The much buzzed-about 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief raised over $30 million for those affected by the massive hurricane that struck New York City and the eastern seaboard in late October. Thanks to headlining artists like Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and The Who, as well as generous bidders across the country, an auction featuring signed and concert-used items could raise an additional $500,000 by the end of the week.
Last Wednesday’s sold-out Madison Square Garden concert, watched by millions more on television, in movie theaters and on the Internet, included more surprises than a weekend of Coachella. When former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney wasn’t fronting a supergroup with the surviving members of Nirvana (Sirvana or Nirmacca?), Kanye West was wearing a skirt onstage or retired R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe was joining Coldplay’s Chris Martin for the former’s first high-profile concert appearance since his group disbanded last fall.
(As an R.E.M. mega-fan, I would’ve loved to see Stipe appear with the instrumentalists from Nirvana, as late singer Kurt Cobain counted R.E.M. as one of his major influences. Seeing Macca rock out like a 25-year-old with the grunge pioneers was great, too, though.)
All proceeds from the auction will benefit The Robin Hood Relief Fund, which organized 12-12-12 and is coordinating relief efforts on the east coast. If watching clips from the legendary show on YouTube isn’t quite enough and you’ve got thousands of dollars lying around unaccounted for, perhaps you’d like to own a piece of music history while helping rehabilitate families and businesses in Staten Island, Asbury Park and dozens of other communities severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
As of Sunday night, three autographed guitars were sitting pretty at over $40,000, with a Les Paul model played by guitar aficionado Eric Clapton and signed by McCartney, Stipe, Nirvana drummer/Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, The Who singer Roger Daltrey and many more leading the pack at $52,500. That instrument has already beat its estimated value of $50,000 (always a good sign at charity auctions), while Bruce Springsteen’s Fender guitar and McCartney’s signature Fender bass (both featuring John Hancocks by a similar cast) are nearing the $50,000 mark.
Meanwhile, a John Lennon-inspired painting titled Imagine 2012 and created exclusively for the auction by renowned pop artist Ryan Paul Simmons had reached $24,000 and a saxophone autographed by former President Bill Clinton $12,000 by last night.
There are plenty of non-musical items to be had, as well. For instance, a meet-and-greet with comedian Jon Stewart and four VIP tickets to one of his Daily Show tapings sat at $4,000, while a chance to play Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon in ping pong in New York City was only $2,000.
The 12-12-12 auction runs through 4 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 20, and all items will be able to be shipped in time for Christmas. Remember, you can always donate any amount of money to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts through organizations like the American Red Cross, Hope for New York, Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation and Robin Hood Relief Fund.