November 24, 2011
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food for thought
I got that exact question recently. I was at a friend’s book launch party and she asked me if I wanted her to sign my copy of her book. Sure. It’s how it’s supposed to be, right? And it was a nice personalized message that made me happy, so in this case it kind of made sense. Kind of. But to be honest, I have actually never understood that whole singing deal. That desire to have your copy of a book or a CD singed by the maker. What is that all about? It’s their work, they actually made it, isn’t that enough? Does it make it more real to have a signature on it? Is that what it’s about? Authenticity?
I had an experience some years ago that lead me to believe that has something to do with it. For a few years in the yearly/mid 2000s Einstürzende Neubauten did a number of tours and at the concerts they would sell CDs with recordings of the show. Like a licensed bootleg. I went to quite a few of these concerts and I got the CDs at each one. A lot of people asked me why I didn’t get these signed. In fact, almost everyone asked me why I didn’t take the opportunity, that I actually had, to get them signed. Same question, repeated a lot of times. And my reaction was always one of complete bewilderment. Why would I have them signed? I got these CDs because Neubauten are great live and they do at least one improv piece every night, plus I suck at remembering the set list, so fantastic deal, right? What the added benefit of also having their signatures on the covers would add I had, and still have, great trouble understanding. Effort was made to enlighten me further: “To show you were there!” Uh, why?! I know I was there and I don’t think I’ll ever be in a situation where I will have to prove that to anyone. I do have a rather vivid imagination, but to think of a non science fiction scenario where that would actually happen, is quite the challenge even for me. Read more of this post