1964 Marvin Gaye Passport

Value (2013) | $20,000 Insurance

It came to me by pure accident, actually. For years, I worked for the Motown Museum here in Detroit, started when I was 18 years old. I was a Motown collector-- anything Motown, I loved-- and after a Motown musician had passed, we had gone to their house to pick up some items that the family wanted to donate to the museum, and they had said, "Is there anything else you wanted? "Because otherwise, it's going to be in the estate sale this weekend." She said, "No," and I said, "What about these albums and records?" And they had so many already that it just wasn't worth taking. So I went back to the estate sale and bought some albums and 45s. When I got home, I was going through them and out of an album fell this passport. And so it literally fell into my hands. (laughing)

So you know the musician actually had worked with Marvin Gaye, so we can only assume-- we don't know-- how it ended up in his house in an album that got stashed away, and luckily, you found it. The thing I'm in love with is how young he is here. This is dated 1964, which is great, and it is after he added the "E" to the end of his name, because when he was signed as a solo artist with Motown, he decided to add that "E," and there's a lot of different theories: people say it's because he wanted to separate himself from his father or because he actually liked Sam Cooke so much, who had an "E" at the end of his name, that he wanted to imitate his idol. He had such a journey with Motown. He started out as a session musician, drumming. He's on Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips, Part 2," the live version, doing drums. He played drums on "Please, Mr. Postman." He did all these great things, and then he slowly worked his way into the duets, and then in this era, you've got kind of a sweet spot, I think one of the happiest times in his life. 1964, he's still in the prime of his life and having the best time. His career's really starting to take off. But this is such an innocent time, and people love passports because they also show where he was all over the world, what he's doing during these years-- he's obviously traveling, he's touring. People also like them because we know that they're real signatures, because you have to sign your own passport. Passport collecting is a really vibrant collecting world because there's usually only a few of them throughout your life; you only replace them every so often. How much did you pay for these albums that you bought at this yard sale?

I think it was 50 cents an album and a quarter for a 45.

Wow. For insurance, I wouldn't put less than $20,000 on the passport if you were to insure it.

Are you kidding me?

I'm not kidding you. Nothing comes up for Marvin Gaye. It's not a really common thing to see Marvin Gaye memorabilia.

Wow. I never would have thought. I mean, I'm just shocked. I mean... wow. Oh gosh, thank you.

Appraisal Details

The Collector's Lab
Los Angeles, CA
Appraised value (2013)
$20,000 Insurance
Detroit, MI (June 01, 2013)

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