The passport you see above belonged to Marvin Gaye. Yes, that Marvin Gaye. It was found in an old LP that was recently purchased for 50 cents at a Detroit estate sale. It's not clear how or why Gaye's passport ended up in an old LP at someone else's house, but it's the score of a lifetime, the kind we all dream about finding at yard sales or flea markets.
Here, check out the full scoop in this short clip from a recent installment of PBS's Antqiues Roadshow program:
It's a little frustrating that the guy says the LP had been owned by "a Motown musician [who] had passed" and mentions that the musician had worked with Gaye, but he doesn't identify who the musician was. I realize this was probably out of respect for the deceased's family's privacy, but it still seems like a big piece of the story to leave out.
I was intrigued to hear the appraiser mention that passports represent a big collecting niche. I hadn't been aware of that, although it's not surprising once you take a second to think about it. So I went to eBay and searched on "expired passport" and "vintage passport" — pretty fascinating-looking stuff, right? As the Antiques Roadshow appraiser mentioned, the particularly appealing thing about a passport is that it tells you where its owner traveled, so you can construct a bit of a narrative. Seems very Permanent Record. I might need pick up a few of those and see where they lead.