Growing up, Randi Reisfeld used to buy 16 magazine.
As she says, Reisfeld was that girl with pictures from 16 of The Beatles and other teen idols on her wall, who would “ ... kiss them goodbye in the morning and kiss them good night before I went to bed.”
After college, Reisfeld wound up working for 16 magazine for 25 years, and she and the magazine’s former editor and photographer, Danny Fields, have consigned loads of photos, press releases, interview tapes, handwritten notes and other items from their personal collections for the upcoming 16 Magazine Pop Culture Auction being run by Backstage Auctions. The online auction starts Sunday, Sept. 27, and runs through Oct. 4. A one-week preview starts Sept. 20. Go to www.backstageauctions.com for more information.
Literally saved from the dumpster are tons of never-before-seen photographic material of acts like the Jackson 5, The Beatles and the Bay City Rollers, among others. Along with the extremely rare and vintage photos are negatives, contact sheets, color slides and chromes from exclusive photo shoots the magazine conducted.
“That material alone is amazing,” says Jacques van Gool of Backstage Auctions. “They would take 30, 40, even 50 photos of someone and use only one in the magazine. There is an absolutely overwhelming amount of never-published material, and we’re selling it with full transfer of rights.”
That’s right. This unique and rare collection of photos are being offered with full ownership rights.
“So people are not only bidding on the photos but also the rights to them, which are invaluable,” says van Gool.
Though Backstage is still processing everything for the sale, van Gool cautiously estimates there will be about 600 auction lots.
Among them are 40 lots of Jackson 5 memorabilia — including photos, chromes and negatives — alone, dating back to as early as 1969. According to van Gool, there are about 2,500 photos and negatives from between 1970 and 1974.
“It is the single most comprehensive Jackson 5 photo archive you will ever see,” says van Gool.
There is also a rare and unique collection of negatives — 500 photos in all — featuring The Beatles that were taken at various press conferences in New York for the 1965 Shea Stadium and 1964 Carnegie Hall concerts, and shots on location in the Bahamas, where the Beatles were filming the movie “Help!” in 1964.
“Try and find 500 unpublished photos of The Beatles with full rights,” says van Gool.
This auction also features one of the largest single collections of Bay City Rollers memorabilia ever offered. Photos, chromes, slides and negatives are included — with full ownership rights — along with handwritten letters and lyrics, press material, promotional items and more.
According to van Gool, the lots are split between items related to iconic musicians and those featuring major TV and movie stars. Among the musical acts with items in the sale are the Rolling Stones, Elton John, The Monkees, Rod Stewart, the Dave Clark 5, the Osmonds, KC & The Sunshine Band, Paul Revere & The Raiders and Herman’s Hermits/Peter Noone.
Along with photos and publicity ephemera, there is also a lot of material with signatures from those stars.
“16 magazine was really, really good at getting the people they covered to sit down and write notes to their readers,” says van Gool. “If you want a letter from Rick Springfield or the Bay City Rollers, chances are, it’s going to be in this auction.”
Artist files include: personal handwritten letters, signed notes and cards, press kits, press photos, original publicity photos and interview notes. In addition, between 200 and 300 original recorded interview tapes are available.
Lastly, the sale features roughly a couple hundred issues of 16 dating back to 1960.
“For us, as auctioneers, this is especially fun from a historical perspective,” says van Gool. “It’s easy to be taken back in time going through it all.”
Fields believes the auction will have something for everyone.
“I think it will appeal to people who were in their youth at the time — a once-upon-a-time kind of thing,” says Fields. “I think there are items for collectors, who will like it because they are collectors. Or, they’ll like it because there will be things that will resonate with them.”