A unique collection of memorabilia representing one superfan’s life-long love affair with rock music goes up for auction in Chippenham this weekend.
Featuring items signed by Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Who, Eric Clapton and Sting, the Steve Thrift Collection contains over 40 lots amassed by the former police detective from Aylesbury over 57 years of attending live concerts and working as a bodyguard.
Highlights of the sale include a Gibson guitar signed by all four members of Pink Floyd in the run-up to their reunion at 2005’s Live 8 concert in Hyde Park and a guitar scratchplate on which Eric Clapton wrote lyrics from his hit Layla and signed his name. Also of great interest is a poster for The Who’s earlier incarnation, The High Numbers, which so surprised singer Roger Daltry he swore while autographing it.
Richard Edmonds, principal auctioneer at Chippenham Auction Rooms, said: ‘This is an amazing and deeply personal collection, the result of one man’s life becoming interwoven with the rock music he loved. We’re expecting strong interest in many of the items, which will appeal to collectors and fans alike.
‘This is a collection that’s very hard to value but we feel it will fetch somewhere in the region of £15,000–£20,000.’
Steve Thrift was just ten years old when he attended his first concert in 1963, which was The Beatles in Ipswich. He is selling his collection in order to support his fledgling literary career. Mr Thrift said: ‘These items have been on the walls of my home for years. It’s sad to see them go but I’ve had a life-long love affair with music and I’ve always got my memories.
‘When Roger Daltry saw my poster for The Who under their earlier name of The High Numbers, he said: ‘Where the f**k did you get that from? I haven’t seen one of those since 1965!’.’
During his career as a bodyguard and driver, Mr Thrift attended Sting’s wedding, chauffeured actor John Hurt, attended Live Aid, and worked for Eric Clapton, Bryan Ferry and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.
He also appears briefly in maverick musician John Otway’s 2012 film Rock’n’Roll’s Greatest Failure.
Other lots in the sale included autographed books, tickets and merchandise; a platinum disk of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon album; signed photographs and guitar plectrums.
The collection will be auctioned online by Chippenham Auction Rooms on Saturday 6 June.
Buyers will receive a full history of each item and a certificate of authenticity.
Buyer’s premium is 20% plus VAT.