Marvin Gaye's 1964 passport found inside an album bought for 50 cents

So that’s where he left it.

A Motown fanatic from Detroit has discovered Marvin Gaye’s 1964 passport hidden in an album he bought for 50 cents from a house clearance.

The incredible find is detailed in the latest episode of Antiques Roadshow (the U.S. version), with the collector explaining how he came across the passport:

“It came to me by pure accident. For years, I worked for the Motown Museum here in Detroit, started when I was 18 years old. I was a Motown collector – anything Motown, I loved. And after a Motown musician had passed, we had gone to their house to pick up some items that the family wanted to donate to the museum, and they had said, ‘Is there anything else you wanted? Because otherwise, it’s going to be in the estate sale this weekend.'”

He turned down most of the albums and records as the museum already had so many, but couldn’t resist a bargain for himself and so went back to the estate sale and bought a pile of albums and 45s. “When I got home, I was going through them and out of an album fell this passport. And so it literally fell into my hands,” he explains, adding that he bought it for just 50 cents.

Antiques Roadshow expert Laura Woolley shed some light on the item on Monday’s episode:

“This is dated 1964, which is great, and it is after he added the ‘e’ to the end of his name, because when he was signed as a solo artist with Motown he decided to add that ‘e’ and there’s a lot of different theories – people say it’s because he wanted to separate himself from his father or because he actually liked Sam Cooke so much, who had an ‘e’ at the end of his name, that he wanted to imitate his idol.

She added: “I wouldn’t put less than $20,000 on the passport if you were to insure it.”

No one seems to have raised the question of how exactly Gaye’s passport ended up inside the album in another musician’s house, but there you go. Meanwhile the Gaye family has been in the copyright courts recently, accusing Robin Thicke and Pharrell of copying Gaye’s 1977 song ‘Got to Give It Up’ on their 2013 enormo-hit ‘Blurred Lines’.

See inside the passport below, and note the wide grin – you wouldn’t get away with that on a passport these days:






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