October 21, 2012

Everything Must Go

It was time. The records and the comics had to go.

You know, part of the exit strategy.

When I was a kid, I was a pretty big comics collector- Mostly Marvel. Yeppers- MAKE MINE MARVEL.

I used to go to the old Marvel and Creation conventions. I’ve been storing about a thousand comics for the last 30 plus years- everytime I moved, so did the comics. I sold off my old monster magazines (mostly Famous Monsters of Filmland) years ago. Some of the comics I had acquired were valuable (the first Punisher appearance in Spiderman, some old X-men, some early 60’s Marvels), but for the most part the majority were the run of the mill 70’s stuff that I bought, read and read again.

When I was a Music writer back in the golden age of Punk/New Wave, I got records from all the labels pretty much for free as review copies. Plus all the Punk collector’s items 45’s I’ve been storing and the usual gamut of records that every geek has (ranging of course from the Beatles thru ZZ Top), meant that my basement was full of slowly rotting cardboard covered slowly warping vinyl.

I probably haven’t even played a record in 4 or 5 years (I checked and my dust covered turntable still had a Damned bootleg on it).

And... money’s tight. 

So, I posted a comics “for sale” notice on Craigslist and invested about a hundred bucks in securing a table at a big record fair.

I had a few people inquire about the comics, and three actually showed up to look at them. The comics were purchased for the most part with my Uncle (he actually was the guy paying for them!), who  passed away a few years ago. I have memories of riding the subway to meet him in NYC (unbelievably, I was about 12 and my brother was 9 and we were on the trains by ourselves!). I always thought that my kids would inherit them, but they really have no interest.
The years had not been kind to many of them. The valuable ones had been cardboarded and put in bags, but the majority had simply been put in a camp trunk and while they hadn’t suffered any real damage, but the rot was beginning to set in. 

I ended up getting about half the money that I hoped to for them... I’m sure I got ripped off, but I understand the guy who bought them has to make a profit and it would be a real pain in the ass for me to sell them piece-meal myself. And a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. 

Yeah... bush.

I feel a major part of my childhood was traded in for cold cash- but these are desperate times, and the comics weren’t doing me any good slowly decomposing.

The record fair was crazy. I had spoken to the guy running it, expressing doubts that I would make back my investment in the table. He assured me that as a “new seller”, the other dealers would be all over my collection before the general public even got in. I shlepped 5 milk crates of 12” albums, three bins of 45’s, 3 bins of cds and 2 crates full of really cool rock n roll books. 

My buddy Dan joined me to provide some muscle in carrying the stuff. As I started bringing the crates in, the other dealers started to crowd around the table. By the time I got back with another crate, the dealers were rifling through my stuff and pulling out dozens of albums. Out of the 5 crates of albums, 2 crates were sold before the show actually began!!!! All of my Black Flag, Replacements, Husker Du, Dead Kennedys... well you get the idea! I was basically selling everything for about $4 to 5 bucks per record in volume. I didn’t need the records anymore, and while I’m sure that alot of the records I sold were “bargains” to the buyers, I was sort of happy to be making money. 

The rest of the day with the general public was sort of slow, but by that time, I didn’t really care, I was happy to drink Polish beer and compulsively caress the bankroll in my pocket.

The cd’s and books didn’t really sell at all- a bunch of 45’s sold- but not even the stuff that I thought would- 
I ended up making about $1000 on the records- one guy bought 80 records all by himself... but once again, every time I sold something, the gut punch to my teen years was felt.

I still have about 500 records that I can sell at the next fair, as I didn’t bring everything I had.

Between the comics and the records profits I have enough money to fix my car and pay some bills.

The memories will always be with me- well, I guess they would if I didn't have such holes in my memory that are only getting worse.

Now... if I could only find someone to buy the hundreds and hundreds of Dead and Punk bootleg cassettes I have!!!!!

I've got one Jealous Again, again
I got one Killing Joke
I got what was bound to happen
What was broken now's been broke
I parted with my Neurosis but I kept the Lookouts
I got the record player but I didn't get the house

I've got one Black Flag Damaged
And one Golden Shower of Hits
I left the Misfits coffin set but I fucking kept the Spits
Now I got Group Sex and No Control
I got Suffer and Let's GO
I left Freedom of Choice with the Guilt Show

I knew it was over when I put on Walk Among US
You grabbed the TV remote control
You put on Survivor and I put on some headphones
And cheated with my first love rock and roll

I took back my Replacements and grabbed my E13,
Bullet, Nihilistics, and the banned "God Save The Queen"
This wasn't like the Faith/Void
This was a clean split
If I didn't grab my records
They may all have been smashed to bits

Take your Guns N' Roses with the Robert Williams cover
And I'll take the Fugazi picture disc
19 or 20 years ago, I labeled my slip covers
That was a union I wasn't willing to risk


Jessepop said...

oh man, it looks like a virtual suicide !

Kristian Sorge said...

hey do you have your list posted somewhere? tradelist or selling list?


john said...

did the same a while ago. killed me to part with my precious vinyl. cleared a lot of my debts though

Anonymous said...

nazz nomad said...

Kristian- if you send me your email (nazznomad@hotmail.com) i can send you a list of the stuff I still have- it's mostly punk and new wave 45's-