A special brew of rock music memorabilia...

This framed crew t-shirt, signed by all the band, hangs on my office wall
This framed crew t-shirt, signed by all the band, hangs on my office wall

Our antiques expert Allan Blackburn looks at rock music memorabilia...

Wow – what a week. On Monday night I went to the Manchester Arena to see my favourite band, Iron Maiden. Not a lot of people know this but I love rock music. Admittedly, when I was younger it was the “louder the better” and I still have a soft spot for metal bands – my favourite of all time being Iron Maiden.

But there is a personal connection to the band, too.

Many years ago I was fortunate enough to be at a charity auction. It was a great night for two reasons.

Firstly, I won the auction. I bid on a framed crew t-shirt along with a VIP access all areas tour pass. It is only one of 25 and was produced for the US leg of their world tour in 2012.

It is signed by all members of the band and has a photo of them on it, too.

I loved it on sight and was really excited when I won the auction and got to bring it home (just don’t ask me how much I paid for it!) My wife, Gloria was, it has to be said, a little less keen on my purchase, so it hangs in pride of place, on my office wall.

The second reason this night holds special memories for me is, it was the first night I met (my now good friend) Craig.

He is a massive fan of the band and has a pub with accommodation over in Mawdesley. Whenever the band are in the area, they stay with him. Craig is an accomplished drummer and hit it off with Maiden’s drummer Nicko McBrain.

Forward wind many years and now Craig looks after Nicko’s business interests when he is away on tour.

On the night of the gig, the band arranged for a car to come and collect Craig and I to take us to the concert and go back stage. The band gave me a bottle of their new “Trooper” beer. I’ve seen this beer on supermarket shelves recently but, Craig explained, there are different labels on the bottles and some are a lot more collectable than others.

There is a label on the neck of the bottle and if it has the name of the brewery on it – then unfortunately it is not worth very much, as many hundreds of thousands have been made.

If, however, the neck of the bottle has the Iron Maiden logo on it, then it is worth considerably more.

My bottle stands unopened on my desk at work. I am keeping hold of it (beer intact) and will watch with interest how its value increases over time.