Maximum Rock N Roll#14
The Following is the column from Maximum Rock N Roll #14
June 1984 as submitted by Pushead.
Warning of "Don't let the cat out of the bag" were verbally assailed upon me
at the mere mention of this 'speciality subject'. Contemplating the possibilities
of what could happen, if I just petted this 'hush-hush' cat, brought visions of
death threats, long sleepless nights chattering in fear, and being beaten to a
bloody pulp, through my cranium cavity. But those images lasted a brief second
as I realized the people I was dealing with, these so-called fanatics whose eyes
bug out, scream frantically, go into long states of shock, walk into walls, choke
on their food, and even automobile accidents occur-just from the excitement of
'collectables.' I knew then, if I was confronted by any one of them, all I had
to do was hold up the dreaded rare record, and they would fall on their knees
screaming for forgiveness as they shouted out their first bid. Welcome to the
world of "collectables."
Time consuming enthusiasm is the strongest quality of a collector, who searches
for items of interest to them, whether for their collection, a fellow collector's
collection, or just for trading purposes. Sometimes the items are high in value,
hard to find, or low in price and easy to find-but it has a certain meaning understand.
Dirty hands, spent paychecks, mail bartering, in debt, and the indications of a
collector, trying to fulfill his collection. There are many products collected,
from comics to records, but I'll deal in that punk/hardcore realm of music.
What makes a collector's item? That depends on the person who wants it, and what
its value is to them, but there are some indications that add to its collectable
appeal. A look at some punk vinyl in some catagories:
A) Early releases by acts who became popular, which were in low distribution or
hard to come by. Exaples would be SEX PISTOLS A&M Pressings, MISFITS'
"Cough/Cool" 7", WIRE, DAMNED, RAMONES, GENERATION X, STOOGES, CRAMPS
first 7"ers and so on, depending on what the quantities put out were.
B)Small pressings of decent releases, where the group couldn't afford to put
out that many copies, such as MECROS first EP(100), TOXIC REASONS' "War Hero"
(200), FIX "In This Town"(200) SOLGER EP(300), ZMIV EP, etc., etc., usually
less than 500 copies.
C)Speciality items in low quantities, such as colored vinyl, picture discs, special
editions, added songs or goodies, giveaways, flexi-discks, or limited from the
normal pressing. Since it costs more to make these products, usually there are
less (unless a major manufacturer gets carried away). Such instances are various
DICKIES records, U.K. SUBS records, MISFITS records, VENOM and MOTORHEAD
records, Yes L.A. 12", S.O.A. first pressing (green), MINOR THREAT "In
My Eyes" first pressing(red), BLACK FLAG's "Life of Pain" giveaway, and so on,
put these records in continual pursuit by collectors.
D) Picture sleeves or different picture sleeves. Sometimes a 7" record will be
released without a pic-sleeve, but most independent releases will ahve one, but
sometimes the individuals will change it or just make a few different ones. There
are bands who will make 3-5 different sleeves for the same 7", showing members or a
scene, etc. To some collectorsm it's imprtant to get all sleeves, for others, one is fine.
E) Particular label releases can also make a strong collectable notice, usually first
pressings though. Labels like Dangerhouse, Dischord, What, etc. are well sought after.
F)Different European Pressings. A record pressed in its home country, whether it be
the US, UK, etc. might be pressed in another country, where it might come out with
a diferent sleeve, different versions of a song or different B-side tracks. Also, early
European releases are being sought after by collectors.
G) Test pressings and original pressings. Test presses are the first vinyl pressed
off the stampers and usually have the best sound quality-and are made in very
limited quantities since they are samples. Original pressings are the first
pressings, whether it be 100 or 5000, until that sells out and is re-pressed.
Some bands will make noticeable differences to indicate press changes, such as
MINOR THREAT's first EP. The first pressing sleeve is red, second is yellow,
third is green, fourth is blue, fifth is a 12" with a red sleeve and more songs.
H) problems which occur after the pressing. Sometime the band putting out
the release runs into a financial problem, disliking of the release or another such
matter, which makes it impossible to get. The GEARS "Don't Be Afraid to Pogo"
7", SOCIAL DISTORTION's Posh Boy 12", the HUGH BEAUMONT
EXPERIENCE EP are some sought after examples.
I) Oddities that are so extremely rare, they really make a collector's collection.
These are usually mistakes, or releases never publically released. Some examples from
my collection are: RATTUS' Eskonto On Vaara test press, with 2 extra tracks. A misprint
only 10 made. RUDIMENTARY PENI's first EP mispressing, with Pus/NEOS label. Minor
Threat's Out of Step 12" test press, with special sleeve, only 50 made. CIRCLE
JERKS' test pressing, never released.
The most prominent factor in making a record a collector's item is a store/shop
who raises the price in order to make money, especially where there is a demand and
low quantities of such product. Some of these collector's stores get way out of hand
as far as prices go, so it's up to you to use your judgement. Here are some of the
well-sought after releases which I charted down from collector's want and trade lists
sent to me: NEGATIVE TREND 7", MISFITS Horror business on black vinyl, only
25 made, FEAR I Love Livin' in The City 7", NECROS first EP, PAGANS Six and
Change 45, JOY DIVISION Ideal For Living 12", ADOLESCENTS Amoeba 7"-gold
vinyl DJ copy, KOHU 63 7", SATAN's RATS In My Love for You 7",
AVENGRS We are the One 7" on Dangerhouse-red and green vinyl and 2 different sleeves,
HUBBLE BUBBLE 7", SUBHUMANS(Canada) Death to the Sickoids 7", SODS 7",
GENERATION X King Rocker 7"-four different sleeves with both black and colored vinyl.
The want and trade list is something the collector send or gives out to collectors
and regular record buyers to get or trade records for their collections. This also
helps with communication of what's new and available. There is a new publication
called Second Hand Graveyard, which is being compiled of want and trade lists
of all who are interested in record collecting, as a source to make it easier for
record buffs to get together, as well as new interested parties. It works on collectors
individuals want, buy, sell, trade lists.
Through my travels I have met a lot of collectors and quite a few were just
getting involved in it. Since they bought records, they just phased int collecting.
I've seen people sit up and talk for hours just on records, or making calls just
for one platter. All in all, everyone was having fun, which led to my interest to
write about it. There is no price list of collectors records for punk/HC, but
there is Volume, the encyclopedia of New Wave, which lists all releases
in a very thick book.