In 2009 I purchased some Metallica vinyl records all from the 1980's - signed by: James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Cliff Burton (RIP) (all on separate occasions) from Autographs America's Online store www.autographsamerica.com.
The last purchased album I received from Autographs America was in October 2009. This was for the Metallica LP: Master of Puppets.
When you visit the Autographs America's website, they only show the front of the LP's and that's all. When I received this Master of Puppets LP I knew straight away that this was a fake and I can prove it! The Master of Puppets LP I received was a UK Release : Music for Nations MFN 60 DM - Gatefold design with 2 x 12" LP's. This actual release was released in 1987.
Cliff Burton who was the bass player for Metallica at the time, sadly passed away in 1986 - so there was no way possible he could have risen from the dead just to sign this album.
Having this knowledge of Metallica's history, I emailed Autographs America with my concern over the Authenticity - with a reply from both Alex Bison - Customer Service Rep and Brian Burkel (who are probably the same person) owner of Autographs America saying I was 100% wrong on this issue.
Here is one of the emails from Brian Burkel to me:
"We 100% disagree with your conclusions, as we previously stated, and you are talking to one of the owners, who is personal friends with Lars Ulrich, and Sean Kinney of Alice in Chains. I know a lot of band members, and I got this item signed. You are wrong. I'm the bald-headed guy you see in the pictures on the home page with Lars, and others. Please do not continue to insult me any longer. You are dead wrong about this item, and we're not going to keep wasting our time arguing with you.
Good luck on your endeavors._
I was devistated to find the signed Metallica albums I had in my collection were fakes from Autographs America - I have approached the owners of several well know Metallica Fan based websites for there official word on the release of this Album in question - and all have come back with 1987 being the year of release!!. My question to you Mr Brian Burkel - how were you able to get this album personally signed when the bass player had already passed away?
I have been trying to get my money back from Autographs America - but with no luck as yet, i dont see it happening - for me now, its about the principal of the matter and letting as many people know about this guy and to avoid his website..
All my emails to Autographs America have been in a friendly tone trying to get to the bottom of this, but that has got me nowhere - now after extensive research into Brian Burkels business it is obvious I have been had, and I plan to bring this guy down!
Brian Burkel is a fraud - there is enough evidence out there to prove it, the sooner this guy is out of business and back to being someones bitch in Jail the better!
Thank you for reading this - spread the word - Autographs America is a scam!!