Friday, July 18, 2008

Led Zeppelin memorabilia on display, at auction and for public consumption

Parallel to the business of selling music is the longstanding and lucrative business of merchandising a band's name in myriad ways. Led Zeppelin's history is rich with savvy marketing gimmicks such as The Object, a mysterious promotional figurine whose original manufacture supporting Presence's release in 1976 was limited to 1,000 until cheap knock-offs hit the market for a quick buck, and the series of six album covers for the group's last studio set.

Several extensive magazine articles and Web sites are dedicated to tally the quantity and second-hand price range of rare foreign pressings of Led Zeppelin's music and of items that were pulled from shelves for one reason or another.

Collectors should be aware that their universe is about to expand. A new officially sanctioned Led Zeppelin collectible is being made available to the public, but this ultra-rare pressing of the soundtrack to The Song Remains the Same on white vinyl will be about 200 times harder to get than tickets to the band's one-off reunion concert were last year.

Talk about a limited pressing! There are to be only 200 of these white vinyl sets produced, and only half are being immediately offered up for public consumption. They are to be randomly given to customers of Led Zeppelin's official Web site who purchase the no-less-enticing black vinyl pressings of the soundtrack album. This four-LP soundtrack pressing on 180-gram vinyl is to be available July 29. It is to contain the same expanded track listing as was on last November's re-release of the 1976 set on CD. The remixing, mastering, artwork and liner notes will also resemble last year's edition. A set could be yours for only $54.99 if you pre-order soon, and if you're lucky, you will receive the extremely limited white vinyl edition.

Also coming soon to a four-LP vinyl set, for the same price, is last year's Mothership anthology. This audiophile-quality vinyl release is scheduled for Aug. 26. Further information on both new vinyl releases from Led Zeppelin is available here.

Auctioneers are also testing the staying power of Led Zeppelin's name when it comes to the resale of unique items once owned by the band members. A drum kit pounded on by John Bonham in his later days is soon to be sold at auction, possibly fetching an amount comparable to the sum recently paid out for a bass guitar and equipment John Paul Jones used in Led Zeppelin's earliest days.

The acoustic bass and accompanying bass stack sold for $27,115 at a Christie's auction in London on July 10, demonstrating the value of the group's moniker.

Bonham's Ludwig Vistalite drum kit, thought to be the only kit of his not possessed by his estate, is to be auctioned Sept. 4 in London. The drums left Bonham's possession when he gave them as a gift to Chris Welch, who later went on to co-author the biography "John Bonham: A Thunder of Drums." Letters of authenticity signed by Welch and Todd Trent of Ludwig's artists relations are listed as part of the lot.

Speaking of Led Zeppelin memorabilia, a fan of the group named Annie Hollinshead has labored intently over the past year to fulfill her vision of having collectors donate some of their memorabilia for a large display to be held at the historically significant Knebworth Field House, commemorating the formation of the band 40 years ago next month. The exhibit, which intends to raise money for the Jimmy Page-supported ABC Trust charity, is set to run daily between Aug. 1 and Sept. 3. For more information, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated prior to publication. Comments will not be published if they are deemed vulgar, defamatory or otherwise objectionable.