Guess there really is something special about thrifting. Shown on a recent episode of Antiques Roadshow was a purchase by a Detroit man, who is coincidentally a Motown enthusiast. He found inside the 50-cent (note: 50 cents, not 50 Cent) album that he had purchased at a house clearance Motown legend Marvin Pentz Gaye’s 1964 passport. By the sounds of it, the passport fell into the best, most capable hands:
It came to me by pure accident. 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.’ […] 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.
Laura Woolley of Antiques Roadshow emphasized the importance of the era from which this came from, noting how Gaye added an “e” to the end of his name when he was “signed as a solo artist with Motown,” which generated many theories over why he did that, such has him wanting to “separate himself from his father,” or Gaye wanting to “imitate his idol,” Sam Cooke.” This apparently adds to the value of the passport, which Woolley suggests is worth at least $20,000,
So, for those who are looking for rarities out there: know that there is hope. You never know how absentminded some of your favorite artists can be and leave such things as passports casually tucked inside old records.