Sunday, November 2, 2008
As America's economic miseries continue to billow, some investors are fleeing the financial markets for safe investments: gold, silver . . . and harmonicas graced with Bob Dylan's spittle.
At the stroke of midnight on Wednesday, the first 25 lucky collectors who logged onto SamAshMusic.com and plunked down $25,000 could get a limited-edition boxed set of Hohner harmonicas played and autographed by Dylan himself.
"Because this is Dylan's first and only endorsement of a musical instrument, who knows how much they'll appreciate?" wondered a Hohner news release.
How did Hohner and Dylan arrive at their eye-popping price tag? A harmonica only allegedly played by Zimmy fetched around $9,000 at auction a couple of years back, said Scott Emmerman, director of marketing and sales at Hohner. "A seven-harmonica set that he's played and he's owned, in this beautiful box -- we think that the price isn't out of line."
But all that talk was before the sale. So far, the paying public hasn't found the Dylan harps worth the hassle of smelting Grandma's gold teeth. At press time, only four of the harp sets had sold. And sales of 100 single harps signed by Dylan at a cool five grand each? Six purchased.
Still. Who knows, maybe come 2038, these pricey collector's items will fetch a fortune on eBay.
But only if eBay still exists.
And if Gen Z still cares about Dylan.
And if America has a working currency.
The times, they are a-changin'.
-- Chris Richards