Tuesday, March 6, 2007

More Mono Mania....

For record collectors there are few thrills greater than the rush you get when flipping through a bin of ordinary record and suddenly coming upon the one that shouldn't be there, right in front of you, for $3, but is supposed to be on the wall behind the counter for $300.

In a local flea market I had that buzz when I pulled a clear vinyl Blows Against the Empire - a record rare enough that Paul Kantner has claimed it doesn't exist - out of a cover marked $2. In a local shop when I was feeling nostalgic and looking for some Capitol pressings of Beatles albums I stumbled upon a copy of Beatles VI, but in a thin laminated sleeve and on the yellow & black Parlophone label - which shouldn't actually exist. A very rare "export" copy, a bit beat up I bought it for $3 and later stuck it on eBay for $50 on a whim and watched it sell for $670.

It was the same kind of buzz when looking through a bin in a Pittsburgh record shop I came across a mono copy of Big Brother & The Holding Company's Cheap Thrills. I've only found that record one other time; it's a late mono, from the last days of mono records and one you would think really shouldn't exist. Like most late mono LPs, it's a "folded stereo" mix and sounds pretty lifeless and flat. The fact that it's a "live" album is also something more hurt than helped by the monaural sound. The stereo sounds more open and way more "roomy."

Still, it is a rare record and a well known title and I think when I finally sold it I got $125 for it, a price appropriate for it's rarity as an object, artifact of an era, but not at all connected to its actual sound.

So I was a bit shocked when a copy closed a day or so ago in an eBay auction with 21 bids from 11 bidders and a winning bid of $957.00.

I don't know that any more evidence was required, but people are nuts.

No comments: