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Before they were famous: the power of ‘early years’ music collectibles

I’ll be at the Bristol Harbour Festival in the UK this weekend, a great few days of music and other entertainment taking place across Paul Fraser Collectibles’ hometown.

While you can take in a spot of ballet at the Dance Village, or peruse local works at the Art Market, my main focus will be on the music.

The festival affords visitors a chance to see a few bands that haven’t “made it big” and several more that never will – all for free.

And it’s the former category that I’m interested in.

That opportunity to say, “Well, I spotted the Fishponds Soul Sound back in 2011, when their music had a real edge to it. Of course, they’re far too commercial these days…”

Memorabilia from big stars and bands from before they were famous is always in great demand.

Take the Beatles, for instance.

We recently sold a Paul McCartney letter, in which he self-deprecatingly details the make-up of their first album Please Please Me.

Or how about this signature by Pete Best, the Beatles’ drummer before Ringo got the gig?


Pete Best’s autograph

A commemorative section of the stage from Liverpool’s Cavern Club, where the Beatles first made their name, sold at Bonhams for £660 last year.

There is something magical about collectibles from moments of time when bands had their whole careers ahead of them. Memorabilia that is only memorabilia because of what came afterwards.

So who’s the next big thing to come out of Bristol? The one, whose memorabilia could be selling for thousands in years to come?

In today’s era of fleeting internet fame, it’s perhaps debatable as to whether another rock or pop group could one day have the massive cultural impact that The Beatles had.

But I’m going for a local lad called Phil King, who will be one of the headline acts at the festival this year. His music doesn’t do anything for me, but then I’m no barometer of public taste.

Veteran DJ and BBC broadcaster “Whispering” Bob Harris is, however, a fan and King has been getting rave reviews around the country…

By Dan


About paulfrasercollectibles

Expert opinion, news, views and interviews allowing you to collect and invest with confidence.

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