Rock Collectibles: Meaning-Making and Memorabilia

Frederick J. Waugh The Knight of the Holy Grail (Smithsonian American Art Museum)

Like the Catholic Church, rock ‘n’ roll is often most recognized by its artifacts, its iconography, its symbols of power, and yes, images of its saints and martyrs, too. Seeking artifacts of rock ‘n’ roll glory have long been compared to the search for the Holy Grail among rock collectors.

But, a good deal of the value in such objects is in our personal relationship to them, or what they represent to us as individuals who have sought them out, or have personal stories attached to them. In an era of aging populations, mass media, and the recession, if the legwork is done for you, the fruit of another’s journey, can it really mean as much?

Resident pop culture critic, rock fan, and soon-to-be¬†sophomore novelist Geoff Moore opens the dusty vaults of rock collectibles, rock auctions, and rock memorabilia, after a visit to a bona fide rock auction in his native Calgary …


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