During an audio interview with Vogue, Adele, who is currently breaking the charts with her new single “Easy on Me,” revealed her proudest possession: she owns Celine Dion’s chewing gum, a gift that she received from James Corden, the host of The Late Late Show. He kept the piece of gum chewed by the Canadian pop star, and knowing that Adele was a big fan, gave it to her: Adele framed it. Isn’t this a bit weird? But Adele’s strange piece of collection is barely a unique habit.
In 2004, Britney Spears spat out a chewing gum that ended up on eBay. Brian Johnson got the gum while working backstage at a Toronto concert, and later on put the piece of gum on eBay. It reached the crazy bid of $14.000, but it turned out that the seller was bidding against himself to boost the sale… not sure if it was ever sold.
According to Metro.uk, another person claimed to have a piece of gum chewed by Eminem after a gig at the Shepherds Bush Empire, and a piece of Christina Aguilera’s gum was also sold for £60 in 2004.
In 2017, you could also buy Ryan Gosling’s chewed gum on eBay (it was the year of “La La Land”) and in 2013, Kiss frontman Gene Simmons’s chewed gum was allegedly auctioned off for over $245,000. It was for a good cause (the United Kingdom’s Street League Charity), but I just have a hard time believing this.
I know that people collect all kinds of things, but chewing gums have to be one of the most disposable things to collect. The fascinating part may be the fact that they contain the saliva of the celebrities, so their DNA? Sure, but what are you going to do with it? Try to clone them? That’s ridiculous!
The significance of such a trophy is wonderfully illustrated in Warren Ellis’s last book, “Nina Simone’s Gum.” Ellis didn’t buy Simone’s used gum though, but, after a Nina Simone concert, he climbed in stage to take the gum she had stuck on the underside of the keyboard. He kept the gum, and the magical piece becomes the central image of the book which recounts his career. To Ellis, the gum is Nina Simone, but also “her voice, her strength and resolve. Her defiance, courage, fearlessness.” The gum is a talisman, a religious relic that, he believes, changed his life. Used gums as religious artifacts, this is the only reason why we should cherish them.
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