Steve Jackson

Great moments ... Steve Jackson plays a rare 1959 Les Paul Gibson guitar worth $600,000. Photo: Quentin Jones

JACKSONS RARE GUITARS sold instruments to the stars: George Harrison, Metallica, Slash and Keith Urban. The walls were adorned with rock'n'roll perfection: 1957 Fender Stratocasters, 2002 Rickenbacker 660/6s and numerous Gibson Les Pauls.

It was the place for fans and musicians alike to escape the noise of Parramatta Road, Annandale, in Sydney's inner west, and enter the world of guitar rock gods.

Now that reverie is shattered forever, with Jacksons being placed in voluntary administration last month, leaving more than 100 clients who were selling their instruments on consignment with only a small chance of retrieving their guitars.

Jacksons Rare Guitar shop in Annandale

"I did my best to try and save it" ... Jacksons Annandale. Photo: Dean Sewell

For those who had consigned guitars - close to $850,000 of the stock - the experience has highlighted the potential pitfalls of a new law which, until now, many did not know existed.

The Personal Properties Securities Act, which came into effect on January 30, requires the owners of consigned goods to lodge their details with an electronic register - called the Personal Property Securities Register - that can be searched by potential buyers.

Anyone selling personal property on consignment - not just guitarists - must register if they want to avoid the risk of losing a security interest in their goods should the company selling their items collapse.

George Harrison

George Harrison in 1966 with a Rickenbacker. Photo: Getty Images

"Personal property" can include posessions such as cars, boats, caravans, furniture and machinery - almost anything except land and buildings.

Before the act was passed, consignment notes were used to prove ownership.

Oliver Shtein, an executive lawyer at Bartier Perry, said the Act has completely re-written the law of security over personal property, and concerns more than just consignment stock.

James Hetfield

Metallica singer James Hetfield. Photo: Paul Rovere

"It is difficult to think of a more sweeping reform," Mr Shtein said.

"Not only does PPSA re-write the law of securities such as mortgages and charges over personal property, it extends and changes accepted legal concepts, including ownership concepts, in areas [such as] retention of title, hiring and leasing, and consignment sales and floor plans."

Fairfax Media has spoken to a number of guitar owners affected by the Jacksons collapse. None wished to be quoted.

Steve Jackson, the owner of Jacksons, told the first meeting of creditors, held on November 28, that he had done everything he could to stop the shop going under.

"It is not easy, after 30 years of building the business to such heights, to watch it deteriorate.

''I did my best to try and save the store but I couldn't, and for this I offer my sincere apologies," he said

The administrator, Jamieson Louttit & Associates, said Mr Jackson had signed an enforceable undertaking pledging to sell his collection of 10 vintage cars as partial repayment of the debt owed to creditors.

According to the administrator's report dated December 4, the administrator has raised concerns that Jacksons may have been trading while insolvent "as early as June 2010".

Jacksons had been operating since 1988, and started selling guitars online about 1995.

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