November 13, 2014
One benefit of Discogs is that anyone can check out the market value of the record in a matter of seconds. The downside is the effect on digging culture; unearthing valuable gems in bargain bins is almost impossible – even charity shop (thrift store) owners know to check the price of vinyl records before chucking them in a generic crate. It’s a harsh reality for diggers but one that makes this story especially compelling.
Cory Feierman of Academy Records was trawling through a record crate on the street outside of a bodega on First Avenue, New York when he struck gold. Hiding away in the pile was Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band – Open Your Box, made specially for Yoko Ono and of which only six copies are known to exist. The crate was owned by a former record store owner who had been selling there for a few days and yet no one had clocked one of the most sought after records in the world.
Academy Records wasted no time, listing it on eBay and collecting a handsome $1,703.99 for the 7″. A pretty good find but their digging luck only got better.
The next find was at the New Hampshire Goodwill where Stonewall’s self-titled release with the rather shifty Tiger Lily Records was discovered.
It’s a super rarity because of a tax-scam the label was allegedly running. Tiger Lily, a subsidiary to Roulette, supposedly pressed tons of records and wrote them off as “unsold”, a huge tax loss that helped the parent label stay profitable. Run by NYC mogul Morris Levy, many bands sent Tiger Lily demo tapes and then found out years later that Tiger Lily had released them without their permission. Most of the music caught up in the scam has been discovered, but there’s been little trace of this Stonewall release.
Last time one of these was found, it sold for $5,000. This latest discovery is the sixth known copy and the first to make its way on to eBay. Again sold by Academy Records, it went for $14,100 and became one of the most watched items on eBay, a rare occurrence for a vinyl record.
Maybe digging in the crates isn’t dead after all.
(via Village Voice )