Back in the early 1990s, Capitol Records hatched a plan to honor a handful of the label’s best-known artists with a Tower of Achievement Award. The criteria was that the artist’s musical achievements had to have left an indelible mark on American popular culture and they had to have sold more than 10 million records.
The first name on the Capitol Records list was none other than Frank Sinatra. The next artists were Nat King Cole, Les Paul, and Steve Miller.
“A local designer had won the opportunity to design the award. Capitol got bids from Tiffany and us,” recalls Rick Biro. “They bid on it using sterling silver; we bid on it using silver plate. We got it.”
The very first award was completed and on its way to a special ceremony to honor Frank Sinatra in New York City when calamity struck. “It was stolen!” exclaims Rick.
“The ceremony was going to be on t.v. and we were so excited to see him get the thing we’d made. He shows up, and they handed him a crystal bowl! Our contact there told us it had been stolen and they didn’t know what to do.”
The story does not end there since sometime in mid-2013 Rick got a call from a friend who was looking through eBay.
“It was the Frank Sinatra one, and it had our name on the base,” he says. “I’m not sure if it was the first one that had been stolen or the replacement we made, but there it was.”
The other three trophies were made and delivered without further incident. There are only five, including Sinatra’s original, in existence.