Superfan’s lifetime collection of rock’n’roll memorabilia could fetch thousands

·2-min read

A unique collection of memorabilia representing one superfan’s life-long love affair with rock music is to go under the hammer.

Featuring items signed by Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Who, Eric Clapton and Sting, the Steve Thrift Collection contains more than 40 lots amassed by the former police detective from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, during 57 years of attending live concerts and working as a bodyguard.

The collection is tipped to fetch up to £20,000 when it goes under the hammer at Chippenham Auction Rooms in Chippenham, Wiltshire, on June 6.

Steve Thrift with a High Numbers poster signed by Roger Daltry (Chippenham Auction Rooms/PA)
Steve Thrift with a High Numbers poster signed by Roger Daltry (Chippenham Auction Rooms/PA)

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 that he swore while autographing it.

Principal auctioneer Richard Edmonds 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 to £20,000.”

Mr Thrift was just 10 years old when he attended his first concert in 1963 – The Beatles in Ipswich.

He is selling his collection in order to support his fledgling literary career.

“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,” he said.

“When Roger Daltry saw my poster for The Who under their earlier name of The High Numbers, he said, ‘Where the f*** did you get that from? I haven’t seen one of those since 1965’.”

A guitar signed by Eric Clapton is also being sold next week (Chippenham Auction Rooms/PA)
A guitar signed by Eric Clapton is among the lots being sold next week (Chippenham Auction Rooms/PA)

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 include autographed books, tickets and merchandise; a platinum disc of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon album; signed photographs; and guitar plectrums.

Buyers will receive a full history of each item and a certificate of authenticity.

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