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View Full Version : Beware of fake autographs!!



Peekaboo
01-05-2010, 10:55 AM
ABC'S 20/20 covered a story about a company selling fake autographed guitars and making lots of money off of them. They talk about how this company is taking pictures of rock stars and other celebrities and doctoring up the pics to make it look like they are signing these guitars. A lot of things online can appear legit even with a supposed photograph to prove authenticity but trust me, people can be very deceiving. I completely believe this now after seeing a fake picture of Don Henley in this story. I know this to be true because the picture of Don that was featured in the video was taken by me. They used one of the pictures I took at Don's UNT lecture. I couldn't believe it when I first saw it but that's really my picture.

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/phony-rock-photos-collectors-singing-blues/story?id=9226150

MikeA
01-05-2010, 11:15 AM
I've seen some of this Jess. I was bored during one trip to Vegas a year or so ago and decided to walk through the "shops" at Caesars Palace on the Strip. There was a "memorabilia" shop that caught my eye and I was browsing around in it and saw a case of guitars for some exorbitant prices. They were autographed. One had an autograph by Jimi Hendrix along with a couple of other 60's guitarists. I started asking questions about it and got the shop owner backed into a corner. He finally admitted that the "autographs" were "reproductions". When I asked him if they were authorized either by the artists or by the estates of the artists he invited me to leave!

What he had was Squire guitars and knockoffs...mostly very substandard guitars...that he was trying to sell for $2,000 to $13,000. Nearly all of the guitars carried multiple autographs...Hendrix, Clapton, Walsh, Eddie Van Halen, you name it and they had it in almost any combination!

What a total rip-off. I wonder it that shop is still in business? Understand that folks staying at Caesar's Palace as a rule are not paulpers like me! They have money and have come to Vegas to part with that money!

We're going to the Strip this next trip. If I get a chance, I'll swing through Caesar's and try to snap a few pics of the gits if he is still in business.

TimothyBFan
01-05-2010, 11:18 AM
Amazing Jess!! I can't even imagine what your reaction was when you saw that. I just watched the video and I would of recognized it and I imagine anyone here would have also. Have you tried to contact anyone about it? It sounds like it is an ongoing court case right now. They might like to see your original. I was wondering, did you post that picture anywhere but on The Border? If not-then what's really scary is that they have taken it right off of here and done that to it. What nerve.

I've got my autographs of Tim (sent by him/his people), Joe (obtained by my niece) and Glenn (off ebay-so who knows). I know I could never afford to get one of these guitars (like the Zeppelin one in the story) but that would be one of the first things I would like to buy if I ever hit the lottery. I guess there's always the doubt that it isn't real, unless you see them sign it in person!

Troubadour
01-05-2010, 11:27 AM
I'm glad this came to fruition, Jess. Good on ABC for reporting it!

Peekaboo
01-05-2010, 11:41 AM
Amazing Jess!! I can't even imagine what your reaction was when you saw that. I just watched the video and I would of recognized it and I imagine anyone here would have also. Have you tried to contact anyone about it? It sounds like it is an ongoing court case right now. They might like to see your original.

When I first saw it, my jaw literally dropped. I kept watching it over and over because I couldn't believe it. It's so surreal. I mean, i've seen the show before and I never would've thought that I would have any kind of association with it besides just watching the show. I haven't tried contacting them about it yet but I plan to. I don't know yet what I will say exactly (any suggestions?) but I'd like to get in touch with them.

ticky
01-05-2010, 11:50 AM
I cant imagine how shocked you must have been when you saw YOUR picture being used here. I think I would have flipped out!
I used to collect autographed pictures and I still have quite a few, mostly movie and TV stars, so I ran across the fakes quite a bit. I remember buying a few pictures from one particular agency in San Fransisco and getting a letter from the FBI a few weeks later saying they were busted for selling fakes. It turned out one of mine WAS indeed a fake.
I learned to look very carefully at signatures, comparing any I might be interested in to other signatures by the same individual, but mostly I'd send a photograph to the individuals with a sharpie and asked them to sign. This still didnt guarantee anything, but you were more likely to get something genuine. I usually asked for them to be signed to me. This lowers the resale value, but they meant more to me personally and the celebrities were more generous with their signatures because you were less likely to be selling them.
Im sure I still have a few that are fakes, stuff I bought off Ebay, but my truly prized autographs I know are the real thing.

Brooke
01-05-2010, 04:25 PM
A couple years ago I went to a benefit and there was a silent auction for lots of different stuff. Among the items was a guitar signed by all the Eagles and I asked if it was genuine and they said the autographs were 'autosigned' meaning they were done by a machine and supposedly were approved by the Eagles. But who really knows for sure if they actually approved them?

MikeA
01-05-2010, 04:46 PM
Brooke,

I think that is the way the "signature" series guitars are "signed". I'm thinking of the ones that Takamine sells as "Glenn Frey" models. Their's is a nice Tak okay that runs around $1,300 but don't think for a second that Glenn is signing each one of them! He has approved of the model and probably uses it or something similar on stage during concerts. But you can be sure that his "signature" is stampped or embossed on the guitar by machines.

Not at all sure about the one signed by all the Eagles though that you mentioned. Nor am I sure about the ones that were sold at Sam's Club a while back. I know some here bought one of them. Maybe that one was one of those autographed ones. And, I don't know if each one was personally signed...I seriously doubt that it was.

But that is my own "doubt" and I have NOTHING to base that on.

Oh, as for REAL autographed items, I know personally of only two that I witnessed. One is the banner that was made by one of the members in the JWFC and taken to the concert in Chicago where Joe did a Meet and Greet. He signed that Banner along with all of the Fans who were present. During that same M&G there was a lady who brought a Magic Marker and convinced Joe to sign her calf. The next day she went and had it turned into a Tattoo.

I might consider trying to obtain the Banner, but I think I'd elect to allow that lady to keep her leg.

TimothyBFan
01-05-2010, 05:37 PM
I'm a lot like you Mike--skeptical! The only reason I know my Joe Walsh album is legit is because he did for my niece, in her presence in Chicago. I'm pretty sure the Timothy one is also only because of what Julie told me when she emailed me when he received my letter. I will choose to believe he signed it with loving care just for me anyways! :inlove:

Some of these stories here about the guitars being "autosigned" disappoints me. So am I understanding that when something is "autosigned", the artist oks it, makes money off of it but never once touches that item? If so-the ol' mighty dollar speaks once again doesn't it?

MikeA
01-05-2010, 06:04 PM
http://takamine.com/img/guitars/gflabel_lg.jpg

The emphasis on these "Signature Guitars" is not so much on the "signature" as a collector's item, but on the instrument itself. They are supposedly replicas of models that the artists use...in the case of electric guitars, they are theoretically set up with the same pickups and other amenities that the guitar the artist specified either when commissioning the company to build him the guitar or that was designed for sale with the input of the artist suggestions taken into account in the design process.

Generally speaking, these models are considerably higher in price than similar top of the line models sold by the same company. All manufacturers that I know of offer these signature models...it's an easy way for the artist to get a "royalty" on the sale of each guitar.

But do you think Glenn Frey signed every one of those labels that can only be seen if you look inside the guitar's sound hold? I seriously doubt it <LOL>

Freypower
01-05-2010, 06:37 PM
No, of course he didn't, and it would be unrealistic to expect that he would have done so.

My certificate of authenticity for these state that they were signed at the Artists Rights show in Washington DC a few years ago. I think they're the real thing (or at least I hope so).

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v242/ozeagle/RACSignature.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v242/ozeagle/RACSignature2.jpg

MikeA
01-05-2010, 07:06 PM
This is the only autographed item I have that might be authentic hand signed by Joe. I have other prints of Joe but they were signed and then replicated I'm sure. They were from the Membership Pack from JWFC.

I've told the story about this pic before and will not hesitate to repeat it. I'm very sentimental about it.

I saw this on eBay and started bidding on it. Several were bidding but in the end, it was just myself and one other person and it didn't seem to matter WHAT I bid, I was outbid! Finally, I gave up on it.

Then a couple of weeks passed and I received an oversized envelop in the mailbox. I opened it and it was this picture. It was from Beth Blumenthal, a close friend that I'd met through JWFC. I'd met her at several concerts back in 2003-2006 when Verna and I were chasing the Eagles all over the country. Beth was the co-founder of Rockphiles. I'd helped Beth and Mews write up several artist Bios for their site. Beth had recognized my eBay "handle" which at the time, wasn't encrypted as it is now. She though it a riot that she was rubbing me out on the bids. She'd planned all along to give it to me.

Sadly, Beth passed away a couple of years ago after a battle with cancer.

This picture is priceless to me and I could care less whether the signature is authentic or not.

http://eaglesonlinecentral.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=163

TimothyBFan
01-06-2010, 08:52 AM
Never get tired of hearing a story like that one Mike!!

Stars
01-06-2010, 10:07 AM
Mike, I had never heard your story before, and it was very heartfelt. What a very kind thing for Beth to do. I was so sorry to hear of her death, but the memory of what she did for you will live on forever.

Brooke
01-06-2010, 11:03 AM
Mike, what a wonderful story.

I have several cds, an album, and a hoodie that were signed by Don Henley himself at a meet & greet right in front of me, which I will always cherish. I've never bought anything else because I'm too skeptical. I do have that photo of Joe from joining his fan club, but figure it's like Mike said.

sodascouts
01-06-2010, 12:57 PM
Peek, how amazing to see your photo used on a nationally broadcast program, despite the unfortunate circumstances. My guess is these guys just browse Google Images until they find something workable.

Mike, I didn't know Beth very well, from what I understand she was a lovely lady who died way too young. She was so friendly to me when I first joined Rockphiles (http://www.rockphiles.com), sending me a message about how she'd lived in the same Texas town I had. Thank you for sharing your story.

Glennsallnighter
01-06-2010, 12:59 PM
Yes, thats a lovely story Mike.

MikeA
01-06-2010, 01:22 PM
Mike, I didn't know Beth very well, from what I understand she was a lovely lady who died way too young. She was so friendly to me when I first joined Rockphiles (http://www.rockphiles.com), sending me a message about how she'd lived in the same Texas town I had. Thank you for sharing your story.

Beth...well, Beth was just an absolute Sweetheart! So is Mews for that matter. I consider my self fortunate to know and have known both of them.

sodascouts
01-11-2010, 07:42 PM
Peek's photo pops up again!

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/lawsuit-over-memorabilia-validity-exposes-industry-s-vicious-172449.html

Prettymaid
01-12-2010, 08:38 AM
This story is unbelieveable! Not that some lowlifes would alter photographs for money, but that our very own Jess took the photo of Don that is being used in the news stories.

Have you let 'them' know that it's yours yet Jess?

TimothyBFan
01-12-2010, 02:04 PM
It might be a coincidence but this is a topic on The Cars blog I belong to also. There's been a few autographs of Benjamin Orr's showing up on Ebay lately and apparently not real either. Glad I can't usually afford them :hilarious: so I don't have to worry to much about it.

Peekaboo
01-14-2010, 01:05 AM
This story is unbelieveable! Not that some lowlifes would alter photographs for money, but that our very own Jess took the photo of Don that is being used in the news stories.

Have you let 'them' know that it's yours yet Jess?

No, I haven't yet. I keep forgetting to do it everytime I get online. And also I haven't exactly figured out what i want to say to them.