I have developed, over the years, almost an antipathy for “prized possessions”, if by that one means something of great monetary value. This is not a function of getting all Mother Teresa, but rather of pragmatism. When you have STUFF, and especially if it’s expensive STUFF, it starts to own you as much as you own it. Someone once told me that the two happiest days of a boat owner’s life is the day he buys it and the day he sells it.
I remember being appalled at hearing about someone buying a painting for $100 million for his private collection. If you have something that goes for nine figures, you have to have security, insurance et al worthy of the piece in case it gets stolen or damaged.
Even, at a much smaller scale, I started tiring of working in the comic book store dealing with customers who were more concerned about an issue’s potential worth, rather than its written or artistic value.
So anyway, I have a copy of Abbey Road signed by all four of the Beatles. Perhaps. Certainly, the person who gave it to me back in the mid-1980s believed it to be so. Funny story about how he gave it to me, actually.
My LP records were and are organized in alphabetical order. The pop albums are alpha by artist, pop being anything not classical. And my classical albums were ordered by the composer. For Christmas one year, I got a cryptic card telling me that I should look in my classic albums for some Fab item, clearly a Beatles reference. Sure enough, between my Bach and Beethoven was the album with four signatures.
As you can see (or more correctly cannot see), the Ringo signature has all but disappeared. The John and Paul signatures are quite faint. They all were done in ballpoint pen, it seems. Only George’s signature is clearly visible, made with some sort of marker.
The other issue is that Beatles’ roadies were notorious for signing Beatles’ names and passing them off as their bosses’. The album is from the UK, was acquired in the UK by means I was not privy to. For all I know, it’s the real deal. Or maybe it’s not. I have an odd comfort not knowing for sure.