August 11, 2014: An English pop star who started getting rock stars to sign his cheap acoustic guitar in the ‘50s now owns a historic collectible worth more than $2,000,000 U.S. Dollars.
Alvin Stardust -- who scored a Number 1 hit in England in 1974 with the song “Jealous Mind” -- is 71 years old now, but started collecting signatures on the guitar when he was 12.
His father bought the guitar for pocket change and the young rock fan promptly took it to a Buddy Holly concert, where Holly and the Crickets signed the guitar, which Stardust -- then known by his birthname, Bernard Jewry -- dubbed “Peggy Sue.” Peggy Sue eventually hooked up with the Beatles, the Stones, Cliff Richard, and many more as the years went by.
Stardust performed under the name Shane Fenton and the Fentones in the 1960s, and brought the guitar to performances throughout the British Isles, where he often rubbed shoulders with future rock royalty. The Beatles signed the guitar at a show at the Royal Albert Hall in 1963.
The guitar was appraised by London vintage guitar expert Rick Zsigmond of New Kings Road Vintage Guitar Emporium, who told London’s Daily Mail: “The fact it tells the story of rock from its very infancy and in such a wonderful way is what makes it so valuable.”
Stardust has no plans to sell the guitar, but he does have a new album coming out this fall, his first since 1984. Good thing he got some press ahead of the disc’s release, huh? Oh wait, you mean that was planned?
Note to stage door groupies: Stardust says he was often let into the backstage area of a venue simply because he was carrying a guitar, and the doorman thought he was there to perform.
-- Adam St. James