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Neutral Milk Hotel Banjo Hawked on Kickstarter for $3,000

Elephant 6-affiliated band the Music Tapes have grand plans for a tour supporting their September 4 album Mary’s Voice called “The Traveling Imaginary,” which the group describes as “a long-dreamt-of undertaking on a grander scale than anything we have ever done.” The project involves circus accoutrements, like a big tent that will house “music, games, stories, films, and amusements.” To raise the $5,000 needed to get the show on the road, the band, led by E6 lifer Julian Koster launched a Kickstarter (via Pitchfork) promising contributors gifts of music, posters, calls to pals on their birthdays… and one big-ticket item:

“The banjo Julian played on the Music Tapes’ 1st Imaginary Symphony for Nomad, and Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, every live show by the Music Tapes until 2009, every live full-band Neutral Milk Hotel show, as well as the Olivia Tremor Control’s Black Foliage, and Music Tapes For Clouds and Tornadoes. It has an elephant painted on it, and Julian will sign a dedication and draw a picture for you on the inside of the head.”

The banjo, which is now spoken for, went for $3,000 — a large chunk of the group’s financial goal, but a pretty paltry amount considering its place in psych-rock lore. Estimated delivery on the prize is in October. How long until the instrument turns up in a New Jersey antique store?