Bottling Up Memorabilia

SIMON SWEETMAN
Last updated 12:19 27/05/2013

Here is a picture of a water bottle. I'm sure many of you spotted that straight away and had it all worked out before you read this. You looked at the picture and just drew your own conclusion. You didn't need me to tell you what it was. You knew already. It was obvious. In fact it was, er, quite clear. Just a water bottle


Others perhaps started reading the text first but now that they've looked at the water bottle, following the prompt, they're also sure they would have worked it out for themselves.

But why is this picture of a water bottle part of a post on a music blog?

Beyond the most obvious answer: Sweetman ran out of ideas ages ago...

You see this is no ordinary water bottle. This water bottle once belonged to Bobby Womack. I'm told on very good authority that on Saturday night this water bottle was sipped from by Bobby Womack. Mr Womack took a drink from that bottle. His backwash is still swimming in with what's left in that bottle.

So that obviously makes the bottle worth quite a bit. It's no longer just a water bottle right?

You can check Facebook, eBay and TradeMe to see how it's doing...I'm aiming to clear my debt with the sale of this item.

Actually, I can't go on with that lie. This is - or rather was Bobby Womack's water bottle. But that shouldn't really mean anything. It shouldn't make it any different from any other water bottle - except it might actually give you reason to not want to drink from it.

It is not going to be on eBay or TradeMe. Not unless the person from the Shangri-Las Hotel who will have cleaned my room by the time you're reading this is now on a break and checking in, as usual, with Blog On The Tracks and has decided to seize the opportunity to make a few extra thousand dollars on the side.

I've never understood this desire to make the mundane memorabilia via a celebrity imprint.

It should be no more important to the wider world that Bobby Womack once had that water bottle in his hands than the fact that I did. Actually, I was at Saturday's Sydney concert by Bobby Womack and, based on that I'm pretty sure the bottle could be worth a lot more if it was once mine rather than Bobby's.

I photographed the bottle to make this blog-post - because I've got a plane to catch (I'll be on it when you're reading this).

And then I threw the water bottle in the bin. I washed my hands of it. (Then I - actually - washed my hands).

But I thought we could start the week with some of the weirdest, wackiest music memorabilia you own, or know of. Have you purchased a tiny square of hotel linen once slept on by The Beatles? Or do you own the glass Justin Beiber drank from during one of his recent Japanese promotional interviews?

Do you - on any level at all - understand that sort of infatuation? I understand getting books, records and CDs signed by the artist or author - and I still do this from time to time. If I know the person - or meet them, chat with them, then I might collect the signature.Vivid

But I've never understood the pop fandom madness that has people wanting to keep a sweaty towel, a used hanky or a Green Room water bottle.

Do you have any uber-fan/mad-to-anyone-else music memorabilia? Do you know any stories involving people you know who have paid for found/made-up music memorabilia? That has to be sadder - the water bottle not even passed on to them by the hand of Womack (for example). But they paid a price to own it, to manufacture a memory to go along with the made-up memorabilia.

Post script: Bobby Womack's show on Saturday night was not my favourite thing at the Vivid Festival. But later in the week I'll talk more about my time in Sydney. I saw Kraftwerk. In fact I saw them twice.

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