New owner of Sammy's sign needs 'a bigger room'

The steady tones of auctioneer John More help to empty shelves filled with musical memorabilia....
The steady tones of auctioneer John More help to empty shelves filled with musical memorabilia. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
The proud new owner of a large piece of Otago music history says she will now need a bigger room.

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, bought the sign of Dunedin venue Sammy's for $2300 through a friend at Hayward's Auction House.

The neon sign, which is several metres long, was one of 432 lots offered at the music auction yesterday.

The buyer said she went to high school and university in Dunedin during the 1980s and '90s and Sammy's was "one of the epicentres" of the lives of her crowd of friends.

Sammy's had been "incredibly supportive" of the New Zealand and international alternative and indie music scene as well as "Dunedin youth culture".

She was not sure where she would put the sign.

"I need a bigger room.

"It's first outing will be for a birthday party planned for the next year. Pretty much tells you what the theme will be."

The woman lives in Otago, but outside Dunedin.

Sammy's closed two years ago and the sign had sat above its entrance since 1984.

Auction house owner John More said later he had no idea how much the sign would sell for.

"I'd like to pretend we'd know exactly what it would go for, but when you think of it, it's a really large item, so there will only be X amount of people that could go for it."

While he had not seen the final results, the auction "went along with expectations".

Some of the guitars, such as a Fender Telecaster which sold for $1810, gained much higher prices than expected.

It was a mixed bag with some of the old records.

About 50 to 60 items were not sold, which was about normal, he said.

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