The Who poster sells for $46,000

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Mon Dec 20 05:53:34 CST 2004

>From The New Zealand Herald at:

The Who poster sells for $46,000
What you are about to read is a prime reason for not
throwing anything out. 

At an auction of pop artefacts at Christie's of London
nearly three months ago, a sheet of paper measuring
50cm by 76cm, creased from folding and torn at the
corners where sticking tape had fixed it to a shop
window, appeared with a reserve of £600 ($1654). 

It was a poster of English rock band The Who, which
for its Hawke's Bay owner -- who prefers to remain
anonymous -- once hung in a series of flats he had in
the 1970s. 

Anything linked to the iconic band never failed to
draw the attention of dedicated memorabilia

Bidding ended at £17,000 ($46,870), a world record for
a Who poster, and was believed to have been bought by
an American collector. 

The seller received the news of the sale in an email
which simply read: "Great news!" 

A Christie's representative rang him at home that
night, where he was in a celebratory mood. 

"I was pretty relaxed by then," he said. 

Although sad to part with a poster that oozed
nostalgia, the price softened the blow. 

When costs of shipping, insurance, buying space in the
catalogue and Christie's' commission were subtracted,
he got £14,925 ($41,149). Not bad for a 36-year-old
sheet of paper promoting a concert by The Who, The
Small Faces and Paul Jones, at Wellington Town Hall on
January 31, 1968. 

But to Who collectors, the poster advertised more than
a concert. It was the last date on what had been a
riotous "The Big Show" tour downunder that saw the
Who's guitarist Pete Townshend vow never to return to
Australia after the the treatment they had received.
He relented only a few months ago. 

There was also the 21st birthday party for Small Faces
singer and guitarist Steve Marriott in Wellington,
when Who drummer Keith Moon threw a portable record
player given to Marriott by his record company out a
window several stories up. 

"It was a great concert," the Who fan said. "As it was
the last show of the tour, Moon's drumkit and
Townshend's guitar received a thorough smashing up at
the end." 

After the show, the 17-year-old looked for a keepsake.
Most of the simple, screen-printed posters had been
pasted up, but he saw one in a men's clothes shop
window, where he and friends also happened to see Who
bass player John Entwistle buying shirts. 

"I asked if I could have the poster and they said
yeah, help yourself." 

It stayed with him for decades until someone told him
earlier this year: "It's probably worth something." 

The September auction took in £602,538. Other items
relating to The Who that sold were a five-piece drum
kit made for Moon (£120,000) and an electric guitar
used by Townshend during the Who's 1973 UK tour

-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!

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