Fake Autographs

Ouch, beware a set of fake signatures which went up for auction lately via a seller in Germany. But don’t blame the seller! Back in 1971 he wrote to the band’s office in Newman Street and asked for their signatures (autograph collecting was massive in Germany then, and is still very popular – we have had hundreds of usually blank postcards sent our way requesting them over the years).
The seller was really chuffed when a little postcard arrived back, signed by the band, along with a typed letter from their secretary thanking him for his interest. He put the set (and letter – both taped to his copy of In Rock) up for sale for just over £100.
Fake Deep Purple autographs

The only problem is that (as many will spot) these are clear fakes. Which means that back in the early 70s, the management were busy having one or more of their secretaries signing these cards for fans. Tonny Steenhagen had a bit more of a search about for us, and to his surprise found more bad fakes out there.
So, while we were aware that certainly The Beatles had people doing this, it’s the first time we’ve seen Purple scammed. The only bonus is that at least the Purple ones are obviously fake, whereas with The Beatles it’s often quite hard to tell.
For what it’s worth, going from top to bottom here, the first set is the poorest fake of all. Card two; the Glover one might be real, but the others are again clear forgeries. The third was thought to be real and sort of looks good in places, but when you compare it to the others, you’ll notice it’s again signed in exactly the same position on the card as the others, which raises doubts in my mind. I have a set of signatures from 1971 done to me personally and they don’t look much like these.
Anyhow, what we’re saying it there are likely to be a lot of these still out there, so please be careful. Even fans at the time were clearly duped. Not everything is so obvious as the Last Concert In Japan LP we once saw offered, with a ‘genuine’ Tommy Bolin signature on it…

4 Responses to “Fake Autographs”

  1. Bruno Berry Says:

    Hi. I have just bought an Italian copy of the Mark I & II double LP compilation released in 1974. This record comes from the personal collection of a late rock music journalist who worked in the UK and US for decades. The front cover has 4 autographs on it but the only one I can identify is Roger Glover. I guess the other 3 might be from the Mark I musicians as they look very old. Could you please help me to identify these? Thank you

    • simon robinson Says:

      I would need to see a photo Bruno. It’s possible they are Mk 1 signatures but by the time this LP came out those guys were not so easy to track down.

  2. Jerry Bloom Says:

    Apparently Cilla Black used to sign them for The Beatles. Do you reckon Ayshea Brough did Purple’s? Agree about the Glover one, and I also reckon it could be a genuine Ritchie signature on the bottom one.

    By the way I have a genuine ’72 burnt Strat signed by Hendrix! If anyone is interested give me a call. (I bought it from Mitch Mitchell) :)

    • simon robinson Says:

      I’ve a feeling Tony had better things for Ayshea to be doing, lucky chap! I’ll pass on the Strat this time (reminds me of the episode of Phoenix Nights when they’re selling burnt ash-trays as genuine souvenirs of the fire, and one of them burns his fingers on them!).

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