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Old 12.06.2008, 03:07 PM   #1
SuchFriendsAreDangerous
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From Carrie Brownsteins NPR blog..

"Exhibition


Below is an excerpt from a NY Times article about a punk rock auction at Christie's.
CBGB's sticker-encrusted urinal is already museum-worthy, and on Monday more detritus from the era of the Ramones and the Clash hurtled its way into high culture, when Christie's hosted its first auction devoted to punk memorabilia. Vivienne Westwood bondage pants, photographs of Lou Reed and Blondie, badges for the Buzzcocks and concert fliers from clubs like Max's Kansas City went up for bid at the decidedly nonpunk hour of 10 a.m. Estimates were as high as $1,500 for an original "God Save the Queen" Sex Pistols T-shirt and $7,000 for an autographed Ramones test album from 1976. "We've sold punk material before -- a T-shirt here, a poster there," said Simeon Lipman, the head of Christie's pop culture department, at a preview the day before the sale. "This time around I wanted to explore the punk aesthetic. I love the music, and the memorabilia itself is very, very scarce. It has such a wonderful look to it. It's very visceral."
I know what you're thinking--here comes a post about the death (like the third or fourth death) of punk, the commodification of art, and the conflation of music and commerce. Wrong. Okay, I admit, I thought about that angle, but let this post be an exercise in restraint, in devil's advocacy, and in folly.
After all, what is it about the marriage of Christie's and Punk that is so threatening? Perhaps if we could afford to crystallize our youth by means of memorabilia--and not just our own, but iconic, codified images associated with a certain musical era--than the notion of buying back our past wouldn't seem so crass, or odd. I mean, on our own, as music fans of mostly modest means, we've tried to cobble together our own shrines and mini-museums. From ticket stubs to posters torn off telephone polls, from concert t-shirt well past their prime to a pen mark on a ticket stub that may or may not be an autograph, to photos depicting the back of the crowd but also, somewhere in the frame, the neck of a guitar and the arm of the musician you adore. And we've never doubted these keepsakes; we are claiming only what is ours: memories, and a sense of having put our feet down in the right place at the right time, for once.
But what if these possessions could be grander? Appreciated by more than a few old college friends and a mercifully understanding boyfriend or girlfriend or spouse who doesn't ask us to throw them out in the next move. As fans, we elevate music to the highest echelons; we obsess over it, breathe it and live it, why shouldn't we memorialize in a way befitting of our worship?
Thus, if my musical fandom could be expressed professionally, curatorially, and monetarily--well, then here is my wish list (for starters):
Patti Smith's outfit from the Horses album cover
Ricky Wilson (B-52's) guitar from the "Legal Tender" video
A Pete Townshend jumpsuit
A beer bottle thrown but not entirely destroyed by a member of the Replacements
Bo Diddley's guitar from cover of Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger album cover
Kim Gordon's broken high heel from the 'This Ain't No Picnic' festival"


Monitor Mix
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Old 12.06.2008, 03:42 PM   #2
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oh, heel - cool
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Old 12.06.2008, 04:32 PM   #3
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Anyone who'd pay these kinds of prices for this stuff should have their punk records confiscated from them.

I'm sorry, SuchFriends, but how can you defend this? The people bidding at Christie's are the kind of people who denounced punk when it first appeared. Now it's part of the history of rock music, so it's "OK" for the targets of punk to appreciate it. To me, the very concept of memorabilia runs counter to the punk aesthetic.

Much as I might sometimes long for the past to be the present again, I understand the world moves on. I love the Sex Pistols, but I'm not gonna be sporting Seditionaries clothing or putting safety pins though my nose, because I wasn't there. The music may still have meaning and impact, but the scene itself is dead. I'm more interested in creating a scene of my own than trying to relive someone else's.
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Old 12.06.2008, 05:00 PM   #4
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well he was more about mentioning about the Kim specific angle of it, and was a personal memory of Carrie's who also played the festival, and not so much paying for memorabilia, as i would never prices like that for such things, but if you were given them or just happen to get them as you pass by the stage sure why not, like setlists or guitar picks
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Old 12.06.2008, 07:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneticKiss
Anyone who'd pay these kinds of prices for this stuff should have their punk records confiscated from them.

I'm sorry, SuchFriends, but how can you defend this? The people bidding at Christie's are the kind of people who denounced punk when it first appeared. Now it's part of the history of rock music, so it's "OK" for the targets of punk to appreciate it. To me, the very concept of memorabilia runs counter to the punk aesthetic.

Much as I might sometimes long for the past to be the present again, I understand the world moves on. I love the Sex Pistols, but I'm not gonna be sporting Seditionaries clothing or putting safety pins though my nose, because I wasn't there. The music may still have meaning and impact, but the scene itself is dead. I'm more interested in creating a scene of my own than trying to relive someone else's.

did you realize that was not my post, but Carrie Brownstein's blog? Though I was at this aint no picnic and that was why I posted this sonic reference..
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Old 12.06.2008, 09:12 PM   #6
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I must not have seen that.

But those are my real thoughts on the subject.
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Old 12.06.2008, 10:20 PM   #7
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Paul Westerberg handed me a can of coke after their last song at the U. of Nebraska back in '85, ala "Mean Joe Green". I still have it with my ticket stub taped to it, we all sold out a long time ago anyway.........
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Old 12.07.2008, 05:08 PM   #8
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By the by, Carrie posted a set of four Spells tunes on her blog. They're from 2000, when Mary Timony and her set out to make a new Spells disc, which, sadly, they didn't finish. The songs are freakin' GOLDEN.

Quote:
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Paul Westerberg handed me a can of coke after their last song at the U. of Nebraska back in '85, ala "Mean Joe Green". I still have it with my ticket stub taped to it
Supercool!
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Old 12.07.2008, 05:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GeneticKiss
I must not have seen that.

But those are my real thoughts on the subject.

They are good thoughts and I agree with you, but remember, humans have always had a fetish for relics, but they figurines of the gods, or bones of a saint, and in this age, they are the leftovers of musicians. People will always grab the set lists..
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