It's Official, The World Has Gone Mad

Sometimes I believe I have seen too much to be ever taken by surprise. Yet I must admit, my friends, to being shocked by the results of an auction last night on eBay for a signed handwritten U2 setlist from around 1980-1981.

I no doubt have made some previous allusion to my penchant for collecting setlists. Suffice it to say that anyone who dares come between me and a setlist I covet puts his or her life in extreme danger. The result of this little obsession is what some have called the greatest such collection ever assembled. While I do not dispute their characterization, I nevertheless acknowledge that it may be improved upon.

I had hoped to make one such improvement to my collection by acquiring the above-mentioned U2 setlist, which recently turned up on eBay with an opening bid of $1. A similar early handwritten (but unsigned) U2 setlist was recently listed on eBay only to be withdrawn because the seller received an unspecified "offer he could not refuse" from a private buyer. This turn of events should have provided some warning of what would transpire with this latest setlist, and yet nothing could ever prepare me for the insanity of the final winning bid.

To put the item in context, signed handwritten Beatles setlists from the early-mid 1960s generally sell for a few thousand dollars, an unsigned handwritten Elliott Smith setlist recently sold for about $800, and a pair of handwritten setlists from one of The Smiths' earliest shows in 1983 sold last year on eBay (to me) for less than $100 for the pair.

Can anyone explain, then, how someone could justify paying $45,100 for this?



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