11.10.2008

Fine Art and the Private Press

So the other night I was walking the Financial District after having picked up a copies of Alice Cooper's Muscle of Love and the Residents' hilarious Third Reich n' Roll in the used bin at J&R music world at 99 cents a pop, and I was talking to my friend Matty on the phone.  


Matty had just picked up the reissue of the Bachs' Out of the Bachs album, and we were discussing the unique production that went into that record.

"The drums sound like there's a guy hitting a ride cymbal with a stick and there's another guy pointing a microphone at him from like a mile away," said Matty.  "It's fucked."

"Maybe an original copy has better sound," I said.

"Probably not.  Besides, there's only like 150 known copies and they're all accounted for.  Getting an original would run you, like, $5,000."  

"Jesus shit!"

"Yeah.  These psych collectors—they might be weird and hunched and bald, with like a ring of curly hair around the back of their head, and wear stuff like corduroy shorts and a tie-dye shirts, and purple sunglasses with tiny diamond lenses, but when it comes to record collecting they don't fuck around."

"So Out of the Bachs has gotta be like the most expensive private press record ever, right?"

"Uh, maybe.  No, actually, there's this band called Nuclean Debris—I read about them in that Acid Archives book.   There was a guy named Johnny Scrotum in the band.  Anyway, there's only one known existing copy, and the guy who has it wants thirteen million dollars before he'll let anyone reissue it."

"Thirteen million dollars!"  I exclaimed, and as I did all these Wall Street banker guys on cell phones whipped their heads around to look at me.  I probably caused that downward line graph that charts the decline of our economy to take a brief upward jag.  Feel the power of Johnny Scrotum!

As I walked to the subway, Dear Reader, it suddenly struck me—this means that there actually is a record more rare than Voice Print, which I'd once believed to be the rarest vinyl in the world.

Speaking of Voice Print, upon my return to the United States I was presented with a pristine and sealed copy of that very record with a note on it from Tom and Marcia Hatten!  Wow!  I couldn't even believe it.  Hatten's note starts out with the words "Decisions, decisions, decisions . . ."  I can't even believe that he gave me a copy of this record—Dear Reader, I couldn't be happier.  I'm framing this thing and never opening it.  

Nuclear Debris may be selling for $13 million, but I'll tell you this—no piece of vinyl is worth more to me than this sealed copy of Voice Print.  This isn't just some record album, it's a piece of conceptual art!  It's going up on the wall!  You think I'm going to let Voice Print languish in a cardboard box next to . . . uh, next to my Alice Cooper records? No sir. This is special vinyl.  

And if I ever sell it, the auction isn't gonna be on eBay, it's gonna be at Christie's.

5 comments:

Mokus said...

Wait - who are these people and why did they give you the record?

Glad to see you posting again.

Rick said...

A ha! For the answer to this, you have to read my little article on Voice Print, which can be found here:

http://thelittleblackegg.blogspot.com/2007/08/voice-print-codex.html

Basically, Voice Print was a conceptual sound collage record, and nearly its entire run was transformed by its creators into an unplayable vinyl pillar. Tom and Marcia Kocot/Hatten are the creators, and they were nice enough to give me a copy.

It's good to be back, Mr. Mokus.

Mokus said...

Officially schooled in Kocot/Hatten: well done. It must be gratifying.

jgs said...

Beware the third reich and roll, it will corrupt your memories of 60's bubblegum pop songs indelibly.... well okay, awesomely indelibly.

THRILLHO said...

Hey Editor,

This is the creme-de-la-creme of the Psych collector mafia, none other than Anopheles Records founder/proprietor, KARL IKOLA!

http://www.anophelesrecords.com/images/Karl-Ikola.gif