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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2007 » Archive through April 21, 2007 » What is the opinion of signatures on alembic instruments? « Previous Next »

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jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 811
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 12:21 am:   Edit Post

I wonder whether having the personal signature of a famous alembic bassist on an alembic bass would be a good thing or a bad thing?

I know that a while ago the signature models had Stanley Clarke or Mark Kings signature on the headstock and that was later dropped.

Personally I prefer it without the headstock signature. ( No disrespect to owners with the signature models.)

Now I'm in a bit of a quandry. I'm going to Stanley Clarke's gig at the Jazz Cafe later this month and in two minds about taking my bass down there in the hope that he would sign it.

If I did, I wouldn't want the signature on the front of the bass as it has a lovely Coco Bola top and for me it would spoil the purity of the look.

However the back is also coco bola and I'm not sure whether it would be a good idea to sign there too.

If I had a brass back cover then I would be fine with having the autograph there as it wouldn't interfere with the fantastic wood on the back and could replace it if I had to sell the bass.

But I have continuous CB back plate so he could sign that or maybe the back of the headstock but I'm not sure whether I think it's a good idea or not.

Although I don't plan to sell my alembic, I also wonder if it would affect sale price postively or negatively if i decided to sell it later?

In one sense I would be happy if Stanley just held the bass, played it and I had a photo of me, him and the bass.

Yeah I know I probably sound like an adolescent fan but i just wanted to put the feelers out and see what others think.

The other consideration is the inconvenience of walking around London all day lugging my alembic round and worrying about it being safe from damage.

Help :-)

Jazzyvee
the_mule
Senior Member
Username: the_mule

Post Number: 611
Registered: 1-2004
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 1:59 am:   Edit Post

If I were you, I would ask him to / let him sign the inside of the Coco Bolo back plate. I assume you want the autograph for yourself and not to show off, so it'd be your personal cool little secret, a bit of Stanley's mojo hidden inside your bass.

Wilfred
flaxattack
Senior Member
Username: flaxattack

Post Number: 1447
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 5:58 am:   Edit Post

thats not a bad idea
i would go back of the headstock
glocke
Intermediate Member
Username: glocke

Post Number: 181
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 6:17 am:   Edit Post

I dont like signatures on instruments (no offense to anyone, just not my thing), so I would go for signing the inside of the backplate also....

As for how it affects the price of an instrument, I think a big fan of the artist who signed it would probably pay a little more for it, but the average person probably wouldnt...
olieoliver
Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 1237
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 6:57 am:   Edit Post

I'm not much of an autograph seeker either but if I were, inside the back plate is a good idea. That way you don't have to take your whole bass with you.
hydrargyrum
Advanced Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 250
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 7:05 am:   Edit Post

Here's another vote for inside the cover plate. Signatures look too much like graffiti to me.
keavin
Senior Member
Username: keavin

Post Number: 1116
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 7:26 am:   Edit Post

The only thing a signature does is makes the instrument worth more money even if the artist only played it once!........ if a BONO took a bite out of a fish sandwich & left it on the counter that f#cking thing would be worth a million bucks on EBAY!.....it's all about Money!
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 813
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 10:22 am:   Edit Post

I'm not an autograph hunter either but Clarkee is probably my favourite musician so having his signature would be cool for me. And yes it wold be a personal thing for me and not something I would want to show off so I like the idea of having it inside the backplate. I think I'll go with that one. Hope I don't lose it during the day. lol
Thanks for your views.
Jazzyvee.
88persuader
Advanced Member
Username: 88persuader

Post Number: 300
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 10:26 am:   Edit Post

Another vote for a "hidden" signature. My whole problem with "autographs" is how do you know they're real? If someone were trying to sell me a Stanley Clark Alembic for more then it's worth because Stanley "Signed it" I'd want proof positive it was Stanley's actual Signature. Like a photo of the seller standing with Stanley with bass in hand. It's a tough thing to prove. There's nothing stopping me from finding Stanley's signature someplace on the web, getting a magic marker and forging his signature on the back of my SC Standard. Now "I" would never do this ... but we all know there are some very dishonest people in the world. So MY opinion is an autographed bass isn't worth a penny more unless you have proof positive the autograph is real. BUT that being said, if you're there and you know Stanley signed your bass I think it's cool for bragging rights! Of course this is just my opinion. Someone else may be willing to pay you a lot extra for the signed bass. Some people are far more trusting (or gullable) then me. :-)
malthumb
Senior Member
Username: malthumb

Post Number: 402
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 11:52 am:   Edit Post

I would also vote for inside the backplate, but maybe for different reasons than have been voiced so far.

I would take the backplate to the concert and leave the bass at home. Why risk the damage? Also, signatures on the outside of the bass could eventually wear off, depending on what if anything you are willing to do to preserve them. I had Nathan East and Gerald Veasley sign a bass that I no longer own. Although Nathan's signature stayed very clear until the new owner had it removed, Gerald's signature became a blur over the course of 2 or 3 years.

I also had The Brothers Johnson sign the back of my 5 string Alembic with a Sharpie. Three gigs later I found myself removing what was left of those signatures. That's when I wished I had just had them sign inside the plate.

Peace,

James
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 737
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 11:57 am:   Edit Post

I personally wouldn't buy an instrument that had been signed as I think it detracts from the value.

As far as Stanley's signature goes he sure signed a lot items when I saw him last year. This included album covers, CD covers and several bass guitars. Given how many are out there I don't think it adds any value to anyone other than the receiver.

Keith
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 4406
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 1:28 pm:   Edit Post

If you're going to preserve a signature on the finish, you need to prep the finish first, that means sanding - otherwise a protective coating will not stick to the smooth, buffed surface of the existing finish. It's not easy , and if you're not experienced, I wouldn't recommend experimenting on your Alembic.

Once your finish is prepped, you'll need to find a suitable marker. Sharpies are common, but you need to check that it won't react with whatever you're going to protect the signature with. For instance, Krylon spray paint likes to melt away Sharpies, so test your marker and your cover paint first.

Wow, getting the inside of the backplate signed is sounding better and better all the time!
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1536
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 2:11 pm:   Edit Post

Maybe use one of those paint-pen sharpies?
dela217
Senior Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 786
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 2:14 pm:   Edit Post

I shared a bill with Will Lee once. I asked him to sign my Series II. He thought it wasn't a good idea, but did it anyway. He signed it on the front of the bass near the bridge and tailpiece. After a couple of weeks, I got tired of looking at it, and it just wiped away with a damp cloth! The inside of the backplate is the way to go. Signatures with a sharpie on the front of a Series II just wipe away. Good Thing!
olieoliver
Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 1240
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 2:15 pm:   Edit Post

I was ask for MY autograph when I bought my Alembics, Of course it was on the bottom of a check too. :-)
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1537
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 2:40 pm:   Edit Post

Guess you should order these basses with a couple duplicate plastic electronics cavity covers if you're an autograph hound. That way, you can accessorize by bringing the appropriate signature with you when you gig.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 814
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 4:27 pm:   Edit Post

Hmm Mica, I'm not going to sand down my babe and ruin all tha hard work. The inside cavity it will be. I just hope I get to meet him.

I trust the silver coating will not be affected by using a marker pen on it?
Jazzyvee
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 4409
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 6:01 pm:   Edit Post

Shielding should be just fine.
edwin
Advanced Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 227
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 9:11 pm:   Edit Post

I've been wondering about this. I have a '67 Starfire signed by both Phil Lesh and Jack Casady. While there is no outside proof, I know it's real, because I had them both do it. As instruments of that vintage get more valuable and it gets more valuable to me, I am wondering how much to insure it for. Aside from all the vintage whatnot and the signature whatnot, it just sounds great and plays great and getting another just like it is pretty much impossible. I don't want to leave it at home, but I want to make sure that I am somehow protected. To be honest, I am pretty pissed off at this whole vintage thing. Basses are tools to create music and all this artificial inflation takes them out of the hands of those who might get the best use of out them.

</rant>

Edwin
keavin
Senior Member
Username: keavin

Post Number: 1119
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 4:06 am:   Edit Post

Stanley (clarke) had one of his personal alembics on ebay some years back & it didnt even sell so he yanked it...
dannobasso
Senior Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 511
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 6:13 am:   Edit Post

If I ever met anyone I respected to sign my basses I would have them do it. Sometimes to the right person it increases the value for certain reasons. If it is something that you get a kick out of, by all means do it. If you are doing it for investment purposes you may be dissapointed in a diminished return. On a smaller note I asked Pete Steele from Type O to sign a copy of their new cd for a friend of mine. He seemed pleased to do it. If not for fans, where would anyone in the entertainment business be?
2400wattman
Advanced Member
Username: 2400wattman

Post Number: 330
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 8:16 am:   Edit Post

Edwin, partial blame should go to the doctors and lawyers that could never play(and I mean can not PLAY), but have what would seem unexhaustable funds to buy the guitars/basses our heroes played. This is not directed at our attorney/member Bill(hell I'll assume that since he plays Alembics that he can play).
Sorry Jazzy, slight detour on this thread.
Get the back plate signed & feel confident knowing it's there for you. I doubt you'll be selling this bass as these are hard to come by financially alone, despite what part of the world you are in. Take care and enjoy the show!
57basstra
Senior Member
Username: 57basstra

Post Number: 588
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 10:30 am:   Edit Post

Not Alembics, but

Recently I bought a Rogue Beatle Bass for under $200 at a local pawn shop. We live near Fort Campbell and the bass had been one Charlie Daniels took to Iraq. He presened this one, along with a lot of other instruments, to our soldiers. He also had a well publicized instrument signing event there. This was one of those instruments. Since it had Charlie's signature and had some documentation, and had this history, I bought it. I have played some high dollar (new and vintage) Hofner Beatle basses and surprisingly (or not so surprisingly), this one is not far off in looks, action and sound.

I also have a very nice newer Aria Pro II guitar signed by the members of the group 'Slaughter'. I got this one at a real pawn shop bargain and I believe the autographs actually diminished the price the pawn shop could get for it.



(Message edited by 57basstra on April 11, 2007)
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 2298
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 5:38 pm:   Edit Post

Adam & Edwin:

As far as whether I can play, I just know that I have a lot of fun and when my wife first heard me play shortly after we met she said she was happy to find out I wasn't a "fakee". For a less biased report, ask the folks who attended the recent Northern California gathering. I ain't the best and I ain't the worst. As for my "high dollar vintage instruments", I bought my '61 Strat in about 1975 for $125 and my 1970 ES-335 in 1986 for $400. Each time it was "big money" to me.

Bill
edwin
Advanced Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 230
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 10:35 pm:   Edit Post

Bill, my rant was in no way directed at you! I even kind of understand the collector mentality, but it's still hard to believe the current economic tribulations of being a full time musician. Regular gigs have hovered near $100 a night for decades, yet the cost of living has gone through the roof. I don't want to delve into political topics, but I'm none too happy with how the economics of the 21st century are panning out.

Happy playing, everyone!
Edwin
PS I bought my '67 Starfire for $275 and my Alembic Series I for $750, (but not recently!) and they both felt like big money to me.
PPS Bill, I'll be in SF on May 3rd and 4th, probably staying with my cousin the lawyer, and it would be great to meet you!
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 2299
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 6:34 am:   Edit Post

Edwin:

It could be arranged ... for, of course, my regular billing rate of ...... hehehehehe.

Seriously, though, email me and we can set something up. Maybe shoot down to the studio and make some noise?

As for being a pro, my hat's off to ya, buddy! I long ago chose a different path once I realized that Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen made millions and everyone else starved.

Bill, tgo
cozmik_cowboy
Intermediate Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 129
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 7:03 am:   Edit Post

I understand the collector mentality completely - you have to acknowledge the logic behind the argument that classical players have all those amazing 17th & 18th century fiddles because collectors kept them protected (Steve Stills justified being the first to pay $10,000 for a D-45 by explaining that he was bidding against a representative of a Japanese manufacturer who would have taken it apart to see what made it so good, and he wasn't going to let that happen); also, when I was young I couldn't wait until I could afford to be a collector, but with prices like $1500 for a '61 "SG" Les Paul and $150 for a '59 ES330TD (& $125 for a '61 Strat, for that matter), I knew I'd have to wait a while. Well, I saw a '61 Paul for $100,000 not long ago. The guy who owned the '66 Tele I learned my first chords on bought it for $300 in '78 & sold it for $600 in the mid-80s. I saw one on e-bay a month or so ago with a BIN of $16,700. I guess I won't be collecting any time soon - I'm glad the quality of new instruments is as good as it is, because the vintage stuff has gotten freaking insane - this is what they should go for in another 100-200 years.
And Bill - if you want to double your money on the Strat, shoot me an e-mail anytime :-)!

Peter

Oh, yeah - there's a thread here, isn't there? SO, just to make it legit: I agree with Kevin - signatures on instruments look like graffiti.

(Message edited by Cozmik_Cowboy on April 12, 2007)

(Message edited by Cozmik_Cowboy on April 12, 2007)

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