Fans pop in with souvenirs that could rock your world

Billy Sloan with Prince's waistcoat
Billy Sloan with Prince's waistcoat
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Hidden at the back of a cupboard, or safely stored in the loft, many of us have the odd LP or concert programme we have looked at over the years and wondered if it’s valuable.

Armed with treasured memorabilia, music fans packed themselves into the city’s Hard Rock Cafe yesterday to have their questions answered – and some were in for a surprise.

Signed Beatles programmes, posters for the first ever Police gig and an old photograph of Ronnie Biggs on a Brazilian beach were among the items valued in the George Street restaurant by expert auctioneers from Bonhams.

Granton pensioner Ian Archibald brought along Buddy Holly mementoes, including original record sleeves and signed programmes from his support band the Crickets.

“I just loved the guy but I never got to see him in concert,” he said while waiting in the queue. “I did see the band at the Barron Suite, though, an old club down in Chesser. I’m getting on now and looking to sell this stuff.”

All valuations were given in private and many customers were keen to keep them a secret. However, organisers later revealed one Beatles fan walked away with a smile on her face after learning her collection was worth around £6000.

Music journalist Billy Sloan had an impressive haul of items, including a waistcoat Prince threw into the crowd during a gig at Wembley Arena – valued at £7400.

He is also the proud owner of a rare signed Police poster, printed before the band made the big time. He said: “The Police were playing at Strathclyde University supporting a comedy act called Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias.

“I took two posters that were up, probably the only two there were, and got them signed by the band. There were only 16 people and they played all their best known songs like Roxanne, So Lonely, and Can’t Stand Losing You.

“Then a few months later Roxanne was a hit and that made all the others hits. They became the biggest band on the planet.”

Mr Sloan was also clutching curtain material made in tribute to the Beatles which, despite being almost 50 years old, was in near perfect condition.

“This is a real treasure,” he said. “It feels like it’s just come out of the factory. I phoned the Beatles Museum and they said they’d heard of these curtains but never seen them, then asked if I’d like to donate them. That was an easy question to answer.”

Kenneth Welsh, 52, from Portobello, had something a little different to show off – his collection of miniature celebrities, including Lady Gaga and Rhianna, which he has spent years creating out of Champagne corks. He said: “It’s just a hobby really.”

65-year-old John Cross, from the west of the city, brought pictures of a rare Jimi Hendrix guitar he owns. Only 12 of these guitars ever came to the UK.

Lesley Ross, sales and marketing manager at Hard Rock Cafe said: “All valuations were given in private but I think a lot of people were surprised and shocked at the prices they were given.

“We had one guy who brought along a Beatles record to find out whether it was real or fake. Unfortunately it was fake, but if it hadn’t been it would have been worth around £10,000.”