Alongside some of his own solo albums, Morrissey had also signed copies of records by a handful of his favourite artists – including David Bowie’s ‘Aladdin Sane’, Patti Smith’s ‘Horses‘, Lou Reed’s ‘Transformer‘ and Iggy and the Stooges’ ‘Raw Power‘.
However, experts now say that the records are unlikely to be first edition pressings – which mean that the singer is selling them for over ten times their original worth.
“His modern autograph on its own? It’s worth £100, maybe,” said Nigel Young – the owner of Manchester’s Reel Around The Fountain record store.
“He’s put them up for $300 and I don’t imagine that they’re original pressings. They’re likely to be £20 reissues and he can’t be skint. I don’t think he’s adding any value, but I think the issue is that there’s always someone who will pay anything for it.”
Nigel, whose store takes its name from the 1984 Smiths track, believes that a sensible price would instead be just under £100.
“If he had them for eighty quid, it would be a fair deal for an album signed by Morrissey. But do we even know it’s personally signed by him?,” he explained.
I think the original post got deleted but here’s the picture. The absolute hubris of charging $300 for a Bowie record signed by Morrissey is breathtaking. pic.twitter.com/bruSpDRSFY
— Robert Ham (@roberthamwriter) October 27, 2019
Aub Driver, a spokesperson for online vinyl site Discogs, also believes that it’s all to do with pressings too. A rare copy of Lou Reed’s seminal ‘Transformer’ can sell for up to $500 on the site.
“Valuation is reflected by scarcity, collectibility, quality and ultimately what people are willing to pay. If we were to know whether those albums he signed were original pressings or reissues, that could affect the asking price dramatically.” he explains.
“Either way, you slice it, the onus would be on the buyer to determine if the asking price for one of these rare merch items is worth it or not.”
Of course, this is before we even consider the ethics of signing the records – would the late Lou Reed appreciate Morrissey’s signature on his seminal album?
“It’s more like he’s defacing them. How is he relating himself to Patti Smith, Lou Reed and all the rest of them?,” says Nigel. “Most of those artists would cringe at his politics nowadays, I personally think.”
The same show also saw Morrissey making headlines after wearing a cut-off t-shirt emblazoned with the words ‘FUCK THE GUARDIAN’.
Young, a self-avowed Smiths devotee, added: “Back in the day he’d say something contentious like ‘Meat like Murder’ and axe the Monarchy and places like NME would applaud it. But nowadays, he pops up and says something right-wing and then disappears. He’s surrounded by Yes Men now.
“Back in the day he had three other working class lads who’d say ‘Morrissey, shut the fuck up, you’re being a dickhead’.
He added: “He’s definitely ripping off his fans and you can quote me on that! There’s that line in ‘Paint A Vulgar Picture’ – ‘Re-issue! Re-package! Re-package!’ He’s going against everything he stood for and it’s just ludicrous.”