A true musical legend is visiting Pahrump this weekend.
Clarence Collins, one of the founding members of Little Anthony and the Imperials, will visit the Pahrump Senior Center at 1370 W. Basin Ave., this morning at 10 a.m.
The visit will coincide with a special sale of his personal memorabilia on Saturday and Sunday.
Pahrump resident Bryan LaBlanc and business partner Lee Foglesong will oversee the sale.
LaBlanc, who buys storage units and sells the items inside, said he unknowingly purchased a storage unit containing Collins’ belongings in Las Vegas a week ago.
Collins was forced to walk away from his agreement with the storage company due to several personal issues he was going through.
“It’s mainly collectibles and a lot of his personal items, like tax records and photographs, which will be returned to him but the rest of his stuff we are going to sell,” LaBlanc said. “Everything that makes him who he is was in this unit. This is a man who is in the R&B Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
LaBlanc has been in the business of buying storage units for more than 25 years.
He said he’s never contacted the people who let the units go, until the Collins purchase.
“When I discovered the items belong to Mr. Collins, I thought the best thing that I could do was to try to find him and contact him,” he said. “I didn’t even know if he was still alive. I eventually contacted him and found out that he did want his stuff back desperately but he didn’t have the money for it.”
LaBlanc, a longtime musician who has played with numerous rock and roll icons, said he decided to simply return Collins’ items after their conversation.
LaBlanc paid close to $4,500 for the storage unit.
“We got to talking about it and I told him that I would give him all of his stuff back,” he said. “It’s worth much, much more than what I paid for it. I told him that I would sell his stuff for him.”
LaBlanc made an agreement to return Collins’ personal items, such as documents and family photos.
The rest of the items, much of which are collectables, will be sold this weekend, where half of the proceeds will go to benefit Pahrump’s VFW Riders and the Pahrump Senior Center.
“I’m going to take 50 percent of the proceeds and give it back to him so that he can have money in his pocket to help himself out,” he said. “I told him that he could be here in attendance to actually give providence to it, so people would know that this stuff is real and authentic. This man is not only an icon to the nation but also myself. To me, he edifies music and what we are as a people.”
Among the thousands of items for sale are Collins’ personal monogrammed wardrobe dating back to the 1950’s, autographed items from scores of other entertainers and countless other goods, including master tapes of original recordings by Little Anthony and the Imperials.
Additionally, LaBlanc said Collins’ ex-wife’s clothes are also up for sale at rock-bottom prices.
“All of the women’s clothing that we have that’s part of our normal sale will be $1, no matter what it is,” he said. “We have Armani, we have Chanel, we have Bebe and they will all be up for sale for $1 each. Most of it is brand new. We also have some very high-end designer items.”
On Friday, LaBlanc said Collins will visit the Pahrump Senior Center to meet and speak with the public, sign autographs, take pictures and talk about his collection.
On Saturday and Sunday, the sale will take place at 2770 East Deerskin, off of Homestead Road from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
LaBlanc also said the sale will continue beyond this weekend.
“What we don’t sell this weekend and the next two weekends after that, we will have it here up for sale,” he said. “We have such a ridiculous amount of stuff, that it’s insane. We have the master tapes of the original recordings of Tears on My Pillow, on reel-to-reel and you cannot get them anywhere else except here.”