Led Zeppelin memorabilia is always hot. And Backstage Auctions, a premiere rock auction house, has a primo Zep item up for auction in their recent Rock n’ Pop Auction taking place November 3-11 (a preview is currently live).
This particular item will open any hard rocker’s eyes and is a coveted piece of memorabilia: a fully-signed Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy vinyl LP. This album, which was owned by music photographer Philip Kamin, is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a collector — since all four signatures from the band members is a rarity. The opening bid is $2500.00. And as far as condition, the album is in overall excellent condition and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
“The impact of autographs on a Led Zeppelin record cover are substantial,” says Rick Barrett, one of the leading experts in all things Zeppelin, “and values go up starting with if you just had one signature — and if it was John Bonham’s that’d be the best. If it was Jimmy Page, that’s the next best. The third one would be Robert Plant. And if you just had one with John Paul Jones, it’s still nice and collectible but that’s the least valuable. And then if you had more than one signature, they go up substantially. And if you have all of them, that’s quite a piece.”
“Autograph collecting is really different in today’s world than it was in the ’70s,” Barrett continues. “John Bonham died in September of 1980 and people just didn’t collect in the same fashion, to the same degree, with the same passion and the same numbers as they do now, and certainly did in the ’90s. So fully signed pieces that are legitimate are few and far between, and they are quite sought after, quite collectible and quite valuable.”
Backstage Auctions has had many great Zeppelin auctions before, including one in 2005 which represented legendary engineer/production, Eddie Kramer. But the auction house has never auctioned off a fully-signed Zeppelin item before.
“This is a first for us,” says Backstage Auction owner, Jacques Van Gool. “We have had signed items by Jimmy, Robert and JP but we’ve never had anything signed by John — let alone something signed by all four. Led Zeppelin collectors know that a fully signed — and authentic — Led Zeppelin item is far and between, especially considering the fact that so many forgeries are in circulation. Over the years, I believe that we’ve seen more fake Led Zeppelin autographs than Beatles or Elvis Presley ones. In a weird way, that’s a testament to the demand for signed Led Zeppelin items, I suppose.”
Van Gool also adds that Zeppelin memorabilia will always be in demand, for various reasons.
“I believe there are many reasons,” says Van Gool. “One being that their music is timeless. A Zeppelin songs today still sounds as good and exciting as it did 35 or 40 years ago and current generations are aware of that. And while their excellent musicianship naturally is the basis for their music, they have something that few other bands or artists have, which is that they are true icons. When your lead singer becomes the ‘image’ of rock, your drummer the ‘sound’ of rock and your guitar player the ‘hero’ to every aspiring musician around the globe, you’ve got a pretty magical combo. If — on top of that — your songs are played on the radio every day four decades after you made them, magazines still put you on the front cover and commercials and movies still use your tunes, you’re entering into a very select and elite group — Beatles, Elvis, Stones — and who wouldn’t want to own a piece of that?”
Demand means more fans year after year. Hopefully, this also means that the members of Led Zeppelin will become more available for autographs. Not necessarily, says Rick Barrett.
“Robert Plant used to sign absolutely everything. He loved people being around him. Now he’ll sign 1-3 items,” Barrett explains. “Jimmy Page does not sign anything at all, for the most part. He just refuses. And before he would sign 1-2, depends on a good day if you could catch him. John Paul Jones is good. He will sign and always has signed.”
For more information on Backstage Auction’s Rock n’ Pop Auction, go to www.backstageauctions.com.