Only 30 years on since breaking on the scene, the grunge revolution headed up by Nirvana and Pearl Jam has all but cornered the rock collectible market.
Famed Los Angeles record store owner Wayne Johnson of Rockaway Records in Silverlake is one of rock’s busiest and knowledgeable collectors and told us that the 1990’s are the new 1960’s for rock memorabilia: “It kinda reminds me how quick Beatles, and (Rolling) Stones, and Elvis (Presley) sold back 30, 40 years ago. I just can’t keep it in stock. And Pearl Jam is only number two for collectibles; a Nirvana collection would even do better. I’m paying ridiculous money for stuff and it seems like there’s no limit. They’re stuff is going up quicker than just about anybody. Y’know, grunge — and punk stuff is doing real well, too. The punk stuff is going up crazy, as well. Soundgraden, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana — I think they’re the big four.”
The guys at Rockaway Records are actively seeking new archives from diehards and casual fans alike, with many people actually completely unaware of the virtual goldmine they might be sitting on: “Right now the collectibles market is probably the best I’ve seen in over 40 years. We’re selling stiff so fast now that I’m desperate for high quality collections — and will pay big, big money for the right stuff. And a lot of people think that, ‘Hey — I’ll do better (selling) on eBay, why should I sell to a dealer?’ That’s not always the best way to go, auctions. I mean, sometimes it is and if somebody has something I think will do better in an auction house, I’m gonna tell ’em so.”
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