A guitar hero from Central New York has a $350,000 idea to reshape the music industry.
Joe Bonamassa, who was born in New Hartford, N.Y., and grew up in nearby New York Mills, announced Tuesday that he’s auctioning off “a game-changing NFT collection” that includes the original master and publishing rights to a brand-new song titled “Broken Record.” The blues-rock musician says he’ll be the first in the industry to sell his publishing in an NFT (non-fungible token) that effectively creates a “one-song record company.”
“One of the things that I like about being an independent artist is that Roy (Weisman) and I came up with this idea,” Bonamassa said in a statement. “We didn’t have to run it up any sort of chain of command. It was like, let’s do this because it feels right. And it’s the next logical step in how independent artists are going to be on equal footing with major labels.”
The NFT package will include the master rights and publishing for Bonamassa’s new song “Broken Record,” as well as several physical items like Bonamassa’s “Holy Grail” 1959 Gibson Les Paul Sunburst guitar and 1963 Fender Vibroverb amp that were used to record the track. The winning bidder will also get four concert tickets and four meet & greet passes to one Joe Bonamassa show every year, a hand-signed lithograph, an original handwritten lyric sheet, and a personal “Nerdville” museum tour and lunch with Bonamassa himself.
“If three people hear the song and that’s it, I’m still proud of the work. If it’s licensed for film or TV and everybody hears the song, even better. But the fact of the matter is, I’m proud of the song whether three people hear it or 30 million hear it. It doesn’t matter. My approach would not have changed,” he added.
There will be a digital NFT component for each item, individually tokenized on the Ethereum blockchain. NFTs are digital assets that have become an emerging form of art collecting online, but can also be used for buying/selling physical items or ownership of an original work with built-in authentication via cryptocurrency.
“This lot is a dream come true for any serious collector of vintage gear or NFT investor looking to diversify their portfolio,” the auction site says.
Bonamassa, 44, first started performing in Upstate New York as “Smokin’ Joe” when he was 12 years old and soon opened for B.B. King. Today, he’s a Grammy-nominated blues legend himself with more than a dozen albums under his belt and has earned a reputation as a serious guitar collector.
The NFT auction is now open through July 31 and has an opening bid of $350,000. For more information, visit https://entertainment.ha.com/itm/musical-instruments/electric-guitars/joe-bonamassa-nft-collection-featuring-new-song-master-and-publishing-rare-guitar-amp-and-more-total-/a/7259-85001.s.