Music Fan Porn: Band Memorabilia That We Wish We Owned

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Record label EMI published the results today of a charity auction it held earlier this month to raise money for tsunami relief funds in Japan. There was plenty of interesting material to be had, although it was, of course, all well out of our price range – but if you happened to have a spare $10k sitting around, you could have snapped up signed copies of David Bowie’s full back catalog, while $6,744 would have gotten you Billy Corgan’s handmade “Zero” t-shirt. The news got us thinking about other band paraphernalia we’d love to get our hands on – read on to see our selection, and let us know what you’d like on your mantelpiece.

Super Furry Animals’ blue rave tank

It was clear from the moment they first emerged from Wales in the mid-’90s that Super Furry Animals were a bit… different. Even so, they raised plenty of eyebrows with their chosen method of traveling to festivals around the time their first album was released: a bright blue tank. Apparently they convinced their record company to buy the tank instead of giving them an advance but hadn’t counted on how expensive it would be to run, and eventually had to trade it in for more practical transportation options. Amusingly, they sold it to Don Henley, who’s still driving it around his ranch in California.

Janis Joplin’s psychedelic Porsche

It’s hard to think of anything more quintessentially ‘60s than this – a psychedelic sports car once owned by Janis Joplin. Joplin purchased the car for $3,500 in 1965 and had it decked out with a full hippie paint job shortly afterwards. These days it’s at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, which pretty much rules out anyone ever getting their hands on it – a shame, as you’d certainly turn heads driving it.

Bootsy Collins’ sunglasses

And that guitar. And that suit. And that hat. And…

A Polyphonic Spree robe

Back in the hazy days of the early 2000s, we spent a while getting around in a djellaba, and can vouch for the utilitarian appeal and all-round comfort of wearing a robe instead of constrictingly conventional clothing. As such, we really wish we’d invested in a genuine Polyphonic Spree robe when the band was selling them at their merch desk a few years back, before they switched to the pseudo-military gear they sport these days. (Amusing factoid: we hear that members of the Spree who left the band had to return their robes on the way out.)

Iron Maiden’s animated zombie Eddie

You know those weird Bigfoot statues they sell in SkyMall catalogs? We reckon a 12-foot-tall sci-fi zombie would do a much better job of “impressing” the neighbors.

Geologist’s headlamp

Wear this Animal Collective accessory down Brooklyn’s Bedford Ave. on a Saturday and watch the crowds part for you like the Red Sea did for Moses.

Daft Punk’s helmets

While we clearly wouldn’t say no to Daft Punk’s 1987 Ferrari (yours for only $42,000 at the auction, which seems like a snip, as far as we can see), what we’d really like is one of those crazy helmets they wear when they play live these days. We’re not really sure what we’d do with it, but it’d be a pretty amazing thing to stick on the mantlepiece. Of course, if you have 17 months to spare, you could just make one yourself, like this guy did.

Outkast’s black-and-white American flag

The striking cover photo that adorned the cover of Stankonia – Big Boi and a shirtless and muscular Andre 3000, in front of a black-and-white American flag – was one of the most memorable images of the last decade. The monochrome flag seemed loaded with meaning, although what that meaning was remained opening to interpretation. You can actually buy signed copies of the photo from various online memorabilia vultures, but the flag itself is stashed away safely at the duo’s studio in Atlanta – Paste ran a feature a couple of years back on the best album covers of the 2000s, claiming that they’d seen the flag, which is “actually enormous… and awesome.” We’re jealous.

The Flaming Lips’ Zorb

Ideally, you’d also need an adoring crowd to hoist you aloft in this. But failing that, you could just hop in and roll it down a hill.

WASP’s pyrotechnic codpiece

We promise we’re not making this up – Blackie Lawless really does have a codpiece that shoots flame (up to 20 feet, apparently). Or he did, anyway, along with one that had a circular saw blade mounted to it. Sometimes truth is stranger than Spinäl Täp.