Just now, an eBay search for "Kerouac" brought up 1,841 items. On eBay you can list the items by relevance, price, distance, or time the sale is ending. The highest priced item I saw was a handwritten postcard from Jack to his girlfriend, Joyce Glassman (later Johnson) in 1957, asking her - among other things - to send him copies of reviews of the recently released On The Road. No bids are allowed on the item, but the Buy It Now price is $18,000. You read that right. Eighteen thousand simoleans.
Next in price is an autographed letter to Lois. It's priced at $13,000 (also with no bids allowed). The next two items are also not biddable: checks made out by Kerouac going for $6,999 each.
These first no-bid items seem to come from the same "company." I wonder about a Sampas connection there.
Then we hit an item that you can bid on: A signed first edition hardcover with dustjacket of The Town and the City. Price: $4,500. There have been some offers but they all expired. I don't know if there is a minimum. Bid a buck and find out (if you wish).
Next comes the expected slew of Kerouac books, with some curiosities like collaborations with Robert Frank mixed in.You can get Jack's blues and haikus LP for $360. You'll see a signed copy of Carolyn Cassady's Heart Beat.
A Jack Kerouac bobblehead produced for the Lowell Spinners in 2003 is available for $209.99. I wrote about this previously on The Daily Beat (click here).
You'll see Good Blonde and Others with a preface by Robert Creeley that's signed by Creeley. $174.99.
There are also Kerouac boots for sale by John Varvatos. I wonder if they paid the Sampas family for the privilege of naming their boots after Jack.
There are books by other authors about Jack. Or not, as I saw a signed first edition of Trainsong by Jan Kerouac (a highly recommended read, by the way) going for $99.
It will pain my friend John J Dorfner to see his book, Kerouac: Visions of Lowell, going for $69. He'd prefer you contact him directly for copies: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There's a 1976 Tom Waits LP. $46.75.
You'll see various photographs for sale. Playboys featuring short stories by Jack (I bought one a while back). A copy of Memory Babe by my friend, Gerry Nicosia (a must-read if you are a Kerouac fan). A 1957 edition of Evergreen Review featuring some piece by Jack (unidentified in the ad). T-shirts are a common listing. A 1970 newspaper article about Jack (why anyone would pay $35 for it is beyond me).
And the beat goes on. Here are some additional items that caught my eye:
- 1960 Escapade (men's magazine) featuring a Kerouac piece
- Stainless steel Thermos with On The Road Penguin Books logo
- Passport cover (same logo as above)
- Safe in Heaven Dead by Jack Kerouac (a book I never heard of - be wary of this one)
- Jack Kerouac "Pot Belly" (miniature figurines with secret compartments)
- Jack Kerouac buttons
- Dollhouse miniature replicas of various Kerouac books (who knew?)
- Baby Driver by Jan Kerouac (highly recommended, and cheap - $4.99)
- A Trivial Pursuit game card featuring a Kerouac question ($3.99 - I may bid on this).
And last on the list, a copy of On The Road for $1.58, shipping not specified.
Now you have a good idea of what's on eBay related to Jack Kerouac, and it didn't take you half an hour of scrolling because I did the work for you.
Now, what's the latest bid on that Trivial Pursuit card . . . ?
P.S. I didn't see any copies of The Beat Handbook for sale, at least in the search I did. Maybe I should list signed copies for some exorbitant fee!