There’s no way I can say, “This was the last unicorn” but it’s the only one I’ve ever seen. I stumbled across it about 10 years ago in a Paris flea market. Then, somehow, I lost the image. Oddly, it was a weird feeling to have no proof of what I’d seen. Then, two months ago, while I was working on a computer in France, I suddenly found it.

For some reason, it seemed to be the catalyst to me deciding that I needed to clear myself of the albatross that had hung too heavily around my neck for 32 years. Then and there, I decided to sell all that remains of Rockmine Archives.

So, in the space of two months, I had proof of the last unicorn (or at least a unicorn) and I  finally started to put Rockmine on line for sale.

I certainly didn’t foresee either event.

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If you do re-post the image, please credit me and where you found it!

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After 21 years on the World Wide Web without a proper shop, I now have one. It will be fully functioning before this weekend is out but in the meantime, for followers of my blog, Facebook and Twitter, you can have a sneak preview.

You’ll find it here. If you like it, tell me; tell your friends!

I’d appreciate comments, ideas on improving it and any other feedback you might have. The idea was to create a shop much like you’d find in any museum or art gallery. The difference here is that you can actually take something home that was part of Rockmine Archives.

On this day in Rock (Taken from The Rockmine Almanac):

1967. Paul McCartney flies to Denver, Colorado for Jane Asher’s birthday party. He takes with him a large diamond (engagement) ring which she later loses.

1969. The cover of today’s Melody Maker (available to buy on the Rock Mall here)

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1976. Sid Vicious enters hospital after scoring some smack and a dose of hepatitis.

1978. Japanese multi-millionaire Rocky Aoki visits Liverpool to formally make a £ 2.5 million bid for the city’s world famous Aintree Racecourse. If the bid is successful, he’ll offer The Beatles £ 25 million to stage a concert there. He said, “Yoko Ono is a friend of mine. If they played, I reckon we would gross £ 150 million with records and promotion”.

1980. Still without a name, the band that in less than a fortnight will be known as R.E.M. plays its first ever live gig at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Athens, Georgia.

1981. Singer Madeline Bell becomes Radio One’s first black DJ when she takes over from Noel Edmunds during his break from the microphone.

My rake through the archive is continuing apace. It’s a major weeding, deciding what to keep, what to digitise and what to sell. The latter is hugely important as this behemoth of a thing I created 32 years ago is a veritable money pit.

I will get back to having useful information on here in the not too distant future but for now I’m on a bit of a self-publicity kick. Not my self but Rockmine. Three decades has left me with more memorabilia, music papers, audio, video and ephemera than I can possible use myself, so it’s time to put on my sales cap and act like your favourite used car salesman.

Having trawled eBay and the greater web, it’s clear I’m sitting on loads of stuff that just isn’t available and it’s about time I got rid of it. Just looking at The Beatles items I have, there’s something for every fan.

There’s some original 60’s memorabilia – Fan Club membership cards with envelope and renewal form, bubblegum cards, Beatles stockings (!), a John Lennon signed EP and much more. More recent memorabilia includes rare PR photos of John & Yoko, a full press pack for the Red & Blue albums and a Dark Horse publicity pack for George. There are also promo posters for George’s solo albums and The Beatles Anthology albums.

Finally, there are music papers and other magazines. There’s a New Musical Express going online very soon that has full page adverts on front and back pages for “Abbey Road”. Needless to say, there are also colour supplements and a selection of magazines and comics, including a rare British edition of the Dell’s 1964 “The Beatles”.

It would be nice to think I could get it all online instantly but it takes time as we are talking about thousands of items. You’ll find updates to recent additions on Rockmine’s front page: http://www.rockmine.com.

I’m finally doing what I’ve been avoiding for the last goodness how long – and getting stuff out of the archive and onto Rockmine’s  site for sale.

To start with there are a selection of solo press release photos from the 1970s to the 1990s. They’re all originals and were obtained direct from the record companies at the time. Since then, they’ve been lying in boxes and filing cabinets untouched and unloved. Now, it’s a chance for other people to actually enjoy them. You’ll find them here: http://www.rockmine.com/rockmall/Solo_prs_a.html

There’s 108 to begin with and more will be added this week to be followed by the group photos.

I’ve also unearthed a selection of promo cards, counter displays, posters and window stickers which are online here: http://www.rockmine.com/rockmall/PromoCards.html

The archive’s collection of music papers is also going up for sale as I digitise them. I’ll be starting with NME from 1968 as it seemed an interesting place to begin. You’ll find a complete list of what’s for sale (Melody Maker, NME, Rolling Stone, Record Mirror, Smash Hits, Sounds, Street Life and many more) in the Music Paper Archive here: The Music Paper Archive

Everything that’s not in red will be available for sale. If you’re looking for specific issues of anything, check it out.

 

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I’ve finally finished the first of a small limited edition as a tribute to David Bowie. Each one is cast using a mould taken from a life mask made in late 1974 or early 1975 for the film, “The Man Who Fell To Earth”.

They’re cast in resin plaster and allowed to cure for 5 days prior to being gilded with 25 – 30 sheets of 23.5 carat, heavy gold leaf. A process that takes about 15 hours to complete. Finally, they’re given a protective coating of varnish to ensure the gold leaf isn’t damaged.

Not surprisingly, I’ve decided to call the edition, “Golden Years”. The finished product is a museum grade piece that makes a stunning exhibit and conversation piece. Further details can be found on Rockmine’s main site at: http://www.rockmine.com/rockmall/goldenyears.html

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It’s been a difficult time for lovers of rock music with Lemmy, David Bowie and Glen Frey passing recently. On a personal note, a friend suffered two heart attacks on December 26th and it’s coming up the the first anniversary of my wife’s death.

These events have made me realise that I carry way too much baggage with me. I have a house and a storage container filled with books and music papers going back to the late 1950s. If anything were to happen to me, I would leave my friends and family the onerous task of disposing of an vast archive accumulated over more than 30 years.

To that end, my New Year Resolution is a simple one – get rid of my clutter! That means the archive in physical form. I’ve spent the last few years digitising my music paper library, so why do I still need the paper copies?

I’m currently in France and will be returning within a week to start putting papers online. Until then, you can view the copies I have here: Music paper Library. I’ll happily accept requests for complete years or single copies.

In the meantime, to whet your appetite, here are some NMEs featuring Bowie covers from the early and mid 1970s which I’ll soon have available for sale. Clicking on anyone will give you larger images to flick through.

 

 

You can enquire about copies via the comments here or by email to info@rockmine.com