You can't get these items for a song

Gee, how much is THAT worth?


Have you noticed how many television series these days are based on that age-old question? Pawn Stars, Auction Kings, Storage Wars, and Auction Hunters are just a few of the shows that occasionally make some people extremely happy about the worth of family heirlooms and other collectables.

I especially enjoy those rare times when a person is told that their prized item actually is valued at some astronomical “Buzz Aldrin-type amount” just to see their reactions.

“No!,” “You’re kidding,” and my personal fave, the true “buckstruck” look where the fortunate, dazed item-owner repeats the price ($75,000?) as if the battery on their Beltone hearing aid must’ve briefly lost its power.

Of course, more often than not, many of these programs usually disappoint folks, like the gentleman in a recent episode who was convinced that the sabre his great-grandfather had insisted was used at Antietam, Gettysburg, and both battles of Bull Run wasn’t actually the real thing. (It was just a well-made forgery from the 1880s.)

As a kid, I used to collect all sorts of things: coins, baseball cards, and of course, phonograph records of all varieties. But that didn’t last for long.


FIRE IN THE HOLE DEPT. Unfortunately, I lost most of these treasures in a house fire that almost cost me my life in the late 1970s. There’s nothing quite as discombobulating as jumping out of a window when your home is ablaze … even if said window is just on the first floor!

And no, I wasn’t dressed for the occasion, either. It’s too bad that it’s not on video somewhere. Even the East German judge would have given me high marks for such unbridled grace.

I lost more than 3,000 pieces of my precious vinyl that day. That afternoon, I found huge globs of molten musical wax all over my backyard, and of course, I had no insurance as I was only 22 and was clueless about such things.

Oh well, at least that calamity possibly kept me from hoarding, and yes, there’s plenty of TV shows about that malady, too.


SMELLS LIKE “GREEN’ SPIRIT DEPT. There are also auction houses all over the world that handle consignments from collectors who specialize in music-related items. Let’s take a quick peek at some of these goodies and the prices they have brought their lucky owners.

Elvis collectables always bring top dollar. Some recent examples: Custom Gold-Framed Sunglasses: ($21,510), used acoustic guitar ($77,675), and a 1974 stage-worn “Peacock Jumpsuit” that fetched a whopping $300,000!

Elvis bought Graceland in the late ’50s for roughly $100,000, so is it really any surprise that the signed purchase agreement just went for almost one-half that amount?

Kurt Cobain collectables are also gaining in value with collectors worldwide. A 1993 guitar that he played on stage went for only $66,000 while his vintage Mosrite “Gospel” electric axe recently realized a sweet $131,450.

Other recent transactions included more than $9,500 for Katy Perry’s vintage gold lame dress that she wore in her I Kissed a Girl video. An autographed Michael Jackson Thriller album went for $8,460, and various versions of The Beatles first British Album Please Please Me sell most every week from $3,500 to more than $10,000.

As for the Beatles album, I think I might have lost one of those in my fire. I think that it was in the room right next to my super-cool 1968 Schwinn Sting Ray Orange Krate 5-Speed bicycle, the one that I used to ruin all of my Nolan Ryan baseball rookie cards. To quote the recent MasterCard commercial, that bike was indeed … priceless.