David Spero's rock 'n' roll memorabilia heads to auction

David Spero calls preparations for the upcoming auction of his rock ?n? roll memorabilia ?cathartic.?

And yet, he does admit that after having Jacques van Gool of Backstage Auctions spend three days at his house poring through his collection, he had second thoughts about selling it.

?The night he left, I sat in my living room and I thought, ?What did I just do??? recalls Spero. Howard Kaylan of The Turtles, who?d gone through a similar experience, told Spero he?d feel great the next day, and Spero did.

Between Sept. 23-30, Backstage Auctions will present a sale of Spero?s memorabilia collection, including used stage gear from The Who, a number of rare recordings and photos, vinyl, posters, handwritten lyrics, record awards, set lists, tour t-shirts and other items.

Also featured in the auction is the Alice Cooperstown Collection that once graced the walls of the recently closed Cleveland location. Some of the most impressive pieces include several of Alice?s gold and platinum record awards; a concert used leather jacket and great collection of posters and photos.

To learn more about the Internet auction, visit www.backstageauctions.com.

The son of Herman Spero, creator of the Cleveland rock ‘n? roll TV show ?Upbeat” ? a Midwestern version of ?American Bandstand? ? David has spent virtually his entire life in the music business.

At the tender age of 13, he started working on ?Upbeat.”

?I was the cue-card guy,? says David.

Two years later, Spero was the show?s assistant producer and a co-writer, coming up with questions for the host and helping to determine the order of songs on the show. Featured in the auction are several 2-inch movie reels with authentic recordings of the “Upbeat” show as well as hundreds of photos Spero took of the artists when they appeared on the show.

Many of the big acts of the time appeared on ?Upbeat,? including the Lovin? Spoonful, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Simon & Garfunkel, Amboy Dukes, Paul Revere, Van Morrison, James Brown and Otis Redding. In fact, Redding?s appearance on ?Upbeat? was his final show. The following day, he died in a plane crash in Lake Monona in Wisconsin.

At age 16, Spero went into radio, working the graveyard shift for WXEN-FM, a station that had a strong ethnic programming bent. Then, he went to work for WNCR, one of the first underground FM stations, before leaving to help start WMMS.
Spero stayed in radio until the early ’70s, when his career took a sharp turn.

?I did a radio show in the early ?70s, and Joe Walsh was in a band called The Measles, and he used to hang out. That?s how he got the radio bug,? remembers Spero. ?He decided I should be his manager.?

Spero admits, ?I had no idea what I was doing,? even though he managed Walsh through the ’70s. In 1973, he formed David Spero Management, and wound up managing Cleveland legend Michael Stanley and producer Bill Szymczyk (Bob Seger, Eagles, The Who, BB King).
Spero also managed and worked along side the careers of Ian Hunter, Ringo Starr?s All Starr band, James Gang, Styx, Eric Carmen, Harry Nilsson and Father Guido Sarducci, a Saturday Night Live character made famous by comedian Don Novello.

It was also Spero who put Walsh back in touch with Glenn Frey for a tour that ultimately led to the Eagles? ?Hell Freezes Over? reunion.

In 2000, Spero retired from rock ‘n? roll, accepting an offer to work as vice president of programming and education at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He produced the MTV show ?Live at the Rock Hall,? which featured artists such as Linkin Park, John Mayer, Avril Lavigne and Godsmack.

Over time, Spero has amassed an incredible music memorabilia collection.

?There is a story that goes with just about every piece in the auction,

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