not. Actually, the signed Bat For Lashes CD is £1 more than the standard CD, which perhaps tells you all you need to know. Amazon value the autograph, at one English pound!

But as much as I love Bat For Lashes, I do think Brian Wilson’s signature ‘trumps’ Natasha’s. In fact, on the uDiscoverMusic store invoice I was sent, Brian Wilson’s scrawl has a line item of £30, but that includes the lithograph, so let’s say £20 for the autograph. Assuming it’s actually HIM (can someone from Universal clarify?) that’s a fantastic deal. Let’s put it this way, how much would you pay for Paul McCartney‘s autograph on a Revolver lithograph? Exactly.

I’d love to know your thoughts on signed items, so leave a comment and let me know.

The Pet Sounds bundle with SIGNED Brian Wilson litho is now sold out.


ChartWatch

Congratulations to Iggy Pop who has a very strong chart debut this week with his 17th studio album, the brilliantly titled Post Pop Depression. It enters at number five on the album chart and number three on physical sales (just behind James who enter at number two on both charts with Girl At The End Of The World).

Time and Again: The Ultimate a-haPrimal Scream‘s new album Chaosmosis sneaks into the top ten physical sales this week (number nine) although is stalled at number 12 on the ‘normal’ album chart, which combines physical with downloads, streams etc.

In terms of reissues and the like, a-ha‘s Time and Again: The Ultimate a-ha compilation is the 39th best selling physical release of last week which isn’t bad. It might actually move up the chart next week as a result of the publicity resulting from Thursday’s performance from the BBC Radio Theatre (you can watch that here) and the UK tour.

Elvis Presley / The Album Collection career-spanning 60CD box setThe mammoth Elvis Presley Album Collection impresses. It’s a new entry at number 68, outselling Elton John‘s recent album, and, er, Alexander ‘Pointless’ Armstrong. Not bad for a 60CD box set costing £170.

songs_swFinally, call me Paul ‘clairvoyant’ Sinclair if you will, but as I predicted last week Stevie Wonder‘s Songs In The Key of Life, does indeed re-enter the chart thanks to the publicity generated as a result of the announcement about him playing the album in full at the British Summer Time weekend at London’s Hyde Park in July.

You might also like…

87 responses to Saturday Deluxe / 26 March 2016

  1. Tino Stabile says:

    Paul,

    I am in total agreement with the fact that unless an autograph is given to me by the artist at a function…. in person… I don’t know if it holds the same meaning. I would definitely love to get Bruce Springsteen’s autograph from a signing event or pre-concert or after concert type event.
    Yes, I would love to have Steve Hackett’s signature… I would love to have it as part of the box set that was released last year but I think signed pieces of paper, card, album by the artist in question is the ultimate but that is just my opinion. As for the Beach Boys as much as Brian Wilson is a living genius and I adore the Pet Sounds album… I already bought two of the reissues… I will not be going for this one…. unless I were to win it or get it as a gift.

    Tino

  2. BritinDetroit says:

    Paul
    I do like signed stuff, I am not ashamed to wave an album cover in front of Emmylou or Elvis (not the dead one) or wait to see Henry Garza because he rocks. Heck I even looked at the super duper extra deluxe tickets for Brian at the Fox. Say hello, get a photo and Pet Sounds 50 signed.

    But, I do feel it has to be in person…..Veedon Fleece…hello Sir Van, could you sign this please, maybe one day

  3. Auntie Sabrina says:

    The Bat For Lashes CDs were both originally £10.99.

    As regards the Pet Sounds boxset, you’ll look so good on the beach with your tote bag and beachball love. Beach Boys suncream anyone..?

  4. MINO says:

    I’m an Abba fan and every 4-5 years they re-release their albums without a trace of anything new (videos apart)…..

  5. Ern says:

    Paul,
    I do like signed product, especially if the artist is approachable at a gig or doing promotion duties. Sometimes it is not possible to take the time out or distance might also be an issue to go to a signing. I recently ordered the signed FLC reissue of Come Find Yourself and Manics Everything Must Go as I know I would miss out on any signings they would do, if they ever did one.

    Some signings I have been to in the past have notices restricting the signings to new product only. But sometimes, if you ask very nicely, the artist will sign the old stuff if you don’t turn up with a full collection.

  6. Martin says:

    I don’t mind the Bst for Lashes as it is a freebie with no real premium as such. Also the added autorip’ will be good.

    Now a vinyl set of releases by Stevie W would definitely go down well my top wants – Innervisions, Talking Book, Music of my mind, Songs in the key of life. One can but wish

  7. karl says:

    Very interesting posting.
    I recently just bought a Motley Crue tour jacket signed by all 4 members and ltd. to just 100 which includes all sizes. I paid a kings ransom amount for this but I have seen and grew up with these icons and they helped shaped me and my generation.
    I bought it for it’s exclusivity and the fact that I don’t care what anyone thinks of my personal preference of my taste in art. To each their own and if it makes you happy knowing the artist actually touched something you hold dear to your heart, then there is no price on that.
    P.S.
    The ELP singed litho is fantastic, signed by Carl Palmer, Greg Lake and the late Keith Emerson and looks fantastic on my wall. Enjoy

  8. Iggie kane says:

    Damn, would have loved this signed edition but it’s sold out

  9. Catweazle says:

    … sold out already!

  10. Richard says:

    A signature adds nothing and means nothing just as you mean nothing to the person you adore.

  11. Vindictus13 says:

    There are two kinds of people – books, vinyl and autograph people and kindle, downloads and selfie people….I’m always the former and a bit gutted it’s sold out..

  12. Ken says:

    I guess I just never needed an autograph, a meet and greet or anything else for that matter. The music stands on it’s own and is enough for me.

  13. David Barron says:

    The Beatles catalogue regularly reworked? As far as the studio albums it has only been 1987 and was long overdue in 2009. Okay there was 1, Let It Be Naked and Yellow Submarine Songbook during that time.

    Pet Sounds, well I guess people do want something autographed, but as far as the reissues, it is such a remarkable record that people want to hear it in the best sound quality possible, and when they can get more clarity of sound it will be reissued.

    If people want to listen it, they will buy it and maybe if Amazon UK start selling it I might go and look to see what the price will be.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Well The Beatles catalogue in its entirety came out in 2009 (cds), 2012 (vinyl), 2014 (mono vinyl). And in 2014 we had the USA albums box, The Japan ‘Meet The Beatles’ box and at the end of that year ALL the stereo albums reissued as mini-LP CDs. So YES, regularly reissued :)

      • MFG says:

        About the Beatles, I agree more with David than with Paul – I don’t think the Beatles reissues have been overdone. Most of those “additional” reissues since 2009 are using the same remastered audio files as the 2009 CDs. To me, it’s the same reissue project, just spread out over time on a variety of formats. The songs have only been mastered digitally twice – once in ’80s and again for everything released since 2009. Compare that to other artists from the same era with large catalogs, such as David Bowie and Eric Clapton, whose classic albums have been remastered and reissued on CD alone at least three times since the 80s, maybe more.

        I guess the question is: if an album is reissued in one format, and then again in a separate format but using the same remastered audio files, does that count as two separate reissues? For me, the answer is No, because it’s the same audio source (which is what really matters). With this in mind, I wonder what the true count is for Pet Sounds reissues.

        • CJ Feeney says:

          The recent 1+ reissue has remixed stereo and surround, so possibly heralds a new series of reissues.

          • CJ Feeney says:

            And on the topic of “are reissues of the same master/mix the same reissue”? No they are not.

            I bought several Beatles stereo CDs in the standard 2009 digipack, wishing they had put them out in the same mini lp sleeves as the beautiful mono box. but guess what, five years later they did put them out in that format. Fortunately the 2009 CDs did still get a reasonable resale price when I sold them off to get the format I wanted in the first place.

          • Gisabun says:

            Well the videos were in 5.1. I can’t see a 5.1 Blu-ray audio.
            They still haven’t finishing off re-releasing the remaining releases such as the 3 Anthology sets, Anthology videos, and maybe Let It Be Naked.
            The 1+ release is the closest to a box set [outside of the singles and album releases] as it is probably the first re-release with material that was new [or extras] to a release – albeit it’s a compilation.

  14. eric slangen says:

    Damn already sold out. But with their `nice ` postage costs it would still cost me a fortune.

  15. Karen says:

    Paul there is also on Amazon, the new All Saints album Red Flag “Amazon Signed Exclusive”. Regular price £9.99, signed £11.99. There are 4 girls in the band, the difference 50p a signature!!!

    I looked at what the family have signed. Carol Deckers Bridge of Spies, the Story Behind the Tracks. You can tell that’s signed, the pen ink is coming through the other side of the paper. So well done Carol.

    My friend has Belinda Carlisles Anthology signed. There were actual photographs and video of her signing these books. So again well done Belinda.

    Another friend has Cheryl Coles only Only Human signed and another Ellie Goulding signed.

    Whether these will hold in value, we wait and see, but I do remember my friend saying she got the Cheryl album for I think £30.00 and it has been commanding £60.00, but again you have the find the buyer.

    What I did like about these autograph versions, is that you have to be a ‘fan’. eg. go to the actual artists site and they would be ‘limited’ to 500-1000, but now with Amazon jumping on the band wagon how many will they sell autographed. I mean, will Amazon stop selling them, once they have reached the agreed limit. There is no indication on Amazon, how many are ‘Autographed’

    Would I buy one from Amazon, a bit more info on this, may be photos showing them actually being signed would be nice.

    Would I buy one direct from an Artists Site, yes and its a big IF, there are extras, eg bonus tracks, in a box set, and a print like the one Pauls describing. BUT again, I would like to see some proof of them actually being signed, like Belinda Carlisle did or if they were numbered while being autographed like 2/1000 and the date. Tony Hadley signs anything with the year underneath his signature.

  16. Dan says:

    Although it’s better to have the autograph than not, unless I knew 100% that it was the genuine thing (i.e. by watching the signing process), then I would always be suspicious even with the accompanying certificates that ‘guarantee’ its originality. Skeptical, I know. For that reason, I really like people like Al Stewart who always stays behind at the end of his gigs to sign and chat. Now that’s what I call respecting your fans.

  17. A.R. says:

    I love signed cd’s and memorabilia. That’s why I order directly from certain artists: Paul Carrack, Ray Wilson for example. Ray even takes time after the show to sign items and talk to fans.
    Marillion signed a 1000 copies of their Rochester cd (free cd for contributers to one ofctheir American tours). Not mentioned on SDE: you can pre order several releases for their next album, including a signed deluxe boxset with your name in the credits. Check out Pledgemusic.

    To Tony Stabile: if you want a Steve Hackett signature, chech out his website for upcoming releases. I got at least one of his cd’s signed preordering from his store.

  18. RJS Winchester says:

    It’s all about the music. An autograph (genuine or not) and a beach ball & beach bag that will never be used are absolutely pointless. One for the obsessives.

  19. RJS Winchester says:

    Surprised at James’ number 2 entry. Only their second Top 10 album since 1999’s Millionaires, the other being Hey Ma which peaked at number 10 in 2008.

  20. Graham says:

    for me autographs only mean something by getting them in person, i would love jean michel jarre’s signature on an lp or two but even concert vip packages where you can meet him are too expensive but as a one off experence you cant knock it or blame the artist

  21. Jake says:

    Never cared much for autographs. First, as mentioned, there are times you’re not sure who (or what) is really signing it if it’s something you’re buying online like this Pet Sounds set.

    But even in the cases where I’ve done Meet & Greets and was standing there when the artists signed something, I look at it and wonder if they just made random up & down squiggly lines. I’ve got some stuff where, if I didn’t know who was signing it because I was there, I would never be able to guess by looking at it.

    That’s probably what lowered the importance of autographs in my mind.

  22. Dale says:

    I’ve had numerous autographs in my collection, some I’ve gotten in person and some not. Among those I got in person and have since gotten rid of are Heart, Peter Gabriel, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Alex Harvey, Fee Waybill, and I’m sure many others. The one I am still keeping and that means the most to me at this point, is a Sonny Stitt album called Satan, that I had him sign in person and that he also drew a saxophone on, in a small club in Cleveland Ohio. I remember that distinctly, and for some reason it represents a lot more to me than any of the others did.

  23. bob says:

    I met Jimmy Saville several time in the late 80’s (please don’t hold this against me) He knew I was a big Marc Bolan and T.Rex fan and he used to tell me stories about what a great guy Marc was etc etc
    However I remember him telling me that in the 60’s he used to tour with The Beatles during Beatlemania, and that he could forge each members signature perfectly. He told me that he often said to fans, ”wait here a bit whilst I see if they are around”, then come back a few minutes later with the autographs. Jimmy said ”it doesn’t hurt anyone and they go away happy”.
    Of course with hindsight this now sounds very creepy.

  24. CJ Feeney says:

    Autographs have taken a downturn in recent years due to ebay – artists cottoned on to the resale value of their signature and began to see fans as potential mercenaries. Also resale value of autographs led to more fakes, hence a selfie became a more authentic, meaningful momento for both fan and artist – it can be shared for free, so no financial exploitation.

  25. Alan Bain says:

    I love getting the autographed pre-orders from artists official websites. Most artists whose CDs I buy will offer autographed editions on a first come first served basis via their official website. And most charge the same price as the regular non-autographed versions. I’m going to buy their new release anyway so why not a signed copy!
    Manic Street Preachers having been doing this years and I have loads of signed albums. I think you can safely say if you buy it from the official website you are getting the real thing. And in a world of falling CD prices an autographed copy will more than keep its value over time.
    The only artist I can recall charging a lot extra for an autographed edition was funnily enough Brian Wilson for his last solo album. It was an outrageous price and was still available for sales months after release (I wonder why…). Might even still be available.

  26. Paul Wren says:

    Hi, not too many people have mentioned the likely built in profit for limited signed releases, particularly the vinyl variants. Magnum’s new signed vinyl sold out very quickly, as did Stereophonics last one and very likely James and Rival Sons new ones. These were all good value at about an extra £5 above the standard vinyl package. Even if you don’t want to sell it, what you have is an appreciating asset if you have chosen wisely (and you might even like the music as well!!)

  27. C. Connolley says:

    Yeah, I would say especially with the rampant amount of autograph fraud in the memorabilia industry, unless you got an item autographed in person and got to meet the artist/athlete, it’s just not that cool. When I was 18, my father and I visited Cooperstown Bat Co. down the street from the BBHOF and bought a beautiful blank black barreled/maple handled bat specifically with the hope I could someday get it signed by Frank Thomas in person. A few year later, I did. It’s not really worth anything $ wise because it doesn’t have a COA, and it’s actually a terrible signature because Frank used to set up in the basement of the John Hancock building every Christmas for hours and hours and sign any one item as long as you brought a toy to donate for Toys For Tots. Thousands of people would show up and we were in line for at least 3 hours.

    So for me, it’s not the actual signature that really means anything. It’s the memories of actually getting it that count!

    • CJ Feeney says:

      A friend of mine is an author, and when getting established he did so many books signings he swears the unsigned copies must be worth more!

      I have a copy of Watchmen signed by Alan Moore back in the 80’s before he went reclusive. A friend of mine who runs a bookstore said the autograph adds little value as authenticity is so hard to establish. It means more to the receiver than it will do to anyone else.

  28. SimonP says:

    I occasionally buy signed CDs, but only from the artist’s webstore and only in the hope that the extra quid or two that they usually cost is ending up in their pocket, not Amazon’s…

  29. DaveM says:

    Not sure about buying autographs as I have said elsewhere, but the Brian Wilson does seem good value given his legendary status and the album you are receiving. They are something you treasure for life. One of my prized possessions is a signed photo of Elton John from 1978. I wrote to him at Watford Football club and got a nice letter from John Reid and the signed photo which actually says To David, bestwishes along with his autograph. Meant a lot and I thought what a spot on guy and I remain a fan to this day. I just had it reframed a few years ago. Very generous of the man.

  30. Mark says:

    Bought a signed lithograph from Brian Wilson for 25 euro a couple of years ago when he played Dublin. Framed and treasured but I’m starting to worry now!

  31. Big Steve says:

    Love the fact that Sarah Cracknell put a personal message in the first 75 that she signed of her latest album, that’s a very nice personal touch. It wasn’t mentioned that she’d do that so it was just the first 75 people who wanted that new material.

  32. Rob Wilcock says:

    With combined streams and sales it makes sense to sign a few hundred CDs to boost the first weeks sales and improve your chart placing. The artist makes more from physical sales anyway.

    I’m sure some of those limited Pet Sounds bundles will be sold via ebay to those foolish/desperate enough to pay even more inflated prices.

  33. Dustin says:

    A year ago yesterday I bought a package from Annie Lennox which included her Nostalgia BluRay, Nostalgia LP, Nostalgia CD, and this personalized autographed lithograph: http://i.imgur.com/jNxTuCG.jpg for $152.26.

    I love the photo, and since Annie Lennox isn’t doing any active touring these days, it’s very hard to meet her. I’m pretty sure it’s authentic. A friend met her in Hollywood and got her Nostalgia LP signed for me (http://i.imgur.com/vMdHHOK.jpg) at an Amoeba signing and the autographs match up.

    I’m happy to pay a premium price to get an autograph from someone who doesn’t actively do signings through the mail, at events, or offer backstage experiences at their shows.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      She has lovely handwriting! I got Dave Stewart to sign my copy of Savage when I met him, hoping one day to add Annie’s to it.

      • Daniel says:

        I’m sure that you can add annie’s name on “Savage” after you have created a 4 disc
        Super Deluxe Edition of “Savage” with 3 CD and the complete “Savage”videos on DVD.

  34. Robert Atkin says:

    Generally I don’t care about extras and signatures as long as I can have an item I want at a reasonable price. The only item I have signed is the second edition of the XM CD by Porcupine Tree. The only value it has to me is that if I was to sell, I would get more than without the signature. The exciting bit about the story is that when I ordered it at £26.00, I was forgotten and did not receive the item. It was pot luck whether the item had a signatures or no when being sent out. For some reason, I forgot I had ordered it and had an email out of the blue stating that my order was to be completed and that neglect had taken place. I think that I got the signed version due to the neglect and this is what was more exciting than actually owning the said item.

  35. Joseph says:

    An autograph on a physical item is desireable. I don’t get why an autograph received through the post on a blank piece of paper is. The worth used to be in what it took to get the autograph in person. Having it just anonymously sent to you (along with others) misses the mark by a wide margin.

    • Gary says:

      “I don’t get why an autograph received through the post on a blank piece of paper is [desirable].”

      I can’t comment about items sent through the mail, but when I get autographs in person my preferred item to get signed is a plain 3×5 card. That’s because I like autographs for their own sake, and there’s nothing to detract from the signature itself.

      I’m not worried about any potential resale value. That’s not why I do it.

  36. bob says:

    If you have a very famous or collectable autograph there are outlets that can tell if they are fake or real. There is a big place on the strand in London which sells autographs and I spoke to the head guy there a couple of years ago. I have a signed photo from Princess Diana and I wanted it valued. He told me about the machine thing that signs autographs for you, these are sometimes used especially if you are signing lots of pics n stuff, eg members of the Royal Family sometimes use this method.
    He said also a story to back up the autograph helps as well.

    • Gary says:

      “He told me about the machine thing that signs autographs for you, these are sometimes used especially if you are signing lots of pics n stuff, eg members of the Royal Family sometimes use this method.”

      I didn’t think the members of the Royal Family sent out autographs, even autopens. A long time ago I read that the Queen only signs autographs for people she knows personally, but I don’t know if that’s true (and in fact I may have misread or misunderstood the statement).

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        Kate Bush asked the Queen for her autograph, not knowing protocol. Someone with her had to explain that you don’t ask the Queen for her autograph…

        • Philip Cohen says:

          Contrast that with this: For some reason, black women in America(amongst them Michelle Obama) have this bizarre idea that they should hug the Queen. Luckily, The Queen took it good naturedly . Actually, you’re not even supposed to shake the hand of a Royal family member unless they reach out to you first. And the same is true for hugs. It is unlikely that The Queen would(in public) even hug her own family members

      • bob says:

        When they carry out Royal visits and stuff they leave behind a signed pic, also for maybe foreign ambassadors and that kind of thing. Of course they do not just sign autographs like a musician or celebrity might do.
        these signature stamping machines are not uncommon apparently.

  37. Philip Cohen says:

    As you say, “The mouth waters at the thought of a “Revolver” sessions set”, please be advised, that excepting some acoustic guitar & vocal demo versions of George Harrison’s “Love You To”(whose release Harrison prohibited), that all of the other “Revolver” outtakes which had vocals were released on “The Beatles Anthology 2″ and the “Real Love” CD single. All of the remaining unreleased “Revolver” outtakes (excepting “Love You To”) are backing tracks only.
    As for autographed Brian Wilson items, I’ve already got two: an autographed “Smile Sessions” 2-CD set(obtained by a friend who attended a “Smile Sessions” autographing event at a record store in California[temporarily decorated to look like the “Smile Shop”], and my friend is seen standing in the queue in The Beach Boys official YouTube video of the event, and a color photo(of Brian at the mixing console circa 1966), that my friend obtained (free) from an autograph “Paparazzi” who was getting out of the business and moving out of California. Understandably, I had it framed.
    Brian may indeed find conversation with strangers (at autographing events) to be uncomfortable and difficult(and generally, he won’t try), but rest assured that he is quite capable of giving autographs. Under some circumstances it may be possible to chat with him(my friend did just that at an event to place a historical marker at the site where the Wilson brothers’ childhood home once stood).

  38. Carlton Fisher says:

    I’m probably a heretic in this area, but I don’t really care for signed merchandise–in fact, I almost prefer it unsigned. I think it’s due a bit to my OCD–it feels the same as letting anyone write on the album artwork or package. I wouldn’t want someone doing that. I realize this ia weird, and decidedly not the norm for most people, who want some sort of evidence of either a meeting or that their icon help the piece in their hands at some point, but it leaves me cold.

    But I’m weird about autographs in general. I have a book out, and when i do readings and people come up and ask for autographs afterward, while I’m happy to do it for them because I’m glad they care enough about my work to feel it’s important, I feel so incredibly odd and awkward signing it. Maybe part of my disdain for signed merchandise is wondering if I’m making the person I’m a fan of feel the same way that i do when someone asks me to sign something.

  39. Steven says:

    The one and only time Peter Hammill toured Australia, I presented him with every Hammill and VDGG CD booklet to that date (1997), including a few bootlegs. He signed everything while we chatted, and even included his little Hammill logo (found on some of the artwork) here and there. What a gentleman. That special experience, for me, is when signing becomes worth it.

  40. Andy says:

    Damn, missed out on this. Think you got a good deal. Bet the signed lithograh alone is £100 on the upcoming tour dates…

  41. Psbacrossthepond says:

    http://petshopboys.co.uk/news/6786 Speaking of signed items. Pet shop boys SUPER pop up shop is coming to London April 1 selling signed copies of new CD & LP. Paul, any chance you could make a trip, take some pics and do a story on this? I am in the USA and will not have a chance to make it. Thanks.

    • Daran says:

      Ebay and Amazon mktplace signed forgeries have devalued things because you just can’t trust them to be real. Ones coming from artists own website I think can be trusted near 100% and Amazon’s official own promotions too. I have Sophie Ellis Bextors signature on a photo that was given to early ordered of Wanderlust, and a dedication to me on a poster when I met her after a Wanderlust tour show. The poster means more of course. Happy to say that both signatures are identical – so SEB is genuinely signing her stuff. Gary Numan told a story that he was seeing a ton of signed items on EBay from one seller, and he knew that he had not signed them. Apparently when trying to get the guy to cease trading Gary was threatened with legal action by him!

  42. Galley says:

    Autographs are nice, but personalized notes are even better! I ordered Markéta Irglová’s “Muna” CD through her Bandcamp store. Not only was it autographed, but it included a personalized note and it was shipped from her home in Iceland!

  43. Psbacrossthepond says:

    One other note. Was recently in a Barnes and Noble bookstore in Hingham, MA and there was a copy of the exclusive to Barnes and Noble signed version of the latest Brian Wilson release. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/no-pier-pressure/29141546;jsessionid=C4AA67744180D2C20F0E031AFF37C143.prodny_store02-atgap09?ean=0602547599988
    No one has mentioned this item yet. Is this desirable or it is the signature on the reissue?

  44. Justin says:

    I’m a sucker for an autograph too. My favourites… Have all three Genesis box sets signed by Steve Hackett (ordered through his website at the time), the recent XTC remixes (both Andy and Colin postcards)…but the pride of place goes to my limited edition ‘red’ book of Porucpine Tree’s ‘Anesthetize’ that SW signed for me when I met him in Sydney. He signed three different items, but somehow having his scrawl on the ‘limited’ one makes it better in my mind! I even won one of the random 100 signed covers of SW’s ‘Transience’ vinyl last year, which as great as they actually sent a second autographed cover in the post as well as the standard one containing the vinyl. Nice touch.

  45. James says:

    Dustin – that Annie autograph is authentic. Lovely item to keep…and this is how pre-ordered, autographed items should be done – make it personal.

    Simple to arrange with pre-orders, simple to do.

  46. baward says:

    Call me a cynic but I don’t have much faith that many such autographs are genuine. Everyone knows that celebs have ‘people’ who handle stuff for them, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some junior member if their staff does the actual signing (which is in many cases an indecipherable scrawl anyway.)

    In this day and age its extremely easy for someone to film (at least part of) the autographing process, then upload it to their Youtube channel.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Many of them do do what you suggest, and post a picture of themselves on twitter etc. doing the autographing ‘duty’.

  47. Donal O'Connell says:

    Paul,

    I was tempted myself but i already have the 40th anniversary yellow/green coloured stereo/mono vinyl reissue and the Velure covered CD/DVD so hard to justify at that price.

    That said pride of place in my house is a framed signed Paul Westerberg lithograph together with copies of the last 5 replacements album and his first album signed by him in person.

    As others have said amazon have gotten in on the act and I have ordered these – a bit more reasonable.
    Dexys upcoming
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Let-The-Record-Show-Exclusive/dp/B01DB50OOW?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00
    Biffy Clyro
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ellipsis-Amazon-Exclusive-Signed-Edition/dp/B01D34KYRI?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00

    As ever keep up the great work Paul.

    • Stu says:

      Thanks for the heads-up on the signed Dexys – cancelled my pre-order and went with the signed edition instead.

    • BritinDetroit says:

      Donal – Great post, thank you – original Dexys cancelled and the autographed version ordered at the same price – Much appreciated

  48. Jon T says:

    I’m not the biggest Beach Boys fan in the world, but I’ve somehow ended up with three items in my collection which bear Brian’s signature.

    I get the impression that during the Pet Sounds and SMiLE tours in the 2000s he spent more time signing stuff than he did singing, and I’m surprised he didn’t walk on stage with a marker in his hand.

  49. Daran says:

    Fingers crossed for A-ha getting a good chart boost from the sort of unofficial A-ha day that Radio 2 had on Thursday. The Beeb have to be careful now with these things now of course after getting reprimanded over the big U2 day they had in 2009, but I think A-ha have earned it. Thank goodness they reformed, for those of us who had not seen them live before it has been a chance of redemption. They were fantastic last night at the o2. One of the best concerts musically I have seen. It was not a sell-out by any means, but those who did attend were treated by one of the great pop bands.

  50. Gordon says:

    Prepare yourselves, this is a looooong post…..

    A beach ball and beach bag are pretty naff items (is he touring petrol stations?), but I think I can top that – I know of one singer who sells TEA TOWELS!!!!! She must be trying to corner the female pensioner demographic – seriously, I don’t know anyone my age (37) or younger (or older for that matter) who gives a rat’s arse about tea-towels!

    I have purchased a few ‘signature’ items, but only because it was a standard feature – I wouldn’t pay extra for it. I don’t understand the appeal – especially nowadays when the era of neat handwriting has gone and now mostly looks like indecipherable scrawl.

    Neatness is the key. I once SMS-ordered a CD single (a novel idea actually) which would be signed by the artist. I didn’t really want the signature but it was just part of the deal/offer. I was really annoyed when I got it because A) it was basically a scribble, B) he puts a line THROUGH it so it looks like it’s been crossed out! and C) it wasn’t just in the corner – it went right across the cover! The CD is in storage so I can’t post a photo of it, but these few photos give you an idea of the mess.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/OX_DkXtIXI/
    https://www.instagram.com/p/v7ihhVShkY/
    http://cdn.hamishandandy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/timomatic-autograph.jpg (‘B’ is the artist’s)

    Just imagine this lovely photo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incredible_%28Timomatic_song%29#/media/File:Timomatic_-_Incredible.jpg with scribble over it.

    (sorry if I’ve posted too many photos)

    But I must admit, on the very rare occasions that a performer I like has passed through my dull backwater town, I have queued up after the show for the chance of a quick “Hello” and “Thanks for a great show.”, the autograph itself is just an automatic part of it. But there is something wonderful about that brief connection – meeting someone you admire, handing over the ticket or CD/DVD cover to them, watching them sign it, then handing it back to you with (hopefully) a smile.

    Truth be told, the only time I want someone’s autograph is if they’re writing me a cheque. :)

    As for Royal Family signatures, some years ago I heard a story about an Australian cricketer (Dennis Lillee) asking the Queen for an autograph. There’s a story (and photo) here: http://bytesdaily.blogspot.com.au/2010/06/great-moments-dennis-lillee-meets-queen.html

    But I think the part about her sending one after could be false – many years later it was suggested that a couple of other players had sent one it as a prank.

  51. Michel Muffat says:

    Hi Paul, although I’m not keen on signed music memorabilia (I don’t think I have any, except a pre-signed S. Wilson RAH art print litho recently bought on BurningShed website), thanks for raising this interesting issue.

  52. Paul says:

    Well I held off buying the pet sounds sessions box set for years and have been searching for a mono pet sounds vinyl…. So with that in mind I bought both the mono vinyl then got over excited and chose to buy the signed bundle… Not for the bag or ball (they may make their way to eBay) but a signed Lithograph (1 of 100) by one of the founders of modern pop on an incredible piece of art was well worth it in my opinion. I already have a copy of “Pet sounds Live” on CD that was signed in person in 2002 but this I will frame and cherish for years.. If the bundle had been £200 or more I would not have done it but this was a reasonable price and can’t believe it took a few days to sell out…

    And errr yes how about that Revolver Lithograph signed by McCartney, I would be “adding to cart” pretty damn fast on that one!!!

    Excited I pre-ordered this. I think it’s always worth it to go for it on these things as you can always send back and get a refund if you realise you made a mistake… Can’t wait to get this!!!!

  53. Jeff Rougvie says:

    The autograph debate is the same as the value of anything – outside of life’s absolute necessities – what’s it worth to the buyer?

    This autographed pre-sale stuff started widespread with the Newbury Comics chain in the USA, who regularly got labels & artists to agree to supply signed CD booklets, which they then used as bait to pre-sell (at list price or less) to fans around the world. They’ve been doing this for 10+ years, and it was a way for the label to guarantee a certain number of units sold to the chain. As physical sales were on the slide, it made good sense for the artists to acquiesce.

    Barnes & Noble (a book chain that largely gave up on CD years ago) has started selling vinyl exclusives, including signed copies of the new Bob Mould. Newbury does more exclusive colored vinyl these days than autographed CD booklets, although it’s still part of their business.

    Now the labels are so desperate to keep sales in-house, cutting out middlemen, they offer similar exclusives direct when they think it’ll work, like Pet Sounds. And to be fair, it helps decrease risk on origination costs for the umpteenth re-re-re-release in an unfavorable market.

    I wouldn’t worry about the authenticity of the Wilson signature – if they were found to be fraudulent it’s a potential lawsuit for Universal in 2016. It’s not the 60’s anymore.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Good point about the autograph. Universal do state “signed by Brian Wilson” which sounds pretty clear cut to me. I don’t think that is open to misinterpretation.

  54. Paul M says:

    I have approx 2000 signd items , most I have got myself [ and had some great experiences talking to artists ], some I have bought through either going to instores , artists sites or online retailers like Recordstore. I have loved collecting autographs and have so many great memories doing it.

  55. Mister Stick says:

    Autographs never meant too much to me. But lately, I seem to have acquired a few, either through limited edition boxes (Nils Lofgren, Small Faces – which really is more special now that Ian MacLagan has sadly departed) or through after-show CD signings. I recently got signed discs at merch tables from Steve Forbert and Garland Jeffreys. Obviously, meeting the artist makes the signature more meaningful, but I think any signature is a nice incentive.

    What I think more artists should do is sign and number a few (maybe 100 or 200) of their new release or reissue on the inside slip or gatefold, and simply have those randomly mixed into the inventory, and then promote that. Nobody knows if they’ll be getting a signed copy, but there is no premium price to get one either. I can recall some artists trying this – It makes the release a little more fun, and there’s a touch more motivation for the buyer. And, those who get a signed copy could post self-photos of their trophy to the artist’s or label’s site. Maybe a “super winner” could be drawn from those, who might get something special – backstagers for a nearby concert, etc.

    I’d find just the the chance of getting a signed copy of a box set more of a reason to buy an SDE from someone like David Gilmour or Brian Wilson than a pointless Pink Floyd scarf or a flippin’ beach ball. That stuff just turns the release into a Happy Meal, and what do I care, I’m an adult.

    But a signature always makes the item a little more interesting and valuable without taking up even another inch of space.

  56. Rick R says:

    Autographs are never genuine. And this posting isn’t really from me.

  57. Pingback:Dexys Deluxe now avaiable signed | superdeluxeedition

  58. Robert says:

    I would be curious if anyone sends the autograph to PSA for authentication . Ive gotten a few autographs at shows but its been ages.

  59. Steven says:

    Yow! Thanks for the Dexys tip. Cancelled and reordered within the space of a minute. :)

  60. Julian H says:

    Michael “Bloody” Bublé. Alexander “Pointless” Armstrong. Paul “Clairvoyant” Sinclair.

    Do I sense a pattern there? lol

  61. Saad says:

    Getting a namecheck in front of 3,500 people at the Brixton Academy tops getting an autograph every time!

  62. Thanks for delivering this kind of wonderful details.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>