The five hand-painted guitars signed by ten Nobel Peace Prize winners that will be auctioned off on eBay today are truly for the man who has everything -- although "that's not true until they buy one of the guitars!," points out Ivan Suvanjieff, the founder of PeaceJam, the organization that will benefit from the auction.
"Bono should buy one of these guitars with the money he's made by investing in Live Nation," says Suvanjieff, a musician who's dedicated himself to peace, but still likes to use fighting words. "Maybe then the short Irishman will be inspired to write an actual rock-and-roll album worth the bother to listen to, something he hasn't done in years."
It's been a tough year for PeaceJam, the homegrown nonprofit that over the past fifteen years has reached out to hundreds of thousands of kids around the globe, showing them that in the toughest circumstances, it's still possible to push for peace -- and then proving it by bringing ten Nobel Peace Prize winners to Denver for PeaceJam's tenth anniversary celebration in September 2006.
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That's when PeaceJam supporter Beth Nielsen Chapman brought out the guitars she'd gotten from Taylor Guitars in Nashville and had visual-artist friends paint. She wanted the ten Nobel Peace Laureates to sign the guitars -- and she and another PeaceJammer, Emily Simon, basically "Lucy and Ethel'd them," chasing them around the various anniversary events in Denver, pens in hand. "There was a point where we didn't think we'd get them all signed,"Suvanjieff remembers.
Although it took a nudge from Archbishop Desmond Tutu to get the Dalai Lama's signature, ultimately they collected the names of ten Nobels: not just the Dalai Lama and Tutu, but Jody Williams, Betty Williams, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Oscar Arias Sanchez, Mairead Corrigan, Shirin Ebadi, Jose Ramos-Horta and Adolfo Perez Esquival.
And now you can share the love. To raise funds for PeaceJam, which has had a tough year, the guitars will be auctioned off on eBay today starting at 4 p.m. The opening bid is $2,999.99, and there's no "buy now" option. For full details, go to ebay.com/peacejam.