One of KC’s most iconic entertainment institutions is poised to re-rear its long absentee head…
The music and entertainment biz fandango known as the Sandstone Auction – an event put on by former concert powerhouse Contemporary – will return in spirit to AEG‘s Midland by AMC.
Year after year the auction offered an array of supercalifragilistic, superstar autographed tschotskes. Items signed by the top artists who’d visited Kansas City stages that year.
What was it like?
Return with me to the October 1999 Sandstone Auction for a few highlights from my column at the time.
“We don’t have any weird stuff this year,” organizer Candy Chorice told me then. “But Olivia Newton-John signed a `Grease’ poster. And at the Lilith Fair I got a guitar signed by all of the mainstage acts, Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, the Dixie Chicks, Indigo Girls and Deborah Cox."
“Probably the coolest thing we have is a shiny baby grand piano music box," Chorice added. "You open it and it plays ‘Candle in the Wind.’ Elton John signed it with a silver pen. It looks awesome!”
That year’s auction also included items from Cher, Marilyn Manson, Celine Dion, Lauryn Hill and Hank Williams Jr.
Talk about a pop culture flashback…
And like before, this year’s auction will include items from other area venues and AEG shows, including the super heavy duty shows at Sprint Center. Organizers also hope to bring back auctioneers The Rock’s Johnny Dare and The Point’s Tanna Guthrie.
Proceeds from the auction – penciled in for December 1st – will go to Autism Speaks.
So what sort of stuff can we expect this time out?
"We have an actual sweatshirt that Bill Cosby left here – he wore it on-stage – and gave it to us to auction off," Chorice says. "That’s pretty cool – it’s the red, ‘Hello Friend’ sweatshirt in the pic. That’s him on the Midland stage. Also, we’ve got a Margaritaville margarita machine / blender that’s signed by Jimmy Buffett from when he played at Sprint Center. It is VERY cool."
And there’ll be autographed, framed posters, books, DVDs, guitars and more.
One kickass item from my 1999 story however remains shrouded in mystery.
“We have a big, real piano, and we’re taking off one key at a time and having them signed by artists,” Chorice told me then.
The piano was expected to take three or four years to complete the signing of all 52 white keys, Chorice added. The $4,000 retail piano had been donated by Prairie Village’s Toon Shop, and Contemporary hoped it would sell for $10,000 or more.
That, of course, was before the Monopoly game ride the concert business got swept up in a couple years later and the auction – kinda like Sandstone as KC’s premier concert venue – drifted away.
So whatever became of the piano?
"I was just wondering about that," Chorice laughs. "No idea. What a shame, huh?"