EMI's Japan Relief Auction: Bid on Tour of Abbey Road Studios, Life-Sized Robbie Williams Cut-Out, and More


The record label is selling memorabilia from acts big and small to raise money for tsunami and earthquake victims



EMI, one of the music industry's four major record labels, launched an online auction today to benefit the victims of the earthquake in Japan. The label counts on its roster artists including Coldplay, Katy Perry, Arcade Fire, and Keith Urban, and, according to a press release, over the next three weeks "incredible auction items" from these stars will be made available for bidding. Proceeds will go the Red Cross, with EMI matching all funds raised up to one million euros.

There are currently more than 100 items up for auction, with EMI promising more to come (presumably from Perry, Jeff Bridges, and other artists listed in the release who currently have no memorabilia for sale). This initial crop of offerings is a bit ... unusual, more closely resembling a garage scale in an upscale LA suburb than a high-profile charity auction. Here' are some of the most bizarre—and coolest—items up for sale:

-Mel C's belt from the Spice Girls reunion tour
-A Beatles photo with a note about its condition: "Good, minor wear on corners but suitable for framing"
-A life-sized cardboard cutout of Robbie Williams
-A signed MTV Japan Moon Man trophy won by the Beastie Boys
-Run-of-the-mill signed photos from Norah Jones and Alan Jackson
-A tour of Abbey Road studios
-Private singing lessons with opera singer Diana Damrau (in Munich, travel expenses not included)
-Keith Urban meet and greet and two concert tickets
-Dress worn by Danish singer Medina on tour

The auction ends April 15, and it should be interesting to see if the event transcends Planet Hollywood store closing sale status. This is, of course, the second major charity offering from the music industry. Songs for Japan, an album featuring 38 hit songs by artists ranging from Justin Bieber to John Lennon to Nicki Minaj, debuted last week in the top five of the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Songs for Japan did not include any original songs, as past charity music efforts tied to global disasters have. The lack of new music, along with the wide range of artists involved (Josh Groban! Eminem! Ne-Yo!), made Songs for Japan feel like the latest volume in the Now!...That's What I Call Music compilation series. Coincidentally, EMI's Japan auction allows you to bid on Now!...That's What I Call Music! Volumes 1-37, currently going for $300.24.

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Kevin Fallon is a reporter for the Daily Beast. He's a former entertainment editor at TheWeek.com and former writer and producer for The Atlantic's entertainment channel.

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