CHELSEA — A desperate buyer has plastered Chelsea with posters offering $20 for a $4 magazine featuring a cover story on gay pop star Adam Lambert.
Lambert, a gay superstar who amassed a huge fan club of self-declared "Glamberts" after making it to runner-up in the eighth season of American Idol, has sold millions of albums worldwide and was nominated for a Grammy last year for his single, "Whataya Want From Me."
Now his cover image on the November issue of LGBT-interest magazine The Advocate, which is available only by subscription, is so much in demand that sellers are asking for as much as $125 on eBay. One auction last night received bids up to $63 on eBay.
Mark Umbach, a spokesman for Here Media, which publishes The Advocate, said the company's Los Angeles and New York City offices have been bombarded by hundreds of phone calls since the magazine arrived in mailboxes Oct. 7 from people begging for a copy.
"We've seen demand, but not like this, not to this extreme," Umbach said. "It doesn't surprise me, because [Lambert] has such a huge following."
The mysterious posters, which showed up on light poles around Chelsea within days of the magazine's drop date, offers $20 for each "new issue," to the confusion of many passersby.
"I just don't get it," said Corrine Carlotta-Mintz, who lives in Chelsea and said she first noticed the posters on Sunday. "Couldn't you just buy one in stores?"
In fact, you can't — in New York, magazine is only available by subscription, which runs $24.95 a year.
Rich, the man behind the posters who declined to give his last name, said he's "gathering the magazine for a fan club of Adam Lambert out in Japan."
"I'm a friend of a family member of someone in that particular club," he added.
Rich said that he and two assistants plastered the posters around Chelsea and Union Square over the weekend.
For his part, Rich claims he's only collecting the issues to help out a friend, and not to make a profit. As of Monday, he said that he had received eight copies of the magazine, and was aiming to buy a total of 20 before shipping them to Japan.
"We're just doing this (friend) a special favor," Rich said. "I'm definitely not an Adam Lambert fan."