Axl Rose Won’t Sign Autographs Anymore
Axl Rose isn't signing stuff anymore, and fans can blame those who sell Rose-penned merchandise on auction sites like eBay. The singer, now on tour with AC/DC, made his intentions known, if not exactly clear, in a new tweet.
"Can't take da ebayers so un42nutzly I's won'tz b signing things 4 awhile," he wrote, before adding: "Much Love 2 the real."
The decision comes after a period of uncommon interaction between the usually shy Guns N' Roses co-founder and AC/DC fans during the group's summer tour of Europe. Rose took over for Brian Johnson, after the longtime AC/DC singer was sidelined with a serious hearing issue. Rose has since been filmed having a series of lighthearted interactions with AC/DC's faithful, in stark contrast to his sometimes cantankerous dealings with crowds of autograph seekers from past years.
In the meantime, selling autographs has become a big business. Dealer Steve Woolf, in a talk with ABC News, estimated that it's now a "$50 million a year industry," with some collectors earning "six-figure salaries." Mick Jagger, for instance, can net a seller as much as $2,500 – because he rarely signs, "unless you're a female and have good looks," Autograph Pros founder Michael Kasmar noted last year.
A backlash now appears to be building. Rose joins a group of others -- including Kid Rock, Ted Nugent and Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme -- who've grown weary of being hounded by people simply looking to cash in. "I got jumped by Kid Rock and seven of his security guys," Hollywood collector Mike Medlin told LA Weekly. "I got my ass kicked."
The good news, at least according to pop star Taylor Swift, is that the autograph-selling phenomenon may be fading toward obscurity in the age of Instagram. She said signing things is "obsolete" in an op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal. "The only memento kids these days want is a selfie," she wrote. "It's part of the new currency, which seems to be how many followers you have on Instagram."
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