He is rock ‘n’ roll’s leading memorabilia detective, a collector who has tracked down John Lennon’s Japanese language class doodles and Elton John’s first upright piano. Now Tom Fontaine is selling off his unique slice of music history with a warning that the market for mementos is flooded with fakes. An obsessive collector since first seeing The Beatles on US television in 1964, Fontaine, from Indianapolis, has acquired more than 2,000 items including autographs and signed contracts to stage clothing and furniture from stars ranging from Elvis Presley to Jimi Hendrix.
Fontaine, 58, whose expertise in authenticating memorabilia is sought by auction houses, is now downsizing and has begun to place his archive for sale on the Pledge Music direct-to-fan crowdfunding site.
The most valuable item in the first trance is a baseball signed by all The Beatles and given to an employee at their 1966 concert in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, the band’s final US appearance, which has a £47,000 price tag.
What makes Fontaine stand out from his rivals in the competitive world of memorabilia collection is the forensic skills he uses to uncover arcane artefacts.
“I found out that when John Lennon lived in New York he attended Japanese writing classes over Christmas 1976 before the birth of Sean, his son with Yoko Ono, at the Berlitz School,” Fontaine told the i paper.
By: Adam Sherwin
Source: I News