By Susan Sliwicki
Holy collectible instruments, Batman!
Or more accurately, "Catman" — as in original KISS drummer Peter Criss — whose first official KISS drum kit is one of a lengthy string of highlights of Backstage Auctions' 2014 Rock Gods and Metal Monsters Auction.
Criss' Ludwig drum kit is just one of the more than 1,000 lots on offer from more than 40 consignors. Nearly 100 lots of vintage vinyl, including picture discs, colored vinyl, singles, promos and box sets and Leathur Records pressings of Motley Crue's "Too Fast For Love" LP, as well as artists' jewelry and apparel, awards and plaques, posters, magazines, photos and tickets are on the bill.
The auction preview is live, which gives bidders plenty of time to window shop. Bidding opens at 2 p.m. ET March 30, 2014; the auction will close April 6, 2014.
From from Criss' beloved cowbell right down to the drum stool he sat upon while keeping the beat for the kabuki-esque rockers from late 1973 through 1974, this lot is all original — even the drumheads — on the 24-by-17-inch glitter-logo bass drum; the 14-by-6-inch snare drum; two floor toms measuring 16-by-17-inches and 18-by-17 inches respectively) and four tom-toms in varying sizes. Five original cymbals; the Slingerland drum pedal; an extra (but used) 15-inch drum head; a 24-inch case for the bass drum; a cymbal carrying case; the original KISS-stenciled road case and most of the hardware are included. (The hi-hat pedal, drum pedal mallet and stands for one tom-tom and four cymbals are missing.) The opening bid is $12,500.
The list of bands represented in the instruments and gear category alone reads like a Who's Who of hard rock and heavy metal.
• Megadeth: A pair of Jackson custom basses used by Megadeth's David Ellefson also are on offer. The five-string bass guitar used on the band's 2011 Big 4 tour has a starting bid of $7,500; Ellefson's 2010 tour-used, four-string bass will open for bidding at $4,500. If those lots just gave your piggy bank sticker shock, take heart. There are a dozen other Megadeth-related lots available with starting bids of $100 or less.
• Motley Crue: The Gibson explorer guitar used by Mick Mars' during recording of the band's 1985 "Theatre Of Pain" album ($2,500 starting bid).
• White Zombie: The first-ever Phantom bass guitar Sean Yseult owned when she started White Zombie ($6,000 starting bid).
• Anthrax: 14 lots featuring signed gear from drummer Charlie Benante, bassist Frank Bello's concert- and recording-used Fender bass guitar; and two of guitarist Scott Ian's owned and signed Wasbhurn acoustic guitars).
• Korn: Three of David Silveria's tour- and recording-used Tama drum kits.
• Van Halen: A bass drum head used by Alex Van Halen in a 1998 video.
• Motorhead: A fully-signed, 14-inch drum head.
• Queensryche: Scott Rockenfield signed 22-inch kick drum head.
• Quiet Riot: a 14-inch drum head signed by Frankie Banali, as well as one of his vintage used road cases.
• Slaughter: A 14-inch drum head signed by Blas Elias.
• Type O-Negative: B.C. Warlock guitar signed by the full band's lineup
• White Lion: 14-inch drum head signed by Greg D'Angelo.
• The Cult: Several signed drum heads (some used by drummer John Tempesta, some not), a cymbal and drumsticks.
The piece of gear that wins the prize for the "Best Clean Cuss Word" is the Moog 'Moogerfooger' MF-103 pedal used by Helmet guitarist Page Hamilton on several recent tours, including an outing with David Bowie. The pedal, which is signed by Page, is in working condition. It comes complete with a 9-volt adapter and a face plate that shows all of Page's personal settings.
If you've ever wondered what a Moogerfooger is, click here to learn about it from the Moog Music Inc. site.