Smashing Pumpkins Autographed Guitar! Pfft.

The other day, a friend of mine who is one of the biggest Smashing Pumpkins fans on the planet texted me to say that he'd found an autographed James Iha guitar in a local music shop and and that he bought it for "only" $400.

Proud to have talked the clerk down from $600, I didn't have the heart to tell him that the clerk was probably laughing all the way to the bank. I asked him what brand of guitar it was and when he said "uh...", I immediately took that as a bad sign.

He then texted me a photo of the guitar and I was immediately able to determine that it was a cheap-ass POS Fender copy with an autographed James Iha pick guard. In other words, the guitar itself wasn't even autographed and my friend had basically paid $400 for an autographed pick guard attached to a $99 guitar.

Naturally, there are tons of scum bags out there willing to prey upon enthusiastic rock fans with more money than brains (sorry, it has to be said), selling autographed merchandise made to look a whole lot more legit and valuable than it really is. I once saw a documentary on Ronnie James Dio signing literally hundreds of pick guards for "fans" after a show. The thing is Dio didn't actually play guitar, but that didn't stop these leeches from taking those pick guards, attaching them to cheap guitars, and selling them for hundreds of dollars. Heck, they even went so far as to print up official-looking certificates of authenticity that weren't worth the paper they were printed on, but worked in convincing trusting fans that what they were buying was a valuable, one-of-a-kind rock & roll souvenir.

As if on-cue, a few days ago, Billy Corgan responded to a fan inquiry on his Twitter account by saying, "sorry buddy, but that's a fake...none of those signatures are real.", and then followed that with, "one good clue on SP autographed stuff is we rarely ever signed drum heads or guitars."

Needless to say, my friend was crushed, but, hey, better it happens now and makes him a little less willing to believe that some two-bit guitar shop is selling valuable rock & roll artifacts. I'm tempted to name the guitar shop, but will hold off for now.

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