Lady Gaga bootleg ‘Mickey Mouse’ Paparazzi sunglasses

 glasses2Format: eyewear
Country: unknown
Year: 2012
Price paid: $10.48
Purchased at: Triple Optic (Amazon dealer)


“‎Do not allow people to dim your shine because they are blinded. Tell them to put on some sunglasses, ‘cause we were born this way bitch!” – Lady Gaga

2Say what you will about Gaga, if she were to disappear tomorrow her place in music history is still sealed as one of the more colorful pop artists of the early 21st century. Her longevity has yet to be proven, but her embracing of two major demographics (awkward teens and ostracized sexual groups) through her benevolent ‘Mother Monster’ image gives her a readymade fanbase that should keep the Haus of Gaga afloat for years to come.


Lady Gaga signs a fan's copy of the NY Post, then poses with him while wearing Mickey ear sunglasses outside of Rockefeller Center, NYCStrip away all the meat dresses, glitter lobster hats, and Shrek-sized shoulder pads and you’re left with a slightly better than average Madonna-esque crooner. The thing is though you CAN’T separate the Gaga from the dress; they’re as intertwined as Thelma and Louise, Siegfried and Roy, Disney and Mickey Mouse.

As of 2014 you can still purchase a pair of these iconic glasses, officially known as ‘Mickey by Jeremy Scott by Linda Farrow’ for a very reasonable $464 (not including lenses.)

4The pair on display here are cheap ten dollar knockoffs, basically costume-quality. Many choices await on Amazon if you choose to invest in a pair, of varying quality but almost universally under $20. The differences when compared to the original are many. The original has a flatter, thicker body, thinner bridge, and the blinder ‘flaps’ are flatter and appear to be non-opaque. But to be honest, Ms. Gaga herself would have a difficult time differentiating between the two if you were to be sporting these in a dark nightclub or rave.



Berlin: 2014 stickers and badges


Format: various

Country: US

Year: 2014

Price paid: $8.50 (including ship.)

Purchased at: Official Berlin featuring Terri Nunn website


If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now: I love autographs. Whether personalized with a thoughtful sentiment or merely pithily hen-scratched, there’s something about that tenuous connection with a celebrity that comes about from getting/owning their (oft unintelligible) scribbles that infuses the object with deep meaning. In the case of the New Wave genre few signatures carry high monetary value, but to me they’re priceless artifacts.

terri4In most cases I get my autographs second-hand from dealers, eBay, other collectors. Sadly authenticity is always an issue. The FBI has stated that 70% of sports autographs are fakes. I’m not sure what the numbers are in the world of music, but undoubtedly forgeries are passed off as the real deal every day, especially with personalities like Elvis and dead Beatles, where big bucks are to be made. Even the signature of a ‘minor’ artist, with their relative obscurity, doesn’t make authenticity certain. It takes careful research, such as comparing examples to known or independent specimens, and trust in your source to be confident that what you have is genuine. But I digress…

Happily provenance is not an issue here, as I received them directly from the source…

I’ve been a fan of Terri/Berlin for years, so I really perked up when I came across an autographed item on eBay. A lot of them actually. Personally signed, if requested at checkout. Many artists ask that you give your name when signing autographs (she did)- this practice is to discourage flippers I imagine; signed items typically don’t (re)sell for as much if they have someone’s name on them.

terri5I’m fine with that, but didn’t want my personal request to get lost and just end up with a few awesome but autograph-less stickers, so I went right to ground zero, that is, the official website. Prices were the same but I felt more confident that the note would get through. I thought I’d be cute and ask for ‘<3’ and wow, she did it for me. It’s the little things that make a fan’s day.


I’m not sure why she’s selling her signature so cheap, basically free with anything you buy. I routinely see autographs of artists of a similar ilk/status (no respect meant!) go in the $25-30 range so IMO she should sign less and charge more per. That being said- and being a cheap bastard- I went for the ‘deluxe’ Combo Pack to maximize my signature-bang, getting 2 autographs and three buttons for under ten bucks.


Joan Jett tour 18 wheel semi-hauler


Format: Toy
Company: Hot Wheels, ‘Concert Billboard’ series
Country: US
Year: 2011
Dimensions: 15.8 x 2.5 x 3.9 inches
Price paid: $15.99
Purchased at: Forbidden Planet, NYC


“New York City when it’s late at night
I’m on West Side Highway heading
Up to the G.W. Bridge down by the power lines
I see all the neon and it’s cold at night
I got my radio on”

A wise man once said that “Diversity is the spice of a collection.”

Actually I just made that up, but it stands to reason. I’m always on the hunt for that oddball stuff to brighten my musical assemblage, so when I spied this on the discount rack of a midtown Manhattan comic book store I knew I just had to have it…

This truck is part of a series of ‘concert billboard’ vehicles. Others in the series include AC/DC, The Who, and Kiss. It measures in at an impressive 16″ long and, ripped from the Amazon description:

  • Celebrating the biggest stars of classic rock
  • Billboard-like images with great detailing
  • Cab is detailed with the bands iconic logo
  • Die-cast metal cab is a great addition to any collection
  • A must have for the classic rock collector
  • Recommended Ages: 8-13+ years


For what it’s worth Amazon also recommends that, based on my interest in this product, I may want to check out yellow hard hats and a Disney ‘Cars’ three-piece upholstered sectional set. Buyers rate this product a solid 5-stars too!

Who these appeal to other than the niche fanbase of their respective fans and the Hot Wheels enthusiasts I’m not sure. Maybe that demographic is robust to bolster sales into the stratosphere… but I’m guessing not.

Odds are I’ll never take this out of its box, as the packaging is 80% of the charm.


Primitives badges


Format: badge

Year: 2013

Purchased at: Primitives Official Website

Price paid: about £3.50


There’s something about having a badge that just makes you feel so official. – Gloria Reuben

Where would rock be without the leather jacket? And where would the leather jacket be without at least a few badges conveying the wearer’s passions?

This set of four 1″ badges (or straight-back buttons) was a website exclusive, now discontinued. Released during the ‘Echoes and Rhythms’ period, the header art harkens back to the band’s earliest ‘Lazy’ years in terms of style and color.