Enjoy the noise as bidders compete for $329,600 Depeche Mode collectibles



Remember when legwarmers and neon were the height of fashion, and music just wasn't music unless it had a dramatic keyboard crescendo every 30 seconds?

If this sounds up your street, then you won't want to miss Omega Auctions' upcoming sale of 1980s pop memorabilia when it takes place in Manchester, UK, on September 3.

The collection of Alan Wilder, formerly of Depeche Mode, will lead the sale. Multi-instrumentalist and producer Wilder was a member of the band until 1995, co-responsible for numerous hits including Personal Jesus and Enjoy the Silence.

Vintage equipment, vinyl and clothing relating to the leather-clad cult electro band will feature in the sale.


The classic Depeche Mode line-up, including singer Dave Gahan and
Alan Wilder, whose collection is up for sale

With more than 100 million worldwide album and single sales, Depeche Mode's career dates to an era when the UK synth rockers and their contemporaries were doing things with music that genuinely hadn't been done before.

It was therefore perhaps only a matter of time until the '80s pioneers emerged on the collectibles markets. According to Omega, Wilder's collection is expected to bring up to £200,000 ($329,600).

Wilder's collection spans his entire musical career, even dating to before his time in Depeche Mode, he told UK newspaper The Manchester Evening News.

"My needs have altered a bit since laptops and soft synthesisers have come to the fore and even though I'm emotionally attached, passing on some vintage gear and historical items seemed like a good way to start," said Wilder.

"Since my teenage years I've been an avid collector of interesting and unique musical items. I decided that since I was having a clear out, why not include some extra memorabilia and pass on some of the stuff I have collected over the years?"

Fans of the group will be especially excited by the presence of a Knight Gretsch guitar in the sale. Used by founder member Martin Gore, the guitar was a regular and iconic presence during Depeche Mode's live shows.


Depeche Mode's tour stuff (above); and (below) a tool of the trade,
a vintage Wasp synthesizer

Other memorabilia in the sale includes

gold and platinum award discs, rare acetate records and test pressings, artwork, merchandise and - of course - leather clothing.

Omega are planning a similar auction of items linked to Manchester post-punk group Joy Division at some point in the future.

Collectibles sales related to bands like Depeche Mode and Joy Division are sure to become more frequent on the markets as cultural historians increasingly acknowledge the influence of these groups and their contemporaries on popular music.

While older groups like the Rolling Stones and The Beatles have dominated the auction markets in the past, memorabilia items linked to 'newer' bands are steadily growing in value.

Recent examples include the naming of an original vinyl of the Sex Pistols' single God Save the Queen as the most valuable disc of all time. According to the experts, its estimated value is £8,000 (nearly $13,178).

Watch this space for news on Omega's Depeche Mode auction and upcoming Joy Division sale. The former will be held at the Zion Arts Centre on Stretford Road, Manchester.


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