I will hold it in honour of Keith Flint until the end of my life: Inside the auction of The Prodigy frontmans personal items – NME Live

Posted: November 9, 2019 at 10:50 am

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NME spoke to emotional fans who were desperate to get their hands on a piece of music history

The personal belongings ofThe ProdigysKeith Flint, who was found dead at his Essex home in March this year at the age of 49, went under the hammer at an auction in Cambridge yesterday (November 7).

Read more:Keith Flint, 1969-2019: the twisted face of rave, the beating heart of The Prodigy

Fetching a total of347,750 across 171 lots,items up for sale included several of Flints gold discs, his NME Awards, a lavish custom-made bed, a two-handed sword, his record collection, motorcycle leathers and various pieces of jewellery.

Advertised asThe Keith Flint Collectionby auction house Cheffins, other items listed included a collection of baseball caps, various pieces of furniture, art pieces and an archive of recordings and artwork from Flints solo projects, after he worked under the Flint and Clever Brains Fryin moniker.

Some shots of Keith Flint that were up for auction. (Credit: NME)

NME were invited along to the auction to see the event unfold and speak to some of the fans.

When asked what particular items they were interested in, fan Tameem Antonades said it was all about Flints jewellery.I like the rings and the chains, he said. Similarly, Mark Cutter, who was sporting a similar hairstyle to the one Keith Flint had in the Firestarter video, expressed a desire to own one of the late frontmans rings, but added Im just hoping I can afford it.

Id like the belts, the denims, said Darren Starling of Haverhill ahead of the auction. Ive been online trying to get one of the discs. Ive been outbid already but well see how we go on the night.

After we tried and failed miserably to engage a person dressed in a giant fox head in a conversation, a super fan from Portsmouth picked up the slack.

Keith Flint, man! He was like my idol growing up, Mike Stephens told NME. Back in the early 90s, during the prime of my teenage years, when I was trying to find out what I was and wasnt into, The Prodigy Experience came out on XL Recordings and that was it, it ticked all my boxes.

He was a couple of years older than me and if ever you wanted an older brother which I didnt have that would be the older brother figure.

Going on to list some of the items he was hoping to land, Stephens said: A couple of the presentation discs in particular would certainly mean a lot to me. It would be cool to have one of those, but to be fair I would be cool to go with anything.

In one of his many outfits, Lord Granger of the Prodigy Warriors was at the auction house all day celebrating the life of Keith Flint and taking pictures with fans. (Credit: NME)

Due to start at 6pm, the auction was forced to start 20 minutes late after Cheffins website crashed due to the high number of online bidders vying to get a place in line to bid on Flints belongings.

The first lot up for grabs was a collection of Music For the Jilted Generation picture discs that sold for 5,000. Following that, a piece of art by Doug Murphy (AKA PlasticGod) depicting The Prodigy frontman as a Lego figure went for 1,600.

The most expensive items on the night were three MTV Music Awards, that went for 16,000. The lot comprised of the 1997 MTV Networks Europe Viewers Choice Award given to The Prodigy for Breathe, another 1997Viewers Choice Award, also for Breathe, and the 1997/1998 Best Dance Video Award for The Prodigys Smack My Bitch Up.

Other big sellers includedtwo Experience presentation discs (13,000), a collection of The Fat Of the Land presentation discs (8,000) and a John Parkin signed canvas (4,400).

Elsewhere, a collection of printed Keith Flint memorabilia, comprising of several framed items, including an NME cover from May 6, 1995, sold for 2,200.

Two NME Awards given to Flint, one for Best Dance Act for The Prodigy in 1997, the other for Best Video for Firestarter, sold for 8,000.

Keith Flints NME Awards. (Credit: NME)

Kenny Barnes, from Romford in Essex, secured the winning bid on some of Flints horse riding equipment, mostly comprised of boots and clothing. Barnes, a keen rider himself, is also a snowboarding fan, which is where he met The Prodigy frontman on occasion.

The Prodigy used to practice at Brentwood dry slope and we met them over there a couple of times, he recalled. All of them were brilliant, and Keith was just well, Keith.

He just seemed so nice and so genuine and he always had time for his fans.

Some in attendance expressed a genuine concern for the way certain bidders were sitting and leaning on items, a sentiment shared byauctioneer Martin Millard who made it a point to ask if people would kindly respect the items on display.

Commenting on the auction and its sensitive nature, Matt Wilkinson, a fan who purchased a couple of items on the night, admitted that being at the auction was a bit weird but that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Its a warehouse full of somebodys stuff, he said. Youre able to touch garments that somebody wore. Theres jeans on a bench, there are people sat on his couch, and part of me feels uncomfortable with that but another part of me feels like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and once its gone its gone.

Ive never been to an auction before, this is my first, he continued. Im definitely here because its Keiths stuff and I wanted to feel like I had a part of that history as a keepsake.

One of the biggest pick ups (literally) of The Keith Flint Collection was a large welded aluminium and steel model ant. When The Prodigy performed at the Milton Keynes Bowl in 2010, artist Obediar Madziva was commissioned to produce three large ant sculptures, based on the The Prodigys logo, for the stage. Each band member received one as a gift after the event.

Selling for 8,000, the buyer, who asked to remain anonymous, attended the auction specifically for the giant ant as she had been looking for something similar for her garden.

One of The Prodigys giant ants from their 2010 Milton Keynes Bowl performance sold for 8,000. (Credit: NME)

Ive been wanting something for the garden for a few years now and so Ive been looking at garden structures but could never decide on anything, she told NME.

She continued: Ive been a Prodigy fan since the early 90s, been to a lot of their gigs and when the auction came up I wanted to come and get something so when I saw that it just felt like the right thing to get.

While fans travelled far and wide from all over the UK, there were some who came even further.

Demonstrating just how far the love for Flint and The Prodigy goes, Andre Legenhausen flew from Germany especially for the auction but its not the first time hes travelled for the band.

I have been to many Prodigy concerts in Great Britain and Europe. I also flew over for Keiths funeral earlier this year, Legenhausen told NME. Ive been listening to their music for the past 20 years. Their music has always been a part of my life, through the good times and the bad.

Winning a bid on one of Flints leather motorcycle uniforms,Legenhausen said he was happy he managed to get his hands on something to remember the late frontman by. I know that its in good hands and I will hold it in honour of Keith until the end of my life.

Keith Flints Steve Liddard custom built oak and steel bed. (Credit: NME)

The final item up for sale on the night was a Steve Liddard custom built oak and steel bed. A unique item that Cheffins auctioneer Martin Millar said would appeal to a limited market, the bed is supported at each corner by entwined thorns and accessed via steps supported on the back of a crouching, winged mythical beast. According to Cheffins, it is understood that Flint worked closely with Steve Liddard on the design of the bed.

Expected to attract a large figure, the bed ended up selling for 8,500. It was sold to a local hotel owner, who wasnt a follower of Flint or The Prodigy, but was impressed with the craftsmanship of the bed.

Its very nicely made, he told NME, before comparing its stature to that of the Great Bed of Ware. This can now be the Great Bed of Cambridge.

Adding that he got the bed at a bargain price, he said he would have bid higher had it been required.

A painted wooden head study of Keith Flint at last nights auction. (Credit: NME)

Talking to NME after the auction ended, auctioneer Martin Millard said he was very pleased with how things went. Were delighted. I dont think it could have gone any better. I think it surpassed all expectations yet we had no real sense of how it was going to do.

Speaking on the huge number of people who chose to bid in person at Cheffins auction house in Cambridge as opposed to online, Millard added: It was an event, it wasnt just a disposal of assets. It was a chance to see all of Keiths personal possessions, to sit amongst them, to watch them be sold. It was a one-off. It was really great to see the number of people who came out and who had been queuing all day to be a part of history.

All 171 lots ofThe Keith Flint Collectionsold for a grand total of347,750, which will be passed on toKeith Flints estate. To see the full list of everything that went under the hammer and exactly how much it sold for, you can visit theCheffins website.

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I will hold it in honour of Keith Flint until the end of my life: Inside the auction of The Prodigy frontmans personal items - NME Live

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November 9th, 2019 at 10:50 am