The latest from Michael on Facebook:
I am about to do a Movies of the Mind tour that starts with the Stagecoach Festival in Palm Springs on Sunday, April 27th then goes up along the west coast through an archipelago of small clubs.
I decided to do “meet and greets” after each show, and this time I am going to give an item or two to each meetee/greetee. The first is a nice 8X10 glossy that I will sign right there with you, as you want it signed-and now I am trying to think of something else to include.
My first choice, if it is ready in time, is to give away a free download of the Movies of the Mind CD from videoranch.com.
If not, then I’m not sure what to.
I learned a lot at the Monkees Con. Not what I expected, but all good.
I have never been to anything like that – never been a fan of anything – as it were, and on balance it seemed as if most fans and attendees were happy and came away satisfied.
One dealer came with 70 albums for me to sign. He had about six or seven Headquarters LP's there with everyone's signature but mine. As I was signing them I asked him what a Headquarters LP would be worth with all four signatures and he said about two thousand dollars.
I asked what the highest valued album was and he said it was a vinyl record of the first Beatles LP with all four signatures that sold for around sixty thousand dollars at auction. I have no idea whether he was right or wrong but he seemed to know.
Before that I had put my signature on someone’s leg – I think her leg was probably worth a lot more to her than my signature. She was going to have it tattooed on there.
My mother was a fan and a collector. She loved Star Trek. She also loved fine art and collected it. I think she might have collected a lot of paintings and sculptures had she lived longer.
After she died the Foundation she started, and of which I was now the Trustee, ended up with all the art she bought.
I decided I would sell some of that collection and buy even more works, but only by American women artists. I bought famous pieces, and odd ball pieces, and I tried to learn about what was good, and what was valuable in that world, but I didn't have her knack. She could spot fine art “across a crowded room.”
It was still a pretty good collection even after I bought all the new works -- Grandma Moses, and Louise Nevelson, Mary Cassatt -- pretty things I think my mother would have liked. There was a piece by Helen Frankenthaler I particularly loved.
At that point I didn't quite know what to do with the collection so I started sending it around the country to be displayed in shopping malls in small towns. I figured people who might not ordinarily see these works could get a look at them.
We called it "Works by Women."
After a while, the person I hired to help me preserve the works said I couldn't let them travel anymore. She said the paint was falling off the canvas and, "if the pictures keep being moved around there will finally be nothing left of them." So I took them off the road and put them up for sale at auction.
A lot of collectors bought them and I imagine they have ended up in good hands --like the Monkees collectables and souvenirs.
The buyers at Monkees Con were collectors and dealers and fans of all types, each with their very own sense of what was valuable. I could tell the items I was signing there were important for different reasons to different people. Most said they would keep the items as personal treasure and keep them in a special place.
What I want to do in the meet/greets is provide something of a collectable for those who want it, now that I understand a little something of how important and valuable that is to people who want them.
I think the autographed picture and free download of the Movies of the Mind CD is the right thing.