Yesterday's rock is today's investment

Memorabilia of iconic bands from the Seventies and Eighties is fetching high prices, says Gwyn Jones

Take Pink Floyd, for example, reforming after 20 years to play Live 8. MEM Music and Cinema Memorabilia is selling a poster from one of the band's first gigs, in The Barn, Abergavenny, for £3,000.

Until now, the pop memorabilia market has been heavily dominated by the Beatles and other bands of the Sixties. "Almost half our sale is Beatles memorabilia, but we also sell the Stones, Hendrix, Dylan and that sort of thing," says Sarah Hodgson, Christie's head of popular entertainment. "Most of the big band artists from the Sixties are collected because not only was there a huge shift in taste from the Fifties to the Sixties, but the music also reflected the social and political trends of the day."

Success in the charts is not necessarily a ticket to the auction rooms, however, as Stephen Maycock, a consultant specialist in rock 'n' roll memorabilia at Bonhams, explains. "It has to be down to what real impact that band or artist has made on music," he says. "It's all very well selling records, but have they changed the course of music and done something new?"

For example, you are unlikely to get a Cliff Richard autograph in a Bonhams auction,even though he is the UK's biggest-selling artist, partly because there is too much supply and partly because he's not seen as ground-breaking.

Collecting is heavily dominated by people who want to buy back items from their childhoods. Now, with the thirtysomethings and fortysomethings coming into the marketplace, items related to artists from the Seventies and Eighties is likely to rise in value.

"Looking at the Seventies, the names are Yes, Queen, Marc Bolan, Led Zeppelin, Elton John and the like," says Maycock. "Towards the late Seventies, you get the Sex Pistols, who are like the Beatles in the Sixties, and they completely dominate the punk era. In the Eighties, in times past, Michael Jackson would have been up there, but his pulling power in the memorabilia market has all but disappeared."

Maycock says Madonna has a following because she has been so clever in reinventing herself. Christie's recently sold an old copy of Harper's Bazaar, signed by the artist, for £500. It has also sold a signed Oasis album for more than £300. "At the height of Oasis's fame' memorabilia was doing very well, but as their career has made less of an impact, so did the memorabilia," he says.

Mike Bloomfield, of MEM, thinks indie bands such as Oasis, Blur and Happy Mondays could become more collectable in the future. "I'm currently handling some material from the band James, who came out of Manchester in the Nineties – it's only 10 or 12 years' old but it already has a cachet," he says. "Their vinyl has been quite collectable but paper memorabilia, if you can get hold of it, is going to be quite a good investment."

Indie artists who have worked hard to create their own style are more likely to have memorabilia longevity compared with the "manufactured" bands. The Spice Girls, who were collectable during their career, are a good example: their popularity seems to have evaporated.

Items from times before artists were famous tend to rise fastest in value, and even with bands such as the Rolling Stones their early material is the most sought after. Christie's has sold an early Stones poster for more than £3,000, for instance.

One problem is that in the past 15 to 20 years, big stadium bands have been making money through merchandising. This material has been available in large quantities, so it won't make money.

Buying items owned by an artist is a collector's ultimate aim, but Bloomfield thinks the rest of the market has shifted a little.

"It's been dominated by autographs and concert memorabilia, but the artwork for the albums is quite a new area which is rising in importance," he says. "Even the record-collecting market is much smaller than it was 20 years ago – then you had a lot of people who were collecting records, but now it's a much smaller, elite group who want the rare records in excellent condition."

There's no doubt that iconic artists such as the Beatles and the Sex Pistols will retain their popularity. For more affordable investments, if you can spot ground-breaking artists and buy their early material, you could build up a nice nest egg.

But be careful where you buy from – fraudsters are common. In one recent case, an internet dealer advertised a Billy Fury Memorial Concert poster for sale – despite the very obvious memorial tag, the poster was supposedly signed by Billy Fury.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Guru Careers: Tax Manager / Accountant

    £35 - £50k DOE: Guru Careers: A Tax Manager / Accountant (ACA / CA / CTA) is n...

    Ashdown Group: Contracts Executive - City of London

    £35000 - £37000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Contracts Executive - Cit...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

    Recruitment Genius: Call Centre Debt Collector - Multiple Roles

    £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

    Day In a Page

    Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

    Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

    After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
    The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
    10 best sun creams for kids

    10 best sun creams for kids

    Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
    Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

    Tate Sensorium

    New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
    Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
    Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

    Remember Ashton Agar?

    The No 11 that nearly toppled England
    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks