Thomas Larson noon, Nov. 21
Collecting Local Music: Price Guide Part 3, plus STP Comics, Courtney Love's 12-Step Plan For Stardom, When Clubs YouTube You
1 - Collecting Local Treasures
2 - Meet Rock'n Rob'n
3 - The Day Happy Hare Got Ritchie Valens to Play Clairemont High
4 - Do Venues Need Permission to YouTube Your Band?
5 - Revenge Club Does Vegas (And Lives to Tell)
6 - When Kamoo Met Kyle XY
7 - Vintage Synth Collector
8 - Local Woman Illustrates David Bowie Storybook
9 - Secret (Crime)Story of a Band Name: Bad Sticky Ant Gas
10 - Neighbors From Hell
11 - Bart Mendoza's Old Guitar Takes On New Life
12 - Stone Temple Pilots Comics: "Cool or Uncool?"
13 - Courtney Love Comics: "12 Step Plan for Stardom
14 - Prong Comics
15 - White Zombie Comics
COLLECTING LOCAL TREASURES – A PRICE GUIDE ENCYCLOPEDIA
A 45rpm vinyl record featuring “The Twelve Days Of a San Diego Charger Christmas” was released in 1980 on the Paid label (a subsidiary American Record Corp. in Texas). Two bidders competed for a copy with the winner paying $8.01 plus $3.50 shipping.
A five CD lot described as “The Ultimate Mojo Nixon Collection” featured Bo Day Shus, Root Hog Or Die, Gadzooks The Homemade Bootleg, The Real Sock Ray Blue and Horny Holidays. After an opening bid requirement of $24.99, sixteen bids were entered with the final price $68.01.
A seller in Yellow Springs Ohio sold the black "Don't Blame Me, I Voted For Mojo [Nixon]" shirt off his back for $9.99 - two bids were placed. It took three bidders and $13.50 to land a large Stone Temple Pilots shirt from their 1994 tour. I purchased the same shirt at Salvation Army on University Avenue near College Grove for $2.00.
A 1986 CD featuring Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper compiles two earlier releases – the full-length “Frenzy” album and an EP called “Get Out Of My Way.” “Twenty root-hog rollicking rockers” was how its seller in Minneapolis described the CD’s content, which includes “Burn Down The Malls,” “Jesus At McDonalds,” a cover of “In a Gadda Da Vida” (originally by local legends Iron Butterfly) and “Stuffin’ Martha’s Muffin,” Nixon’s ode to MTV Veejay Martha Stewart which got him banned from the music network for several years. Bidding began at $7.99 – four bidders competed for the CD, which ended up selling for $17.17.
Slow Children’s 1981 vinyl 12” single “Spring In Fialta” b/w “Too Weak To Eat” was described as a DJ promotional copy. Its seller in Boston wanted $10.00 for the record, but the only bid placed was for $3.00.
The interesting thing about searching for this item on eBay’s database was seeing other auctions with the words “Slow Children” as part of the lot description. Apparently, there’s a booming market for actual yellow metal “Slow Children At Play” street signs – these always seem to attract multiple bids and usually sell for $20.00 to $30.00. If the “Slow Children” sign on your street disappears, you might try looking for it on eBay.
An “original 1968 first printing Bill Graham uncut sheet for Iron Butterfly Joshua Light Show at the Fillmore East” poster also mentions co-headliners Traffic and Blue Cheer from the April 26 and 27 shows. The colorful 22.5 X 28.5” print drew twenty-five bids, opening at $9.99 and closing at $360.50.
Celebrated underground comic artists Rick Griffin and Victor Moscoso illustrated a 14" X 21" concert poster featuring Iron Butterfly, with Sir Douglas Quintet and Sea Train, when they were set to perform at the Fillmore West October 17th - 19th 1968. Described as being in "excellent condition," it sold for $249.99, having more to do with the popularity of the artists than the performers, in addition to the rarity of mint condition posters from this era.
Another copy of the Fillmore/Bill Graham series (serial # BG141) featuring Iron Butterfly and the Sir Douglas Quintet was said to be a mint condition first printing. “This poster has been in my collection in a sealed box that I got from Winterland Productions in 1980,” said the seller of the print. After opening at $48.88, the psychedelic relic attracted eight bidders, who placed ten bids before the auction closed at $191.38.
The Iron Butterfly concerts at Kaleidoscope in Hollywood on May 31st and June 1st 1968 (with opening acts Life and Things To Come) were promoted with an unusual round-shaped 18 ½” poster, because that club had a circular stage. These posters are in demand among collectors, as they’ve been hard to preserve in good condition and have never been reprinted. According to the auction description, “This is one of the rarest of the Kaleidoscope pieces, if not the rarest. Collectors trying for full sets of the series of posters often come up short on this one. Condition is excellent - there are two fairly light tape stains, one each top and bottom, and several pin holes and scratches throughout plus some tape on the reverse.”
The seller in West Palm Beach Florida placed an opening bid requirement of $279.00 which, one bid later, is what the auction closed at.
The two used ticket stubs from a 12/16/77 Queen concert at the San Diego Sports Arena were for side by side upper level seats that originally sold for $5.50. “The shorter stub has wrinkles like it was in a back pocket but second stub is in very good condition,” according to the seller in Boise Idaho. Three bids were offered and, twenty-six years later, the pair was worth $36.00 to its buyer.
A ticket from a 3/7/82 Rick Springfield concert at the same venue ($11.50 - section F/row 8/seat 4) sold for $5.99, in complete unused condition.
Slightly Stoopid’s self-titled 1996 CD on Skunk Records was described as being in “good condition. Disc has some surface marks/scratches but does not affect play…the blue color on the front and back insert is off when pressed and front insert has four tab marks.” Tracks include “Smoke Rasta Dub,” “Wake Up Late” and “F*ck The Police.” The seller in L.A. placed an opening bid requirement of $5.00; the CD attracted twelve bids and sold for $50.00.
Another auction of the same debut CD sparked a bidding war among seven eBayers. Its New Jersey seller said, in the item description, “This is one of the hardest Slightly Stoopid CDs to get…Bradley Nowell of Sublime and Ras 1 of Long Beach Dub All Stars guest star on this CD.” Bidding started at $23.95 and the lucky winner took it home for $61.00
The photo sleeve for a “splash-shaped” 7” vinyl LP featuring five songs by the Locust and two by Arab On Radar shows an eviscerated rubber baby doll with blood splatters dripping behind twin band logos. The LP opened at $1.00 and closed at $5.50. “For this record,” said the San Francisco-based seller, “they put it out on four different thick colored vinyls, each to represent a bodily fluid color, all in the shape of a liquid splotch. This one is white.”
The other vinyl color editions were in yellow, red and, um, brown.
A belt buckle featuring the wordless insect logo for the Locust, approximately 2” square and “unused,” opened at $5.00. Four bidders battled it out, totaling fifteen bids before the item sold for $14.50.
An auction for “Two Super Rare STP Stone Temple Pilots Tickets” featured “Two tickets for the show that never happened back in 1996,” according to their seller in Chicago. The concert was to be at the Riviera Theater, “which is a small club here in Chicago, when Scott Weiland had his drug rehab deal going on with the law and all they originally had like 10 small club shows lined up across the country. Well here is the story. I won these off of the local station 103.5 at the time drove downtown to pick them up get back to work 2 hours later and the show was canceled [when] he got sent to rehab by the judge. These tickets are dated April 26 1996 general admission ticket numbers 399 and 400, showtime 8pm. These are cool as hell and mint!”
After opening at $10.00, two bidders fought it out with fourteen bids fired off before tix for the show that never happened sold for $51.00 (plus $3.00 insured shipping).
Rocket From The Crypt’s 7” vinyl EP “Rocket Pack” was one of their first recordings, done for a friend of the band, splatterpunk artist Pushead, best known for his album artwork for Metallica and the Misfits. In return for Pushead’s design of the RFTC rocketship logo, the band recorded four songs for the artist, who subsequently released them in a limited edition run in 1991. “This is hand-numbered # 18 of only 75 copies made,” said the seller in Gainesville Florida. “Pink/Red swirled vinyl that comes with a hand numbered, printed inner sleeve.”
The record comes with a fold-out felt rocket, with a silk screened RFTC rocket logo autographed by Pushead himself. After opening at $15.00, twelve bidders placed a total of thirty four bids. A buyer with the eBay handle hillsidestrangler looked to be the winner until the final seconds of the auction, when stinkterror took home the coveted EP for $716.00.
According to its seller in Germany, the 7” vinyl Rocket From The Crypt single “Lose Your Clown” was never available for public sale. “Only a few people who have the RFTC logo on their bodies and some people at the RFTC gig at Intoxica Records in London had the chance to get this item. There are less than 200 pressed, most of them came in a blank sleeve with a jukebox strip. Very few exist with the rare Intoxica gig fold out poster sleeve.” The auction photo shows the sleeve folded out, with the signatures of all five bandmembers accompanying some crude cartoons. The single sold for $149.99
The Penetrators’ 1979 “Sensitive Boy,” b/w “Stimulation” 7” vinylrecord on the World Records label, was described as “Very rare early punk new wave from California” by its seller in Macon, Georgia. Reportedly in mint condition and including the original custom sticker insert, the 7” vinyl single earned two bids and closed at $10.00.
The Beat Farmers 1985 Rhino Records CD “Tales Of The New West” features twelve tracks, including the radio favorite “Happy Boy.” A seller in Phoenix offered a version of the CD issued in France the following year, on the Demon Records label (with an alternate cover and CD booklet), which included four bonus songs originally appearing on the “Glad ‘N’ Greasy” EP. These cuts are highlighted by a cover of Harry "Haywire Mac" McClintock’s “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” which would seem on reflection to have been tailor made for the rowdy, unkempt Farmers (“In the Big Rock Candy Mountain, you never change your socks, and little streams of alkyhol come trickling down the rocks”). The auction opened at $7.00 and closed fourteen bids later at $37.00.
A 23" X 14" poster sheet featuring The Beat Farmers, Cadillac Tramps and Lucy's Fur Coat from an early 90's show at the La Jolla Marriott earned $9.99.
“The Home Of Country Dick Montana,” a 1987 12” vinyl LP by the late Beat Farmers drummer/singer, was said by its seller to be “released as a promo-only to little fanfare, and even smaller distribution. Someone said around 200 to 250 of these records were pressed, but I'm unsure of the exact figure. Nevertheless, it is a decidedly rare record, the beauty of which lies in the pristine condition of the vinyl--shiny, glossy and fresh.” The auction photo shows it to be on Curb Records, with a white label reading “promotional only, not for sale” and listed tracks including “Little Ball O’ Yarn” and “The Definitive A Cappella Led Zeppelin Medley.” Produced by fellow-Farmer Joey Harris, the vintage vinyl received eighteen bids before closing at $36.76.
Country Dick Montana’s 1996 debut CD “The Devil Lied To Me” on the Bar None label features nineteen tracks from the late drummer (and sometimes vocalist) of the Beat Farmers, including “It’s Only Cocaine” and “King Of The Hobos.” Four bidders placed five bids and the CD sold for $17.49, despite the fact that it’s readily available on amazon.com for $11.99 (used) to $14.99 (new, sealed).
A 23" X 15" linen poster announcing a concert by Inch and Creedle at Bodie's downtown earned its Carlsbad-based seller $11.99.
The Cramps’ 7” vinyl EP “Smell Of San Diego” was recorded June 2nd 1984, at the North Park Lions Club, just days after ending their first headlining UK tour. There are two limited numbered editions of this record, one on red vinyl and one on black – this auction was for a black version, #280 of 475. Four songs appear on the record including “I Ain’t Nuthin’ But A Gorehound” and “Faster Pussycat.”
The seller in New York said “Cover is mint, vinyl is pristine mint,” referencing a scan of the record sleeve (depicting a B&W photo of a dismembered man with red highlights where the body is sliced and bleeding). The auction opened at $9.99, with four bidders going head to head until the record sold for $46.00. The winning bidder’s eBay handle is axemurder72.
Another Cramps “Smell Of San Diego” ’45, stamped #40, attracted five bids and sold for $23.83.
Rosie And The Originals 45RPM single “Angel Baby” b/w “Give Me Love” was released in 1960 on the Highland label, hitting #5 in the U.S. John Lennon cited Rosie Hamlin (who was 15 when the single was recorded in San Marcos) as one of his favorite singers in a 1969 Life Magazine interview, and recorded the song for his mid-70s Rock 'n' Roll oldies collection although the track wasn't issued officially until later. This copy described in “mint condition, slight scuffing of labels” drew fourteen bids and sold for $26.00.
Another copy of “Angel Baby” b/w “Give Me Love,” on the Highlands Records label was described as being in “mint minus” condition, with “sticker residue on lbl.” The auction photo shows a nice condition orange label and the plain paper sleeve but doesn’t depict the condition of the record grooves, only the label and sleeve. The winning bidder paid $9.99 plus $1.75 for USPS first class shipping.
A “Jewel Kilcher CD Collection” was comprised of six different imported European (IE bootleg) CD sets. One 16-track CD features an 8-17-01 concert at San Diego’s Border Café. Another, “Kiss The Flame, is a 2-CD pack recorded on the second night of a two evening stint at Humphrey’s, 8-20-01. The setlist includes both encores, “Angel Standing By” and “Chime Bells,” though sadly unrecorded is her encore from the previous evening, “Break Me,” by far the superior number and performance. Also included is a live version of “Hands” recorded at the local KPRI radio studio 11-17-01, the Monday after the September 11th terror attacks. The collection sold for $89.00 plus $9.50 shipping.
A few hundred copies of Jewel’s “Save The Linoleum” CD were given out in late 1994, as a promotional item only, at concerts and other events. Released in advance her platinum “Pieces Of You” album, the seven track disc includes live cuts recorded at the Innerchange Coffeehouse. The seven tracks include the hit “Who Will Save Your Soul” as well as lesser known songs like “God’s Gift To Women” and “I’m Sensitive.” A copy said to be “signed by Jewel herself” earned three bids and closed at $81.00.
Another copy of Jewel’s “Save The Linoleum” was described by its seller in Victor New York as a “promotional release…very rare CD, a must have for Jewel fans.” Bidding opened at $20.00 and closed seven bids later at $40.01.
Only three bidders were interested in a 23" X 46" cloth banner promoting Jewel's "Spirit" album on Atlantic Records, which sold for $15.43, while it took seven bids to bring in a mere $9.75 for a cardboard promo album cover flat, reportedly “autographed by Jewel.”
Jewel teamed up with Taylor Guitars in 2000 to produce a limited edition JKSM (Jewel Kilcher Signature Model) acoustic-electric Grand Auditorium six string guitar. Only 1,000 were manufactured, and this auction was for #36. The guitar has a solid gloss Stika spruce top, faux-tortoiseshell binding and wood inlays with Jewel's name in “yellowheart script” on the fingerboard, as well as an engraving of Jewel's Celtic knot symbol logo on the upper back of the instrument. “This rare ‘jewel’ has been my primary acoustic instrument over the past 1 1/2 years,” said the seller in Philadelphia, “and many musicians have complimented me on the tone and appearance of the guitar.”
A hardshell case was included in the auction, which opened at $700.00. Even though no auction photo was included with the listing, three bidders wanted to get the axe bad enough to place six bids totaling $820.99.
Another Jewel JKSM guitar, #574 (Serial #20000905048), was also auctioned. “This guitar has only been played a few times and never had a pick used,” according to the seller in Des Moines. “Always kept in its hard case…not a scratch or nick in the guitar.” The case was included in the auction, which opened at $500.00. Two bidders went head to head for the instrument, placing seven bids before it sold for $1,250.00.
A home-burned CD compilation of Jewel performing live collected ten tracks from the singer’s MTV Unplugged edition, recorded May 7th 1997, as well as five songs from a VH1 special which aired near Christmas of that year. Two additional cuts were included from an unspecified “private fan club show” – “Her Pleasure is My Pain” and “Tiny Love Spaces.” After opening at $9.00, nine bidders entered a total of twenty bids until the CD sold for $37.00.
A 3X5 “Jewel Kilcher Autographed Signed Index Card” (“Authentic International Item #1232”) was said to have been “signed in-person by Jewel at the Goodwin Hotel in Hartford, Connecticut,” according to the seller. “She added ‘Justin’ and a heart above her signature” – this can be seen in the auction photo of the card which Authentic International insists was “obtained in-person, directly from the celebrity. We do not purchase autographs through unreliable wholesale outlets like our competition do. This is how we are able to guarantee that all of our items are completely genuine, without question. Going beyond the Certificate of Authenticity, we also offer a ‘Proof Photo’ with each of our items when possible.”
No “Proof Photo” was offered with this auction. It attracted one bid and earned its Connecticut-based seller 99 cents. The average cost to list items like this on eBay.com, in the same category with similar site features, is $1.00.
“Marc Rude Memorial Garage Sale,” read the auction description for this collection of San Diego punk rock memorabilia dating back to the late 70s. “Were you at the Skeleton Club? The Fairmount? Adams Avenue? Well if you wuz, you gotta get this here stuff before you forget it all! I'd keep this crap but I've seen my plot and it ain't big enough to take it with me!” Mad Marc Rude was a legendary local illustrator who drew album covers for bands like the Misfits, magazine covers for area ‘zines and flyers for punk shows at the Spirit, North Park Lions Club, Zebra Club and other long defunct venues. He died, and items in this auction all sport Rude illustrations - a 1982 EP by San Diego punk godfathers Battalion Of Saints, a Battalion ’45 from 1983 on Mystic Records, a vinyl compilation of local bands from the early 80s “Our Blowout!” and 20-year old area ‘zines like “Charred Remains,” “Be My Friend,” “Testicle Head,” “Pallas Athena” and “The Leading Edge.” After an opening bid of $9.99, twelve bidders placed twenty-one bids until the entire lot sold for $125.00.
Long defunct punks the Cardiac Kidz recorded a few obscure vinyl singles in the late 70s and early 80s, on a label they called Lub Dub. Demand for those records skyrocketed in 1988, when the Kidz’ “Find Yourself A Way” was featured on Volume 007 of the popular “Killed By Death” series compiling the best and rarest punk singles.
That song appears on a 1980 Lub Dub 7” single, “Playground,” recorded at the Spirit nightclub (now Brick By Brick) September 13th 1979 (according to a flyer, the Standbys and the Exterminators opened). Four songs are featured, each about two minutes long, and only 500 copies of the record were printed.
Described by its San Diego-based seller as in “VG++ condition,” the auction page included a photo of the cartoon sleeve (which has “minor ringwear”) and a posted opening bid of $10.00. The auction received 249 customer hits with six bidders placing eight bids before buyer besofunny picked up the Kidz for $179.50.
Another Cardiac Kidz 7” vinyl single, “Find Yourself A Way” B/W “Get Out” (1979 Lub Dub), was auctioned by the same seller and closed the same day, earning thirteen bids starting at $10.00. It also sold for $179.50, this time to buyer chibbeekit.
The CD version of the 1968 debut album by the Brain Police, released on the German label Normal as “The Brain Police: San Diego's Only Psychedelic Cops," included ten bonus tracks featuring singles from 1964 through 1969.
“It is a stunning portrait of a 60s also-ran. Very reminiscent of Buffalo Springfield with Beatles-y overtones,” according to the auction description. “A must have for any fans of West Coast psych, British Invasion-influenced folk-rock.” Four bidders racked up the price from $3.00 to $8.25.
Rockedelic Records’ “Brain Police – San Diego 1968” was described by its Texas-based seller as “An amazing record from San Diego’s finest proponent of psychedelic rock music…vinyl and jacket are in beautiful condition.” Songs include “I’d Rather See You Dead”, “Election For Mayor” and “My World Of Wax.” On green vinyl and limited to only 500 copies pressed, the 12” LP features a custom die cut cover which, when opened, reveals a gold Brain Police badge. The first bid was $9.98 and, three bids later, the item closed at $27.62.
The Brain Police album reissued on the German CD label Shadoks Records was described by the CD’s auctioneer as “Absolutely perfect fuzz guitar psych with great rhythm guitars, organs and St. Pepper-style vocals. With more luck this band could have been as famous as Strawberry Alarm Clock. They played on many bills together. The music is not as soft. It has a much stronger output than most of the famous bands they played together with.” The sealed “test pressing” CD sold for $16.95 when a bidder exercised the seller’s “Buy It Now” option to purchase the CD outright rather than waiting for a seven day auction.
“Like A Hole In the Head,” a 10” vinyl picture disc by El Vez, sported a photo of the Hispanic Elvis impersonator wearing a glitter gold jacket, comically oversized sombrero and holding twin silver plated pistoleros. The album included a lyric sheet and a version of “Fever” recorded live in Denmark, earning its Dearborn, Michigan based seller $15.50.
An auction photo of a Paladins Tour Work Jacket showed off its large sewed-on patch on the back, reading “Paladins Speed Shop fine tune & lube, San Diego California.” One bid was placed for the men’s size 38 quilted jacket, measuring 19” across the shoulders with two front pockets and a talon zipper. It sold for $14.99.
The Injections’ “Police Attack” was described by its seller in Riihimaki, Finland, in somewhat fractured English, as “The incredible
82 lost album, hyper rare single & killer80 Skeleton Club live by San Diego killed by death punk rockers!” The auctioneer was willing to accept dollars, pounds, euros, kronors and yens as payment. Only one bid of $4.99 U.S. was placed for the 25-song cassette.
Unwritten Law’s “Visit To Oz - Rare Demos EP” inspired another bidding war, as two individuals were determined to own the four track CD released in conjunction with the group’s 1999 Australian tour. Featuring “Cailin,” a remix version of “Lonesome” and demos of “Driven” and “Kill To Breathe,” sixteen bids were place before it closed at $31.00 Australian (approximately $17.00 U.S. dollar value).
Sprung Monkey also seems to have a following down under. The band’s 2001 “Party” CD, available only in Australia and now out of print, contained three tracks, one of them previously unreleased and exclusive to this disc – “Half Past A Monkey’s Ass.” The other songs were “Party Like A Rock Star” and “American Made.” Its seller in Eugene, Oregon set an opening bid of $8.99, which is what the CD sold for.
A used concert shirt from the 1985 “Ratt Patrol” tour, featuring giant rodents devouring a panicking crowd of concert patrons, was auctioned in conjunction with a Foreigner shirt from the same year, opening at $9.99 and closing at $36.00. Several copies of the band’s self-titled debut CD went on the auction block, attracting multiple bids and averaging $50.00 to $60.00 apiece, compared to $10.00 to $15.00 each at the beginning of 2002. Presently, you can’t even find a Ratt guitar tab book for less than $30.00 or $40.00.
The seller of a Jackson Firebird style guitar said “I had this custom made and professionally finished with this graphic made famous by the late, great Robbin Crosby of Ratt.” Auction photos show both the guitar for sale and a shot of Crosby playing his trademark white axe, and the custom copy looks identical right down to the fish skeleton logo on the lower body. “Show your devotion to heavy metal and King Crosby and bid your ass off!” Only one bidder took the challenge, getting the axe for $200.00 and presumably keeping his ass in the bargain.
A DVD video collection “Ratt: Videos & Unplugged 1983-1991” features fourteen music videos as well as live cuts and unplugged numbers like “Round and Round,” “Lay It Down,” etc. “All the Ratt you’ll ever need,” pitched its seller. Five bidders drove the cost from $14.99 to a closing price of $36.00.
A “Ratt Robbin Crosby Jackson Collection Poster” drew four bids and sold for $10.50.
A 90 minute “Ratt Detonator Tour VHS Rare [with] Robbin Crosby” videotape of a 1991 Osaka Japan concert featuring one of the last performances by the “classic” Ratt lineup closed at $9.99. Its “unofficial” (read “bootleg”) origin is hinted at by the seller’s disclaimer – “I bought this at a collectibles convention, it is not a store bought video.”
A 20” X 30” concert poster promoting Cheap Trick at the San Diego Sports Stadium, (August 5 1979) featured a day-glo cartoon of the band barreling down city streets in a vintage pink and green Chevy, led by a police escort with a logo reading “San Diego’s Finest Get Cheap Trick!” The poster, originally produced by EMI/CBS Records and sent to area DJs and record stores, drew three bids and closed at $356.00.
An 11” X 17” concert poster advertising AC/DC at the Sports Arena on 2/12/96 was used to promote the band’s “Ballbreaker” tour, featuring a shot of guitarist Angus Young sitting atop a giant planet Earth globe. It sold for $9.99. The same San Diego-based seller got $9.99 for an 11” X 17” Motorhead poster, promoting a 5/19/02 show at 4th & B.
An autographed Polaroid of Jason Mraz came accompanied with a T-shirt worn by Mraz on a Pepsi Smash TV concert (WB Network) in August 2003 (worn in the photo also). Auction pictures showed the signature itself to be illegible. Also written on the Polaroid is “Pespi Smash thermal,” larger and more neat than the scribbled signature but possibly done by a different hand. The auction page received over 3,900 hits, fifty-five bids were placed until the auction closed at $346.07.
A “Jason Mraz T-shirt worn with Dave Matthews” was auctioned by Jason Mraz himself. According to the auction description, Mraz “wore this shirt on many tour dates” and he “wore this actual shirt the first time he met Dave Mathews.” A photo of this meeting appeared in the 10-17-02 issue of Rolling Stone. The auction also came with an autographed Poloroid of Mraz wearing the shirt, a longsleeve baseball jersey with red letters reading “Animal” on the front. Mraz said auction proceeds would be donated to the Make A Wish Foundation. “The idea came to me when I discovered that a beverage container I sipped from at a performance sold on eBay at an unreasonably high price.” After opening at $1.00, twelve bidders placed fifty-eight bids until Mraz sold the shirt off his back for $800.00.
An opening bid requirement of $7.99 was set for a 16” X 12” concert featuring Drive Like Jehu, Deadbolt and Fluf at the Doubletree Hotel in Horton Plaza (10/30/93). Said the seller, “This is an original single sheet printed paper poster advertisement (sometimes known as a flyer or print) for a concert movie performance gig by professional musicians at a live music venue that pictures Satan as a winged devil.” A photo of the color poster shows the item has some wear and tear, including tack holes, but that didn’t deter five bidders from placing eleven bids totaling $20.50.
The poster promoting a concert by Drive Like Jehu at Jabberjaw in Los Angeles, August 13th 1993, was illustrated by famed Artrock Gallery designer Lindsey Kuhn, whose underground comic-inspired designs graced dozens of early 90s posters which are now highly prized collectibles. Unfortunately, potential bidders couldn’t view this art, because the seller in Seattle said “[I’m] trying to post a picture of it but [I’m] having camera problems.”
A description was instead offered, reading “Yellow and orange op-art-ish dragster design, mint condition.” Despite the lack of an item scan, and the seller’s refusal to accept online payments, checks or money orders (“bidder pays w/money”), the poster was only on the auction block for one day before someone exercised the seller’s “Buy It Now” option and purchased the item outright for the posted price of $45.00.
The auction for a factory sealed copy of “Voodoo Trucker” by Deadbolt, issued on CD in 1999 by San Diego based label Cargo Music, was accompanied by an item description reading more like a record review than a sales pitch. "The scariest band in the world…imagine the Ventures playing spooky surf music behind a dry, Dragnet-style narrative of both supernatural tales and everyday trucker situations.
Some of the CD highlights are ‘Whereabouts Unknown,’ which describes many CB radio terms and lingo over the top of clean, slinky guitar lines and a thick, driving bass. ‘Truck Driving S.O.B.’ is one of the more catchy tunes, characterizing the typical habits and lifestyle commonly associated with truckers, while ‘McGortsy’ delves into a twisted tale of murder and bodies hanging from trees.” Bidding opened at $5.99, with a total of four bids placed before it sold for $9.50.
A limited edition Frank Zappa Japanese Mini-LP CD Box Set contained 21 disc reissues of Zappa solo LPs and his work with The Mothers Of Invention. “The only way to get it was to send 10 proof of purchase labels from the CDs as a special promotion,” according to the auction description, and a promotional advertising sheet for the box set was included with the lot. The Anaheim-based seller posted a “Buy It Now Option” of $1,000.00, but there were no takers. Instead, two bidders went head-to-head for the item, with the winner shelling out $525.00.
The 45rpm single by Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Invention, “Lonely Little Girl” b/w “Mother People” on the Verve label (both songs taken from the band’s 1968 album spoofing “Sgt. Pepper” - “We’re Only In It For The Money”) was said to be a “radio station copy” in “mint-minus” condition. Six bids were placed before it sold for $24.00.
A CD version of the 1968 debut double-LP by former San Diego street performer and onetime Frank Zappa protégé Larry Fischer - An Evening with Wild Man Fischer - was pitched several times by the same L.A.-based seller. This album has never been officially released on CD, due to a dispute between Fischer and Gail Zappa, Frank's widow.
The unauthorized CD's auction description, while not admitting its bootleg origin, does say, "CD is made to look like a record" - this is because the box graphics are reproduced directly from the original Bizarre Records LP sleeve. "This may be your only chance to get this on CD," claimed the seller, despite the fact that the same auctioneer sold the identical item three times between March 27 and April 2 - for $42 (3/27), $37.95 (3/28), and $37.95 again (4/2). That's $117.90 over seven days for three homemade bootleg CD sets - someone's CD burner paid for itself pretty quickly.
According to the auction description, only 400 copies were pressed of a 1979 vinyl 45RPM single by the X-Terminators, “Microwave Radiation” b/w “Occasional Lay.” The record was offered in VG- condition with a minimum bid of $49.99, but the record went unsold.
A rolled 24" X 34" poster promoting a Jane’s Addiction show in San Diego closed at $7.95 on February 18th, while another copy of the same poster sold for $20.00 just six days later on February 24th. Mint condition is important to buyers, but contemporary merchandise can earn big bucks regardless of wear and tear if the featured performer is popular enough.
A look at the scan of an Allman Brothers concert poster from September 21st 1979 (San Diego Sports Arena) reveals that disco-slickster Boz Scaggs opened the show and tickets were only $5.25, or $5.75 on the day of show – which included parking! The New Jersey seller said “The source is Lelands.com…the chairman is my brother. He has sold me [the poster] at a brotherly price.” The item opened at $9.97, attracting four bids and selling for $20.50.
Offtherecordvinyl.com auctioned a concert poster promoting the Jesus And Mary Chain at downtown's California Theater, with artwork by Frank Kozik, for $25.26. Seven bids were placed, despite it being described as having "light rounding at the corners and some light edgewear all the way around...a three inch crease in from the left edge...bottom edge has some light fading."
A KGB 1360 AM Radio "Boss 30" music survey sheet from November 16th 1966 was described thusly: "Mid-day guy (and Program Director) Les Turpin is on the front. The Beach Boys are scoring with Good Vibrations, it's #1. Note that the artist is listed as The KGBeach Boys...also on the back, an ad for MacLeans toothpaste. This item measures approx. 6.5" X 5" and has one vertical printer fold down the middle. It's in near-mint condition, no tears or markings."
Among the bands on the station's top 30 list that week are The Supremes, ? & the Mysterians, The Monkees, The Animals, Frank Sinatra, Donovan and The Lovin' Spoonful. Up and coming "Boss Hit Bounds" on the verge of stardom include Neil Diamond, The Yardbirds (correct), The Innocence and The Incredibles (who?). Few people saved this sort of record store flyer but only one bidder surfaced for the relic, paying $13.60.
A “Hard Rock San Diego Jimi Hendrix Dead Rocker pin” was auctioned. The small red and white flying "V" shape pin with a "Jimi Hendrix" illo is part of the Hard Rock Cafe's 2nd Memorial Series of pins. Eight bidders racked the price all the way up to $31.00.
Fattburger’s 1990 Enigma Records CD “Come And Get It” – the last release from the band featuring founding guitarist Steve Laury - includes nine “smooth jazz” tracks including “Almost An Angel” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love.” One bid was placed for $9.99.
In the early-eighties, heavy metal hairfarmers Victim were among the house bands at Straita Head Sound, a long-gone La Mesa club unique to its era due its ability to serve alcohol to the 21-and-up crowd while still allowing minors in the door (thanks to closed loophole in the “dinner theater” permit laws). In 1985, the four members of Victim self-recorded and released a vinyl LP “DMN” (said in the liner notes to stand for “Dirty, Mean & Nasty”) with only about 1,000 copies being pressed. “Their sound leans heavily on glam metal, like Poison or Ratt, but a little heavier,” said the seller. Said to be in “near mint minus” condition with “some light scuffs that don't effect [sp] the sound,” the vinyl relic opened at $5.00 and closed nine bids later at $16.38.
A 100% cotton extra-large Rugburns shirt sporting a logo meant to spoof the Rolling Rock beer logo was described by its seller as "super-clean, with no stains, rips or tears...stored in a smoke-free environment, folded instead of hung, so it’s not all stretched out. I offer only the best vintage stuff, laundered (not stinky!) and ready to wear." Eight bidders brought the final price up to a not-too-stinky $31.00.
Steve Poltz’s 56 track CD collection of “Answering Machine” songs he used to actually record daily for his callers, collected on the Scam O Rama label, opened at $3.00 and sold, four bids later, for $6.50.
A metal watch featuring the logo for POD – Payable On Death – with an 8” chain link metal band, packaged in its original metal box, sold for $29.99. [Jennifer – I have this graphic, attached auction8-05 podwatch.jpg]
A 1981 first edition of “Fast Times At Ridgemont High” by Cameron Crowe opened at a mere $9.99 but, nine bids later, in the auction’s final moments, the price rose to $101.01. The book tells of Crowe’s undercover adventure when, at the age of 22 (in 1979), he posed as a senior at Clairmont Hight School.
The book “A Whore Just Like The Rest” by former Reader contributor Richard Meltzer was described by its New York based seller as a “pre-read but good condition copy of ‘gonzo’ music journalist[‘s] finest work…some of this stuff is unbelievably funny. He was a friend of Lester Bangs, and his style was just as irreverent.” Published by Da Capo in 2000, it features 575 pages by Mr. Meltzer, tracing his music writing career from 1967 through 1999. Five bids were placed before the hardcover book sold for $12.51.
The cover of Voluptuous Magazine’s September 1997 issue (“All Stacked! All Natural!”) features busty blues singer Candye Kane, barely wearing a white lace top and gloves. According to the cover text, this issue also contains a “Perfect Ass Contest” and a pictorial entitled “Hairiest Bush Ever.” It’s unclear whether Miss Kane was the subject of either feature. The auction opened at $5.00, with four bidders placing sixteen bids totaling $26.00.
Candye Kane’s D-cups runneth over in a 1983 X-rated video entitled “Huge Bras #4,” co-starring Mindy Rae, Kelly Stewart and Tommy Byron. “Good photography,” said the discerning seller, “essential for D cup fans. Contains full previews for Huge Bras 3, 2 and 1.” Advertised as having “no box” (presumably not a pun but a reference to the packaging), the 60 minute VHS tape sold for $8.99.
Candye Kane was featured in “Legendary Titters – Stacked Nudie Cuties,” described by its seller in Chicago as a “CD containing 100+ quality movie clips plus accompanying JPG images” featuring Miss Kane and several dozen other “stacked” models. It sold for $9.75. In addition, the September 1986 issue of the magazine “Gent: Home Of the D-Cups,” with a text blurb on the cover reading “Enjoy Candye’s Fashion Show And Win Her Undies,” earned it seller in San Francisco $5.50.
The Tell-Tale Hearts’ limited edition 7” vinyl record “Circus Mind,” b/w “Flying” features as its a-side a Pretty Things cover song, with sleeve liner notes written by the once-Pretty Phil May. “The Tell-Tale Hearts of course featured Mike Stax, currently of The Loons,” noted the seller, “and this single is superb and in great shape, M[int]-minus with the very slightest wear to the sleeve and the single.” Three bids were placed with the final price $10.50.
A concert flyer was auctioned which promoted a 1981 appearance by new wave faves Gang Of Four, backed by then-unknown REM, at the Adams Avenue Theater. The B&W 8 ½” X 11” piece of paper is offset printed with no photo or illustration, only block text letters reading “Tim Maze Presents Gang Of Four with REM Saturday September 11th Adams Avenue Theater, 75cents, $1.00 at door” along with several ticket outlets listed. “Tim Maze” refers to Tim Mays, currently the owner of the Casbah in Midtown. “Slight wrinkle on right edge of flyer, otherwise in great condition,” described its seller. Six bids were placed and the flyer flew for a stratospheric $89.99.
The Burbank-based seller of a 13” X 23” concert poster for a 70s performance by Gino Vannelli, at the UCSD Gym, was unsure of the item’s origin. “I do not know the year [of the concert] but judging from the $5 admission price my guess would be 1972 – 1974.” Vannelli’s first album was released in 1973 but he didn’t get any airplay until his sophomore release “Powerful People” in 1974 (the single "People Gotta Move" reached number 22 on Billboard's Hot 100 in October and garnered a Grammy nomination).
Described as being in “near mint condition,” the B&W relic featured a drawing of the Italian disco stud with a huge white-guy afro and wearing what appears to be a Karate uniform. The auction received sixty-one hits, opening at $24.95 and closing two bids later at $34.33.
A 1982 vinyl 12” LP containing demos by heavy metallers Battalion Of Saints also included live tracks recorded at Bob’s Place (a long-gone North County bar) on 6/11/82. Containing 24 songs in all, the Mexico-only release was imprinted on purple vinyl and included its original black and white insert, selling for $9.99.
Hi-Five’s “The Other Side Of Us” LP was released in 1981, featuring modern soul from a San Diego sextuplet (five black males and a female) said by its local-based seller to include “players from the San Diego Chargers.” The album jacket was described as having “minor wear on front” and the vinyl itself with “minor surface scuffs.” Four bidders entered seven bids before the LP sold for $85.49.
A copy of the self-titled 1980 debut vinyl LP by Bratz was auctioned in its original shrink wrap (albeit sliced open to remove the disc), in mint condition “with no cut-outs, seam splits or writing.” The San Pedro-based seller summarized Bratz’ music as “very good dual lead guitar hard rock with some progressive tendencies and strong keyboards and vocals.” The auction opened at $9.99 and closed six bids later at $25.49.
"The Litanies of Satan," Diamanda Galas’ 1982 debut vinyl LP (a U.K. import on the Y Records label), was described by its auctioneer in Sacramento as “a raging beast of a record capable of blowing your mind and speakers simultaneously.” The album has two side-long tracks – “Wild Women With Steak-Knives (Homicidal Love Song for Solo Scream)” and "The Litanies of Satan" (based on a poem by Charles Baudelaire). “What makes the LP more desirable than the CD,” said the seller, “is the fact that the vinyl is mastered at 45rpm speed and this record sounds great when spun at 33rpm. I’m sure Diamanda would frown upon such audio tomfoolery, but I won’t tell her if you won’t. It’s like getting an extra album for free!” Bidding began at $7.00. A total of ten bids were placed and the winner (eBay handle “sh-tofgod”) paid $36.00 for the long out-of-print album.
“Everything Under The Moon” by Natasha’s Ghost, released in 1995 by FUA Records, was described by its seller in Philadelphia as “brand new, sealed, perfect.” The 11-song CD earned four bids before closing at $4.51.
Three vinyl albums described as an “80s Mod Rare LP Lot” included a British version of the 1986 debut record by San Diego’s Manual Scan. “Vinyl is in excellent shape, cover has minor wear (ring wear, slight yellowing),” according to the seller.
The second LP in the lot was “The Cutting…Edge,” a 1985 UK compilation featuring Manual Scan along with Purple Hearts, the Risk, Beat Direction and others (“Vinyl and cover in great shape!”). The Risk are from the Channel Islands in the UK, though they resided in San Diego during the mid-eighties, playing local venues like SDSU’s Backdoor, JP’s and elsewhere (their debut album was produced by Matt Camione, of the local band the Tracers).
The final item was another UK compilation, "Modstock - Starbrucken '94," including tracks by the Jaybirds, Apemen, Statuto, the Aardvarks, the Beat Set and the Clique. All three LPs sold together for $9.99, with only one bid placed.
“Automatic Midnight,” a 2000 CD release by the band Hot Snakes, features members John Reis (aka “Speedo”) of Rocket From The Crypt, Rick Fork (aka Eric Froeberg), formerly of Drive Like Jehu and Jason Kourkounis (of Mule). The Bakersfield CA seller described it as “Eleven tracks of Black Flag, the Wipers and Suicide inspired turbulent sound,” posting an opening bid requirement of one penny. Ten bids later, it sold for $8.50.
A seller in Boston auctioned his Hot Snakes T-shirt, saying “It is red and has only been worn once. Apparently I have grown without noticing. This is a Hanes 50/50 Youth Large and it is too short for me…this band is amazing and it bums me out to no end to not be able to keep this shirt. Give it a good home.” Four bidders battled it out for the shirt off his back, entering ten bids totaling $20.50.
An 11” X 17” poster promoting a concert at the Epicentre by the band Homegrown featured a photo of the three bandmembers in blue ink on white paper stock (in “mint-minus condition”) and went for $9.99.
A concert poster (11 ½” X 17 ½”) and handbill (5 ½” X 8 ½”) from the “Halloween ‘99” concert at the Westin in Horton Plaza mentions Rocket From The Crypt, Southern Culture On The Skids, Deadbolt and others, but the only graphic was an orange pumpkin head on a stick figure body. The set sold for $11.99.
Another poster and handbill set, promoting Unwritten Law concerts at 4th & B (January 14th) and SDSU’s Montezuma Hall (January 21st), featured photos of the band and listed opening acts 22 Jacks and the Hippos as well. Three bidders racked up eight bids before the auction ended at $22.50.
Blink 182’s “Apple Shampoo” CD was released in Australia in 1997, featuring the title track plus “Voyeur” and “Good times.” A copy “guaranteed” to be signed by the band attracted fifteen bids and closed at $98.79.
A San Diego based company called Target Collectibles auctioned six identical Blink 182 autographed concert programs, posting the same item photo for each auction even though there were presumably six different programs. “An original Blink-182 signed KROQ Weenie Roast concert program,” read the auction descriptions. “This is signed by all three members of the band. This item is in perfect condition (mint/near mint). It includes a lifetime 100% money-back Certificate of Authenticity from Target Collectibles. All items were obtained in person by Target Collectibles.”
The six programs, apparently indistinguishable from each other, sold on various days for $10.45 (2/15), $12.50 (2/2), $15.50 (2/21), $20.50 (2/12), $26.00 (2/9) and the February 18th auction attracted sixteen bids totaling $66.00. Target Collectibles is a new eBay seller, with a “Feedback Rating” of 5, meaning only five customers who’ve bought from them have posted reviews about their deals with this seller.
Previous auctions launched by Target Collectibles have been for concert programs signed by the members of Linkin Park, Jane’s Addiction and 311, all of which look from the auction photos to have been signed using the same or a similar blunt tipped silver-ink pen as the one used on the six blink 182 programs.
It only cost $15.00 to take home a “Genuine blink 182 song list” from an Atlanta, Georgia concert on 11/20/99, with a “Genuine Mark Hoppus footprint!” Said its seller, “The set list still has the tape on it from being taped to the stage, along with Mark's footprint…the list is in the condition that it was on the stage, a bit wrinkly and dirty (but that's because it was being stepped on by the band). I attained the set list at the end of the concert - I ripped it from the stage. I will send along a few great pictures from the signing and concert (I was leaning on the stage at Mark’s feet) to prove that everything in authentic.”
Since the auction had already closed, I was unable to request an email scan showing an actual photograph of Mark’s actual foot actually stepping on the actual set list being auctioned.
Three 7” blink-182 vinyl singles were auctioned in one lot – “First Date” b/w “Don’t Tell Me It’s Over” (picture disc, only released in UK), “They Came To Conquer Uranus” (three songs, with picture sleeve) and “Lemmings,” a split colored vinyl single with two songs by the Swindles and the title track by blink. Twenty-one bids were entered and the lot sold for $87.43.
A custom surf-green colored Tom DeLonge signature series Fender Strat guitar, with a tweed hardshell guitar case, auctioned by Guitar Central in Louisville Kentucky. According to the auction description, “[The Guitar] has professionally installed Sperzel locking tuners (just like the ones Tom uses on his) instead of the very bad vintage tuners that come stock ($75 installed). The stock tuners do not stay in tune! Next, it has Dunlop strap locks installed ($30 installed) plus a nice black strap with the strap locks ($15)…it has been professionally set up by an authorized Fender repairman so it plays way better than it did straight from the factory ($40 labor).”
An opening bid of $400.00 was placed on April 22. Less than one day and six bids later, someone selected the seller’s “Buy It Now” option, which allows the seller to set a price that automatically ends the auction if a buyer meets it – that price was $615.00
An unused blink 182 backstage pass sold at $6.00, about the average for recent passes by even the most popular groups due to the ease of "bootleg" reproduction and market saturation. There were no bidders and no sale for a 1985 Ratt backstage pass.
Only 30 copies of blink-182’s 1990 “Flyswatter” demo cassette-tapes are known to exist. “It has come to my attention that these tracks were recorded in the basement of either Tom or Mark's house around 1990,” said the seller, “consequently, the songs are not what I would refer to as ‘good quality.’”
An auction photo shows the cassette box to have hand-colored artwork which, if this is indeed one of the original cassettes, was decorated by blink and family members before they passed out the demo tapes to close friends and prospective record-company contacts. Considered the holiest of grails among blink collectors, the 8-song tape includes early versions of several cuts which later ended up on the “Buddha” album, as well as “The Longest Line,” a cover of a NoFX song. Even though the seller’s eBay history shows only one other completed auction, five dueling bidders took it on faith that this oft-bootlegged cassette is the real deal and placed twenty-seven bids (starting with $1.00) until the auction closed at $405.00.
Blink-182’s original “Buddha” cassette appeared in 1994 on Filter Records, a handmade limited release that was later reissued on the Kung Fu label in 1998. According to the seller, “It has a different track listing [from the Kung Fu version], and a number of between song segways [sp] that were not kept when it was remastered… the cassette also comes with the original lyric sheet with tons of artwork done by Tom.”
Though supposedly less than 50 copies of this tape are said to exist, the same seller auctioned two copies of it during the same week. The auctioneer is new to eBay with less than two dozen completed transactions, and two negative customer comments already posted in their “feedback profile.” One complaint reads “Sent $$$$ but he will not send cd......he should be out of business.” Despite this, the first cassette auctioned received thirty bids, closing at $192.50, while the second copy sold for $117.50.
Blink-182’s limited edition 1997 CD “I Won’t Be Home For Christmas” was offered by a seller in New Jersey, autographed on the cover in red marker pen by the original threesome of Scott Raynor, Mark Hoppus, and Tom Delonge. “These are extremely rare and out of print,” read the auction description. “There are only a handful of these in the world. They were only given to people in the music industry…this was signed many years ago at Warped Tour.”
The auctioneer listed an opening bid requirement of $7.89. Despite an out-of-focus photo of the CD and the signatures, five bidders were determined to win the item, placing forty-eight bids before the auction closed at $300.00.
A skateboard deck with the blink-182 logo and artwork was produced by MCA Records in 1998 as a giveaway to promote the group’s “Dude Ranch” album. The deck auctioned by an L.A. based seller was said to be signed by the original trio of Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge and Scott Raynor while the band was visiting the MCA offices. “There were many of these decks made and given out,” said the auctioneer, “but this signed deck is one of a kind and will never be found anywhere again.” The auction page received 365 hits, though the opening bid requirement of $99.00 wasn’t met until the final three days of a seven day auction. Five bidders then entered a total of eleven bids until the board sold for $280.00.
Blink 182’s limited edition 2000 CD release “Mark, Tom, Travis Show,” comprised of nineteen live tracks and one new studio recording - “Man Overboard” - was auctioned by a seller in Chicago calling him/herself a “former music industry doing this [selling on eBay?] as a dream job.” The CD had “very slight surface marks” which “do not affect play.”
The track list includes songs from all four of the group’s previous albums as well as unreleased material, and “the band also provides fans with an extra seven minutes of conversation and clips of some humorous moments on the end of the album and an extra bonus of a great photograph-filled booklet.” Bidding opened at one penny – seven eBayers placed thirteen bids before the CD closed at $12.50.
A CD featuring a 1976 set by Linda Ronstadt at the San Diego International Sports Arena was offered with a $29.95 starting bid requirement. At the time touring with guitarist Waddy Watchel, its fourteen songs include “You’re No Good” and “When Will I Be Loved.” Six bids were placed until the CD sold for $37.00.
The Rolling Stones 11/10/69, Sports Arena: This multicolored vinyl album from the K&S label was auctioned by a seller in London. "I believe only around 100 of these were made," read the item description. The listing showed a blue vinyl LP partially pulled from a plain white cardboard sleeve, with text reading "The Rolling Stones San Diego '69" on the front cover. In the tradition of most '70s vinyl boots, a paper track list with a black-and-white illustration of the band was glued to the back cover. Seven bidders placed 17 bids until the auction closed at 185.00 GBP (approx. $323.07 U.S.).
The same Stones concert on CD, said by its seller to be a "20 bit digital mastering from the original tapes," sold for $15, while a two-CD set of the Stones at Qualcomm Stadium on 2/3/98, originally broadcast on local radio by 98.3 FM, earned $25.
Pink Floyd 10/17/71, Golden Hall: This is a CD version of a widely distributed '70s vinyl bootleg, Pink Floyd: Embryo. The Florida seller bragged, "This is not a CDR, unlike many concert CDs on eBay," placing an opening bid requirement of $25. The auction earned 11 bids, closing at $42.00. The same concert from a different seller, with an alternate CD cover (described as "custom art"), was said to be "Pink Floyd at its most experimental, creative genius...it's almost impossible to get such a great collection of songs from one show."
Not that impossible; the same auctioneer sold three more copies of his "custom" (read: homemade CDR) version of the Golden Hall concert over a one-month period, for $15.95 (twice) and $20.
T. Rex 1973: A bootleg vinyl LP of Marc Bolan and T. Rex supposedly performing on the syndicated TV show Don Kirshner's Rock Concert (1972-1982) was auctioned under the item description "T. Rex Concert San Diego 73 vinyl album." The track list included "Jeepster," "Token of My Love," "Born to Boogie," "The Groover," "Zip Gun Boogie," and "Get It On (Bang a Gong)."
This listing would seem incorrect regarding either the year recorded, the TV show it was taped for, and/or the locale of the concert. T. Rex did play in San Diego in 1973, on August 10, but it wasn't recorded for the Kirshner series. The bootleg's set list is similar to a performance the band did for the show In Concert that aired in June 1973, though whether this was recorded in San Diego is unclear.
The source recording was more likely a 1975 episode of Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, which aired in February and March of that year, recorded in late 1974 at the San Diego International Sports Arena and with a set list identical to the one on the bootleg album's back cover. The U.K. seller got three bids, earning GBP 8.00 for the LP (approximately $13.11 U.S.).
Captain Beefheart 2/16/78: On this day, Captain Beefheart, aka Don Van Vliet, performed two shows at SDSU's Back Door. This CD captures the shorter 45-minute set by Frank Zappa's onetime protégé. The track list included "A Carrot Is as Close as a Rabbit Gets to a Diamond" and cuts from the Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) album he was ostensibly promoting at the time, such as "When I See Mommy I Feel Like a Mummy" and "The Floppy Boot Stomp." After an opening bid of $18, six bidders entered a total of ten bids before the CD sold for $52.50.
Van Halen5/20/84, Sports Arena: "Sound quality is very good" on this CD..."has artwork," according to the seller. David Lee Roth-era tracks included "Jump," "Pretty Woman," and the furiously drummed "Hot for Teacher." Two bids were placed, and the CD sold for $11.
INXS 3/31/88, Sports Arena: A "Live Radio Broadcast" recorded on CD, from Westwood One's Superstars in Concert series. Running just over an hour, the CD was "not a commercial release," said the seller, and "not taped off the radio...ran off the broadcast master in the studio." This seems to indicate it originally came from a radio DJ who surreptitiously ran a dub from Westwood One's source recording. It sold for $4.25.
Depeche Mode 7/31/90, Sports Arena: DM -- Everything Counts is a bootleg vinyl album recorded during the band's "Violator" tour. Their characteristically mopey set list that night included "Shake the Disease," "Waiting for the Night," and "Enjoy the Silence." One of the last vinyl bootlegs issued before the explosion of CD pirating, the double-LP sold for $150.
Richie Sambora 11/16/91, Spreckels Theatre: Bon Jovi's guitarist, recorded just a few weeks after the September '91 release of his first solo album, Stranger in This Town. "This is a very rare pressing only available in Thailand...not a CDR," according to the seller in Bangkok, Thailand. The set list included Bon Jovi staples like "Wanted Dead or Alive," as well as covers such as "Midnight Rider" (Allman Brothers) and "With a Little Help from My Friends" (Beatles). The auction opened at $9.99 and closed 12 bids later at $41.02.
Nirvana12/91, Del Mar: A 12-song CD said by its seller in Bloomington, Indiana, to be "a rare live mint CD that I purchased for $34.99 and must now sell...I take good care of my things and my items do not smell of smoke as I am a nonsmoker." The CD earned six bids and sold for $20.
Metallica 1/14/92, Sports Arena: "James Hetfield interacts with the crowd a lot during this concert," said the seller of this video, which catches the hard-rock quartet covering Queen's "Stone Cold Crazy." The closing price was $1.
Smashing Pumpkins 10/26/93, Crosby Hall: This unauthorized concert CD entitled Dream was pictured with a ten-song set list and a scan of the CD cover's professional, colorful graphics, an unusual perk with homemade recordings like this. The auction opened at $9.99 with two bidders battling it out, entering 13 bids until the single-CD sold for $122.52.
Nirvana 12/29/93, Sports Arena: Among the last dozen shows performed by Nirvana, the set list for their San Diego date covered the gamut from "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Heart-Shaped Box" through more obscure cuts like "Territorial Pissings" and a dreamlike cover of David Bowie's "Man Who Sold the World." A VHS video recording of the concert sold for $10.
Stone Temple Pilots 8/23/94, New Haven CT: This 150-minute compilation video featured a complete recording of an STP show from their "Purple" tour, shot by an audience member. "Sound and picture quality are awesome!" said the seller. "Great head to toe shot of the whole band and stage. On the side of the stage are two huge lava lamps and an absolutely amazing visual show."
The video also had the band's complete MTV Unplugged performance from NYC and live TV cuts from 1993 (Headbangers Ball and MTV Spring Break, "with singer Scott Weiland in drag!") and 1994 (Saturday Night Live and Late Night with David Letterman). The VHS tape drew ten bids, selling for $42.99.
The Moody Blues 9/29/94, Starlight Bowl: Accompanied by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, the Moodies surely had no idea their performance would someday appear on a CD from Germany's Ride the Tiger Records, one of the many overseas microlabels currently flooding the U.S. with quasi-legal bootleg recordings of live performances, which fall under cloudy international copyright protection. Entitled Starlight Sojourn: Live San Diego 1994, the "import" CD featured the entire 13-song 72-minute set, including their 1967 hit "Nights in White Satin." Ten bids were placed before eBay member Whitesatin713 got the Blues for $81.09.
Smashing Pumpkins 4/23/99, Spreckels Theatre: A two-CD set described by the seller as coming from "the Arising Tour, which was the first tour with Jimmy [Chamberlin, fired over his drug habit in 1996 following the heroin overdose of keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin] back on drums... lots of crowd noise on first three tracks due to familiar songs. Crowd noise diminished for rest of set as most are new songs at the time." The tour was promoting Machina -- The Machines of God, with cuts from that album played live, including "Glass and the Ghost Children" and "Speed Kills." The San Diego seller got $5.99 for their 16-song set.
The Black Heart Procession 1999, UC San Diego: Alternately goth and progressive, locals the Black Heart Procession were part of the 1999 Ché Fest, at UCSD's Ché Café. This "fantastic live CD...comes with some beautiful liner notes," said its seller, who rated the sound quality at "A+" and posted a track list including "Song About a Mule" and the eight-minute-plus "Heart the Size of a Horse." Sixteen bids were placed before the CD closed at $54.
Kiss 3/19/00, Sports Arena: In 2000, Kiss were about $20 million into their never-ending "farewell" tour, starring the original aging foursome in full makeup and featuring all the fire breathing, blood, and platform boots beloved of nostalgic boomers and gullible guppies alike. The two-CD set contained the complete Sports Arena show, with track spacing to make song cuing easier. The selling price was $6.50.
blink-182 7/25/00, private show: According to its seller, this "pro-shot" VHS video captured blink-182 playing in San Diego for a select audience of about 100 radio contest winners. With requisite songs like "All the Small Things" and "What's My Age Again," the 80-minute video sold for $8.99.
Tesla 12/7/00, 4th & B: In 2000, the original five members of progressive rockers Tesla, best known for their version of "Signs," reunited for two concerts in California and a third in Las Vegas, with the opening date at 4th & B. A videotape of the show, running 104 minutes and of "very good quality," closed at $9.99.
Tool 8/15/01, SDSU: A two-CD set featuring industrial heavy metallers Tool playing the Open Air Theatre was described as a "rare import," although the supposed country of origin isn't specified (copyright laws are fluid regarding "imported" music recordings). Unfortunately, the superior set performed that evening by co-headliners King Crimson wasn't included, but the CD managed to sell for $36.75.
Social Distortion 9/7/01, Street Scene: This VHS video featured "a cool night time outdoor show in downtown San Diego," according to the local seller. The tape also included "bonus footage" of the band playing two songs on a Warped Tour date ("Under My Thumb" and "Don't Drag Me Down"), plus an episode of Orange County public-access show Request Live with Social D leader Mike Ness as guest host. Two bids were placed before the tape sold at $10.99.
Tori Amos 11/20/01, Copley Symphony Hall: During this stop on the "Strange Little Tour" (promoting her Strange Little Girls album), the scarlet-haired songstress played two shows in one evening. This no-frills CD featured her 7:00 p.m. performance, with no accompanying artwork, only a printed set list. It sold for $7.99.
Zwan 11/20/01, 'Canes Bar and Grill: Among the first half-dozen shows performed by this (already defunct) band fronted by former Pumpkin Smasher Billy Corgan, and the bootleggers were there to immortalize it. Nineteen songs are spread across the two-CD set auctioned by a seller in Ontario, Canada, including covers of the Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down" and the Burt Bacharach standard "What the World Needs Now Is Love." Two bidders clashed, with the winner taking the prize at $9.49.
Sheena Easton 12/12/01, Civic Center: "A rare uncommercial release," said the seller in Singapore; "A super hot and power packed singer." The James Bond theme crooner ("For Your Eyes Only") and sometime actress (Miami Vice) sang "Don't Send Flowers," "Modern Girl," and 16 others, including the horrifyingly catchy "9 to 5 (My Baby Takes the Morning Train)." The CD sold for $9.99.
Garbage 5/31/02, SDSU: Led by wicked waif Shirley Manson, Garbage's 77-minute performance was captured on DVD video. "Don't miss out on this amazing show with fantastic video quality and crystal clear hi-fi audio," hyped the seller. Fifteen bids were placed, with the final price $12.
Morrissey 9/15/02, SDSU: Featuring songs like "I Want the One I Can't Have," "Hairdresser on Fire," and, for an encore, "There Is a Light that Never Goes Out," this CD closed at $7.
Bob Dylan 10/19/02, San Diego State University: The legendary troubadour actually plays piano for some songs on this two-CD release. The set list included surprising non-Dylan numbers like "Carrying a Torch" (Van Morrison), "Old Man" (Neil Young), and "Mutineer" (Warren Zevon). It sold for $9.99.
The Goo Goo Dolls 1/25/03, Embarcadero: The Goo Goo Dolls' set list for the SuperBowl Concert Series gig included "Naked," "Here Is Gone," and "You Never Know." Graded with "sound quality A," the recording attracted four bids and closed at $10.
Nashville Pussy 2/13/03: This VHS video was described by its seller as "professional looking, shot from Ruyter's side of the stage from the very front. See Ruyter strip down to her bra and panties while rocking out!" In rock and roll, as on eBay, the mere suggestion of sex sells, so this lusty pitch drew 11 bids, driving the price to $53.06.
The Foo Fighters 4/15/03, Rimac Arena: Two CDs, coming from a DAT (digital audio tape) source, according to the seller in Winnipeg, Canada. DAT is the professional bootlegger's weapon of choice: small, easy to sneak in, but with 21st-century sound capability, which can be duplicated with no loss of sound signal. The Foo set list included "My Hero," "Weenie Beenie," and "Everlong." Seven bids were placed, raising the sale price from $7 to $15.50.
Simon and Garfunkel 7/15/03, Cox Arena: Performing in San Diego for their first time in 20 years, the duo was featured on a two-CD version of the show, with no accompanying auction artwork. After an opening bid requirement of $9.99 was met, six bidders logged ten bids until the auction closed at $53.
The oldest apparently unauthorized recording listed during this monitoring period was a 60-minute VHS episode of The Milton Berle Show, with Elvis Presley performing 4/3/56, live from the aircraft carrier USS Hancock docked at San Diego's Naval Air Base. Elvis sang "Heartbreak Hotel," "Shake Rattle and Roll," and "Blue Suede Shoes" for several hundred sailors, as well as doing a brief comedy riff with Berle.
Television shows from the '50s often have tangled copyright histories -- video manufacturers regularly acquire prints, kinescopes, or master video copies for reproduction without bothering to research who owns current media rights to these programs. This seller seemed to be an individual, not a manufacturer, stating in the video's auction description, "It is part of my personal collection and I only have one." Seven bids were placed before the video sold for $17.86.
The Smashing Pumpkins were recorded live 10-26-93 at San Diego’s Crosby Auditorium for this unauthorized concert CD entitled “Dream,” according to the Illinois based seller. A ten-song setlist was included in the auction description, as was a scan of the CD cover’s professional, colorful graphics, an unusual perk with homemade recordings such as this. eBay technically forbids selling bootlegs but seems to turn a blind eye toward items modestly disguised. The auction opened at $9.99 with two bidders battling it out, entering thirteen bids until the single-CD sold for $122.52
The Cardiac Kidz were recorded 9-13-79 at the Spirit nightclub (now Brick By Brick) for the 7” vinyl “Playground.” Only 500 copies of the obscure punk single were released in 1980, on the Lub Dub label - four songs are featured, each about two minutes long. Described by its San Diego-based seller as in “VG++ condition,” a photo was posted of the cartoon sleeve (which has “minor ringwear”). The auction received 249 customer hits, opening at $10.00. Six bidders placed eight bids before buyer besofunny picked up the Kidz for $179.50.
“DM – Everything Counts,” a bootleg album featuring Depeche Mode, was recorded at the San Diego Sports Arena July 31 1990, on that band’s “Violator” tour. The band’s characteristically mopey setlist that night included “Shake The Disease,” “Waiting For The Night” and “Enjoy The Silence.” One of the last vinyl bootlegs issued before the explosion of CD pirating, the double-LP sold for $150.00.
A double CD featuring the Rolling Stones at Qualcomm Stadium February 3 1998, while technically a bootleg, sported professional graphics and attracted six bids, selling for $120.50 plus $5.00 shipping.
No date was given for the “Ratt – Live In San Diego” CD listed by a seller in Great Britain. A 15-song setlist was included, including “Round And Round” and “Lay It Down,” which would become the band’s best-known hits. The concert CD sold for 14.99 GBP (approximately $27.30 U.S.).
When Pearl Jam played San Diego on June 5 2003, someone captured the show on videotape and several copies have already turned up on eBay, under various seller names. Containing the entire set through its unexpected encore “Baba O’Riley” (the Who), VHS copies recently auctioned on the site are averaging $26.00.
Aerosmith's 2002 "Just Push Play" show in San Diego was captured in digital sight and sound. The product description even includes an entire set list of songs to entice buyers. "The [VHS] video is crystal clear with beautiful hi-fi stereo audio!," says the seller, who earned $18.00 for one auctioned tape.
When Kiss said farewell (again) to San Diego on 3/19/00, someone captured the performance on video and eight bids earned its seller $31.00.
An older show featuring King Crimson on 6/28/95, promoting its album "Thrak," has hi-fi sound and runs 105 minutes but only three bids were placed before it sold for $15.50.
That's the same amount earned by a seller in Alabama who auctioned a 60 minute concert video featuring Rob Zombie playing in San Diego on 4/17/99.
When the Moody Blues played Starlight Bowl 9-29-94, accompanied by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, they had no idea their performance would some day appear on a CD from Germany’s Ride The Tiger Records, one of the many overseas micro-labels currently flooding the U.S. with quasi-legal bootleg recordings of live performances which fall under cloudy international copyright protection.
Entitled “Starlight Sojourn: Live San Diego 1994,” the “import” CD features the entire 13-song/72-minute set, including their 1967 hit “Nights In White Satin,” which on its original release featured the London Festival Orchestra (conducted by Peter Knight, one of rock’s first classical crossovers). Ten bids were placed before eBay member Whitesatin713 got the Blues for $81.09.
A 12-song CD featuring Nirvana performing in Del Mar (venue unspecified) in December 1991 was said by its seller in Bloomington Indiana to be “a rare live mint CD that I purchased for $34.99 and must now sell…I take good care of my things and my items do not smell of smoke as I am a non-smoker.” The CD earned six bids and sold for $20.00.
A bootleg LP featuring the Rolling Stones at San Diego Sports Arena 1-10-69, on multicolored vinyl from the K&S label, was auctioned by a seller in London. “I believe only around 100 of these were made,” read the item description. The photo scan shows a plain white cardboard sleeve with attached photocopy drawing, but the image is too fuzzy to make out artwork. Despite this, seven bidders placed seventeen bids until the auction closed at 185.00 GBP (approx. $323.07 US).
The Foo Fighters concert at Rimac Arena on 4/15/03 fills up two CD discs, coming from a DAT (digital audio) source, according to the seller in Winnepeg Canada. DAT is the professional bootlegger’s weapon of choice – small, easy to sneak in but with 21st century sound capability which can be duplicated with no loss of sound signal. The Foo setlist includes “My Hero,” “Weenie Beenie” and “Everlong.” Seven bids were placed, raising the sale price from $7.00 to $15.50.
A VHS videotape of Social Distortion playing Street Scene on 9/7/01 is from a “cool night time outdoor show in downtown San Diego,” according to the local-based seller. The tape also includes “bonus footage” of the band playing two songs on a Warped Tour date (“Under My Thumb” and “Don’t Drag Me Down”) plus an episode of Orange County public access show “Request Live” with Social-D leader Mike Ness as guest host. Two bids were placed before the tape sold at $10.99.
Richie Sambora, playing the Spreckles Theater November 16th 1991, was recorded just a few weeks after the September ‘91 release of the first solo album from the Bon Jovi guitarist, “Stranger In This Town.” “This is a very rare pressing only available in Thailand…not a CD-R,” according to the seller in Bangkok Thailand. The set list includes Bon Jovi staples like “Wanted Dead Or Alive” as well as covers such as “Midnight Rider” (Allman Brothers) and “With A Little Help From My Friends” (Beatles). The auction opened at $9.99 and closed twelve bids later at $41.02.
The Florida seller of a CD titled “Embryo,” featuring Pink Floyd at Golden Hall October 17th 1971, bragged that this is “not a CD-R,” unlike many concert CDs on eBay, placing an opening bid requirement of $25.00. This pitch plus a scan of the cover illustration earned eleven bids with the auction closing at $42.00 on May 28th.
The same concert from a different seller, with an alternate CD cover (described as “custom art”) was said to be “Pink Floyd at its most experimental, creative genius…it's almost impossible to get such a great collection of songs from one show.” Not that impossible – this auctioneer sold three copies of his “custom” (read homemade CD-R) version of the Golden Hall concert between May 20th and May 27th, for $15.95 (twice) and $20.00.
A CD set featuring the Smashing Pumpkins at the Spreckles Theater, April 23rd 1999, was described by the seller as coming from “the Arising Tour, which was the first tour with Jimmy [Chamberlin, fired over his drug habit in 1996 following the heroin overdose of keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin] back on drums…lots of crowd noise of first three tracks due to familiar songs. Crowd noise diminished for rest of set as most are new songs at the time.” The tour was promoting “Machina – The Machines Of God,” with cuts from that album played live including “Glass And The Ghost Children” and “Speed Kills.” The San Diego seller got $5.99 for the 2-CD set.
The Rolling Stones 11/10/69, San Diego Sports Arena: The auction photo shows a blue vinyl LP partially pulled from a plain white cardboard sleeve with text reading “The Rolling Stones San Diego ‘69” on the front cover. In the tradition of most seventies vinyl boots, a paper track list with a B&W illustration of the band is glued to back cover. Six bids were placed before the wax relic sold for $177.50. The same concert on CD, said by its seller to be a “20 bit digital mastering from the original tapes,” sold for $15.00 and a 2-CD set of the Stones at Qualcomm Stadium on 2/3/98, originally broadcast on local radio by 98.3 FM, earned $25.00.
Van Halen 5/20/84, San Diego Sports Arena: “Sound quality is very good” on this CD…has artwork” according to the seller. David Lee Roth mans the mike and tracks include “Jump, “Pretty Woman” and the furiously-drummed “Hot For Teacher.” Two bids were placed and the CD sold for $11.00.
INXS 3/31/88, San Diego Sports Arena: A “Live Radio Broadcast” recorded on CD, from Westwood One’s “Superstars In Concert” series. Running just over an hour, the CD was “not a commercial release,” said the seller, and “not taped off the radio…ran off the broadcast master in the studio.” This seems to indicate it originally came from a radio DJ who surreptitiously ran a dub from Westwood One’s source recording. It sold for $4.25.
Metallica 1/14/92, San Diego Sports Arena: “James Hetfield interacts with the crowd a lot during this concert,” said the seller of this video, which catches the hard rock quartet covering Queen’s “Stone Cold Crazy.” The closing price was $1.00.
Nirvana 12/29/93, San Diego Sports Arena: Among the last dozen shows performed by Nirvana, the setlist for their San Diego date covered the gamut from “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Heart Shaped Box” through more obscure cuts like “Territorial Pissings” and a dreamlike cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World.” A VHS video recording of the concert sold for $10.00.
Stone Temple Pilots 8/23/94, New Haven CT: This 150 minute compilation video features a complete recording of an STP show from their “Purple” tour, shot by an audience member. “Sound and picture quality are awesome!,” said the seller. “Great head to toe shot of the whole band and stage. On the side of the stage are two huge lava lamps and an absolutely amazing visual show.”
The video also has the band’s complete “MTV Unplugged” performance from NYC and live TV cuts from 1993 (“Headbangers Ball,” “MTV Spring Break” with singer Scott Weiland in drag!) and 1994 (“Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night With David Letterman”). The VHS tape drew ten bids, selling for $42.99.
Black Heart Procession 1999 UC San Diego: Alternately goth and progressive, San Diego’s Black Heart Procession were part of the 1999 Che Fest, at UCSD’s Che Café. This “fantastic live CD…comes with some beautiful liner notes,” said its seller, who rated the sound quality at “A+” and posted a track list including “Song About A Mule” and the 8-minute-plus “A Heart The Size Of A Horse.” Sixteen bids were placed before the CD closed at $54.00.
Smashing Pumpkins 4/23/99, Spreckles Theater: A two-CD set from the “Arising” tour with sixteen songs attracted two bids totaling $5.99.
Kiss 3/19/00, San Diego Sports Arena: In 2000, Kiss were about 20 million dollars into their never-ending “farewell” tour, featuring the original aging foursome in full makeup with all the firebreathing, blood and platform boots beloved by nostalgic boomers and gullible guppies alike. This 2CD set contains the complete Sports Arena show, with track spacing to make song queuing easier. The selling price was $6.50.
Blink 182 7/25/00, Private Show: According to its seller, this “pro-shot” VHS video captures blink 182 playing in San Diego for a select audience of about 100 radio contest winners. With songs like “All The Small Things” and “What’s My Age Again,” the 80-minute video sold for $8.99.
Tesla 12/7/00, 4th & B: In 2000, the original five members of the progressive rock band Tesla, best known for their version of the 60s youth anthem “Signs,” reunited for two concerts in California and a third in Las Vegas, with the opening date at San Diego’s 4th & B. A videotape of the show, running 104 minutes and of “very good quality,” closed at $9.99.
Tool 8/15/01, San Diego State University: A two-CD set featuring industrial heavy metallers Tool playing SDSU’s Open Air Theatre was described as a “Rare Import,” although the supposed country of origin isn’t specified (it’s tougher to stick copyright infringement suits to “imported” music recordings). Unfortunately, the superior set performed that evening by co-headliners King Crimson wasn’t included, but the CD still managed to sell for $36.75.
Tori Amos 11/20/01, Copley Symphony Hall: During this stop on the “Strange Little Tour” (promoting her “Strange Little Girls” album), the scarlet haired songstress played two shows in one evening. This no-frills CD features her 7pm performance, with no accompanying artwork, only a printed set list. It sold for $7.99.
Garbage 5/31/02, San Diego State University: Led by wicked waif Shirley Manson, Garbage’s 77 minute performance is captured here on DVD video, from a summer ’02 concert at SDSU’s Open Air Theatre. “Don’t miss out on this amazing show with fantastic video quality and crystal clear hi-fi audio!” The auction photo feature a video-freeze of Manson in full vocal flight. Fifteen bids were placed with the final price $12.00.
Morrissey 9/15/02, San Diego State University: Featuring songs like “I Want The One I Can’t Have,” “Hairdresser On Fire” and, for an encore, “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out,” this CD closed at $7.00.
Bob Dylan 10/19/02, San Diego State University: The legendary troubador actually plays piano for some songs on this 2-CD release, and the setlist reveals surprising non-Dylan numbers like “Carrying A Torch” (Van Morrison), “Old Man” (Neil Young) and “Mutineer” (Warren Zevon). It sold for $9.99.
Goo Goo Dolls 1/25/03, Embarcadero: Already on CD after just a few weeks, the Goo Goo Dolls’ setlist for the SuperBowl Concert Series gig included “Naked,” “Here Is Gone” and “You Never Know.” Graded with “sound quality A,” the recording attracted four bids and closed at $10.00.
A VHS video of Nashville Pussy playing San Diego on 2/13/03 was described by its seller as “professional looking, shot from Ruyter's side of the stage from the very front. See Ruyter strip down to her bra and panties while rocking out!” This lusty pitch drew eleven bids, driving the price to $53.06.
$9.99 was the minimum bid for a VHS concert recording of unclear origin featuring Blink 182 and Unwritten Law. “This is the rarest of the rare,” according to its seller, “a live concert from 1997, a year before both these bands broke out and made it big. You can catch them before the rock stardom when these bands still played small clubs. Both shows are excellent quality and both are super rare.”
Despite the lack of information about when and where the shows were recorded and only a partial track listing, six bids were entered and the video sold for $20.53.
After Simon and Garfunkle played Cox Arena, their first time in San Diego in 20 years, one seller offered a 2-CD version of the show, with no accompanying auction artwork, posting an opening bid requirement of $9.99. Six bidders logged ten bids until the auction closed at $53.00.
On February 16th 1978, Captain Beefheart, aka Don Van Vliet performed two shows at SDSU’s Back Door. This CD captures the shorter 45 minute set by the sometime-Frank-Zappa-protégé, including “A Carrot Is As Close As A Rabbit Gets To A Diamond” and cuts from the “Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)” album he was ostensibly promoting at the time, such as “When I See a Mommy I feel like a Mummy” and “The Floppy Boot Stomp.” After an opening bid of $18.00, six bidders entered a total of ten bids before the CD sold for $52.50.
An auction for “Two Live Unwritten Law Videos” attracted seventy eBay user hits, meaning the auction was viewed seventy times. Of the two tapes, “One has two shows on it,” said the seller in Tampa Florida, “and they are from July 29 1996 at the Underworld in Montreal, Canada and September 26 1998 at Cepsum, also in Montreal Canada…in the first show, they play stuff from ‘Blue Room’ and ‘Oz Factor’ and in the second show they also play songs from self-titled [album]. The second video is a show that they played in the parking lot of a Best Buy on November 10, 2001 in Hawthorn, CA…there is also extra footage of the guys just hanging out, and the music videos for Lonesome and Up All Night.” The auction earned five bids, closing at $23.50.
Tom Waits’ signature on an 8” X 10 black and white photo was done sideways in blue pen, one uninterrupted word which looks more like “mommys” or “morons” than anything akin to his name. Twenty bids were placed – closing price $101.76.
A color photo of blink 182 had signatures literally scribbled across the bandmembers’ faces, but it came in a 16” X 12” aluminum frame along with two CDs, Dude Ranch and Enema Of The State (the latter with porn star Janine on the cover). Closing price: $136.28.
A Fender electric guitar autographed by all four members of Box Car Racer was offered with a “certificate of authenticity,” though no further indication was given as to who issues or signs this supposed guarantee that the signatures are authentic. Auction photos show the autographs are all done in the same blue ink pen, said to be by Anthony Celestino, David Kennedy, Tom Delonge and Travis Barker. A fifth handwritten blurb appears to be a bandname acronym/logo but it’s unspecified who drew this. Seventeen bids were entered before the guitar sold for $217.50.
Jim Croce’s “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” LP was offered with the songwriter’s signature in black ink on a large all-white section of the jacket cover. COA [Certificate Of Authenticity] from Authentic Autographs [“a group of twelve collectors that began pooling their resources to help one another about five years ago”] did not state how signature was obtained, when or by whom. Closing price: $118.05.
A copy of the early 1973 LP “Life And Times” LP by Jim Croce was said to have been autographed by the singer on 7/9/73, weeks before his death on September 20th. The Kent, Washington based seller, Authentic Autographs, describes itself as “a group of twelve collectors that began pooling their resources to help one another about five years ago. The funds received are used to help our members further their abilities to get quality autographs from the stars they adore and follow...[this] is a perfect collector's item from one of our private collectors list of articles.” The vinyl rarity earned five bids, selling for $107.50
A “Jim Croce - rare signed large album page” was described by it Las Vegas-based seller as an “approx 5" x 6" ink signed page…by the deceased singing legend.” The auction photo shows a yellow piece of paper with the word “thanks” written in black ink, and beneath that “Jim Croce,” with a curly underline. “Includes guaranteed Certificate of Authenticity which is lifetime transferable from Kevin Martin's Piece of the Past, Inc. - one of the most respected entertainment autograph dealers in the country.”
Martin cites his credentials as having been an “authentication case consultant to governmental agencies and corporate supplier to major celebrity themed restaurants and casinos.” No governmental agencies or restaurants or casinos are mentioned by name. The seller posted an opening bid requirement of $74.99, which is what the sheet of paper sold for.
Listed on the site as an “Autographed Jim Croce LP, ” Jim Croce’s “I Got A Name” was the singer/songwriter’s follow-up to his 1973 “Life And Times” LP, which hit #1 while the Croce and his family were living in San Diego. The album included the hits "Time in a Bottle" and "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song."
There was no photo of the LP or of Croce’s signature, for which the Maryland-based seller apologized (“My scanner is acting up”). The auctioner, eBay username “rockraretees,” posted a low minimum bid of $9.99 but nobody tried to win the autographed album over the ten-day auction.
Perhaps this is because the record wasn’t released until several weeks after Croce died on September 20th 1973, in a charter plane crash in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Rockraretees’ eBay account has since been suspended.
A CD autographed by Switchfoot – “The Beautiful Letdown” – was accompanied by a “promotional only remix CD” of the song “Meant For You.” Switchfoot were nominated for a Grammy Award in 2001, for Best Rock Gospel Album, and their music has been featured in TV shows such as “Dawson’s Creek” and “Felicity.” The autographs feature the bandmembers’ first names only, and are barely legible – Jon (Foreman), Tim (Foreman), Chad (Butler) and newest member Jerome (Fontamillas). The seller in NYC received fourteen bids for the two-CD lot, earning $27.75. (Jennifer – pic at http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2518045205&category=1572)
POD’s self-titled new CD was said to be “signed for a top DJ in New York” and appeared to have all four bandmember signatures on a CD sleeve stamped “promotional use only.” The DJ was not named. COA included a “lifetime guarantee,” with no indication as to what the seller is guaranteeing against (damage? fraud? wear and tear? artistic merit?). Closing price: $37.99
A “Sexy Jewel 10X8” color photo showed the singer busting out of a tight denim button-up vest and wearing low slung jeans with “Jewel” scrawled in blue-pen across her cleavage. “Hand signed…comes with COA stating the item is authentic.” No information was given as to who issues this COA or when and where the photo was signed. Closing price: $20.90.
A “brand new Fender Strat style full size electric guitar” autographed by Jewel (who apparently never played the instrument) was auctioned by a New York firm called Autograph Pros (“registered dealer #237 of the Universal Autograph Collectors Club”). “This is an authentic signature, not any kind of copy or facsimilie [sp],” insisted the auctioneer. “All winners will also be offered a soft shell guitar case, a wall mount to hang your guitar, and a guitar stand…a copy of the original photos taken at the time of signing for me will also be included with nearly every guitar we auction.”
Auction photos show Jewel looking at the same guitar pictured in a close-up shot of the instrument bearing her signature - which in this case seems to be simply the letter “J” with a small heart drawn near it. The seller originally set an opening bid requirement of $199.00 – no bids were placed. It was offered again with a $149.00 bid requirement – nobody bid at this price either.
Iron Butterfly’s “In A Gadda Da Vida” vinyl LP was offered with five bandmember signatures on the cover, said to be “autographed in person” [as opposed to autographed from a remote location?] by mssrs Lee Dorman, Doug Ingle, Ron Bushy, Derek Hilland and Erik Barnett. “Many of these types of items were obtained at private signings, premieres, and special engagements by our group of collectors,” according to seller Authentic Autographs, “a group of twelve collectors that began pooling their resources to help one another about five years ago.”
All five signatures appear to have been done at the same time, in the same gold ink – Barnett’s is capped by a peace symbol and Hilland’s has a drawing of a keyboard.
The remaining trio of Dorman, Ingle and Bushy are the only signees who actually played on this album. The auction opened at $39.99 and closed five bids later at $88.00.
An 8 ½ X 11” piece of plain unlined white paper was auctioned containing “Blink 182 original handwritten lyrics w/COA.” “The lyrics were donated by the band for a charity auction with People For The United Way,” according to the seller in Minneapolis, Startifacts, who say that’s where they purchased this item. The lyrics to the song “All The Small Things” are handwritten in blue ballpoint pen by Tom Delonge, who also signed the paper.
Startifacts describes itself as “one of the nation’s leading supplier [sp] of genuine autographs…all items are guaranteed for life.” One assumes this refers to the piece of paper’s authenticity rather than durability. The auction received 249 hits and closed at $395.00.
A Focus electric guitar manufactured by Kramer/Gibson and hand-signed by the members of blink 182 was offered with an accompanying “certificate of authenticity” with a “tamper proof seal,” according to its seller, Memorable Moments. “This item was signed by Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Tom DeLonge on 10/29/02 in Atlanta, GA outside the venue,” according to the auction description.
A photo shows the signatures on the bottom of the guitar’s body – each done in a different color ink. Nine bidders fought to get the axe, entering seventeen bids, with the winner taking it home for $224.72 (and $25.00 additional for shipping).
An issue of Rolling Stone featuring blink 182 on the cover and autographed by the band was described by its seller in Atlanta Georgia thusly: “Hand signed, custom framed and acid free double matted 16X20 piece…with Tom, Mark and Travis on the front and each of them have signed in bold sharpie.” A copy of the band’s CD “Enema Of The State” was included in the framed display, which sold for $199.87 and came with a certificate of authenticity from the seller and a “lifetime money back guarantee.”
A “Signed Travis Barker OC Drum Set,” described as a “custom short stack made for Travis Barker of Blink 182 by Orange County Drum and Percussion. This is a new set [was] signed by members of blink 182 and Green Day from the Pop Disaster Tour in Spring 2002.” The auction photos show a red, white and blue painted kit including one snare, one 5" x 12" Tom, one 5"x16" Tom and one 22" bass. The set earned its Huntington beach seller $2,000.00.
MEET ROCK’N ROB’N
Hundreds of Placebo fans submitted video of themselves lip-synching the band’s cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” for a planned video consisting entirely of fan-made clips. 21 year-old singer/songwriter Roberta Hofer – AKA Rob’n - was among around a dozen videographers who made the final cut.
“It seemed pretty unlikely to actually make it into their video,” she says. “They have fans all over the world, and pretty dedicated fans, right? More fanatic than me. But, eventually, I figured, why not try?”
“I submitted quite a few versions. Five or so. I wasn’t quite sure what the video directors were actually looking for. You know, do they want outside or inside, happy or sad mood? I tried out different locations, filmed cellar-versions, river-versions, and one inside-version, too.”
On the day the finished video was to debut online, Hofer didn’t know whether any of her clips had been chosen. “I think it took until after midnight until the video was finally put on their MySpace page. It was quite a long night.”
Her reaction? “Disbelief. I was calling friends, telling my family, watching it again and again. It’s still weird to think about it now…it’s very unreal to see yourself in an internationally broadcast music video. Jokingly, I always say ‘I thought my first appearance in a music video was going to be one of my own’…but it does make me proud.”
The video of “Running Up That Hill” uploaded to YouTube – featuring a still of Hofer on the screencap - has been played over 494,000 times. “Right after the video was online,” she says, “a friend of mine, who lives in South America, texted me. She’s a Placebo fan and had waited for the video, too. She was, like, ‘Gosh, I just saw their new vid, and it sounds weird but I could swear it’s you in there.’ It was funny to get that reaction minutes after it was online, from thousands of kilometers away.”
I really like her intensely personal and intimate songs. Most of the tunes on her page were recorded simply with just her and an acoustic guitar, tho there’s an underlying hard rock foundation in the urgency and strength of her vocals and the powerful lyrical imagery. The song I’ve played most is “Prisoner” – lyric sample:
Be a prisoner inside this world /Inside an open jail /
Symbolize the maggot shamefulness/Don’t pull away the veil /
Be a prisoner wear down your fate / And drown it
Rob’n just recently uploaded an electric version of the song, which I played for the first time today and enjoyed, Tho, frankly, it was just as rock ‘n’ roll in its bare bones “Bathroom Demo” version. I also recommend the song “Try,” but don’t take my word for it --- checkitout (have I ever steered you wrong??). Think Kate Bush/Bjork gone solo-acoustic, or perhaps Tori Amos as produced by Trent Reznor…
“I suppose what I do is classic singer-songwriter stuff,” Rob’n says. “My voice and my guitar. I don’t play any other instruments well enough. I think a good song is not about how many instruments you use, but about which mood you manage to create... my main emotion goes into voice melody and lyrics. You can express everything with voice. It is the greatest instrument of all.”
She was 9 when she took her first guitar lessons. “I hated it. My teacher only played folk music, the same simple chords over and over. Ultimately, I quit and didn’t touch a guitar again for several years.”
Now 21, she began writing songs at 11. “I still remember the words...I wrote the biggest amount of songs between 14 and 17. Some of them are still my favorites, and some turn to be out like old clothes - they just don’t fit you anymore.”
She says she currently has enough songs to fill up a couple of albums, the first of which she hopes to complete soon in her home-built studio. Alone. “I’m recording it mainly for myself, to finally put things down. Especially older songs. Recording can be a catharsis. You get rid of the old stuff that has been around for a while, you wrap it up, you put it down. It is final. Then, you have more air to breathe for new ideas. Just for my first album, I’m trying to do it without too much interference of other people. It will be very a personal album."
Hofer’s website is http://www.myspace.com/robertahofer. Awhile back, she uploaded a breathtaking solo acoustic version of "Troy" by Sineade O'Conner. Here’s the Placebo video featuring her:
WHEN HAPPY HARE MET RITCHIE VALENS
A recent Blurt quotes DJ Happy Hare, remembering the time he interrupted Elvis backstage in San Diego, catching the King with no clothes, discovering a little known secret…
Hare also sent me an email with this obscure bit of local history, involving the late, great Ritchie Valens:
When Valens gave a little-known 1958 performance at the opening of Clairemont High School, it was Harry "Happy Hare" Martin who made it happen. “The Principal called and asked me to do something for the new kids,” he recalls. “I was full of myself in those days. I said ‘Sure’ and got on the phone…I took it for granted that he [Valens] knew me, and I asked him about coming down to San Diego to sing for the new school. No mention of money. He immediately said yes, no doubt thinking that anyone this audacious must be important.”
“There was no opposition from the school, all were thrilled that I could get someone with two or three songs on the Hit Parade.” When Hare picked up Valens at the airport, the rising rock star emerged from the plane with his guitar slung around his neck and carrying a small amp. “At the school, all of the students were in the yard, because they were still painting the new auditorium. Ritchie didn’t seem to mind. He sang two songs that I recall, ‘Donna’ and ‘La Bamba,’ and some other newer songs, all on the red clay, in the broiling sun, for the better part of an hour.”
“Many kids broke into impromptu dancing and that egged Ritchie on. Him playing, and them dancing and celebrating, [it was] a musical fiesta. A South L.A. Latino kid, connecting with 2,000 young Anglos…it was historic. No autographs or pictures…things were more structured in those days.”
Valens was literally on the brink of superstardom as he flew back to L.A. that evening. “If it had been a couple of months later,” says Hare, “I would have had to put him up in an expensive hotel and paid him a lot of bucks. But, that day, he was just a simple kid wanting to help.” Valens perished in the same February 1959 plane crash that also killed Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.
RITCHIE VALENS DEATH CERTIFICATE (WARNING: graphic language)
Though artists like Prince are vigilant about blocking unauthorized video performances on YouTube (including his recent Coachella set), fans aren’t the only source of content. Some venues upload performances to YouTube, raising thorny issues regarding promotion versus performance rights.
“Unless I've got a contract from a big name specifically prohibiting recording of any type, I have videographer Steve Laub set up his equipment at a time that the performer can clearly see him doing so. Usually, by that time, I'll have a good feel as to how cool the performer is overall. If they or their road manager or whoever objects, I'll either talk with them, or I just decide the show won't be recorded.”
AMSD has its own YouTube channel with around 20 concert clips, including recent performances by Janis Ian (3-27-08), Geoff Muldaur (3-11-08), Ramblin’ Jack Elliott (4-17-08), and the former locals of Hot Club of Cowtown (4-25-08).
“Richie Havens’ management has been the most restrictive,” says Driscoll. “I had to almost beg just to be allowed to have my staff photographer be allowed to shoot stills, which was restricted to the first two songs only. I'm convinced that if I asked Richie himself, he'd have no problem, including with video.”
According to Driscoll, “The leader of one well-known group [who shall remain unnamed] was a jerk, coming close to not allowing Steve to upload the video, even after he'd seen how good the quality was. He drove me to the point that, as petty as this sounds, I'd rather not help him get the greater YouTube exposure.”
“If he doesn’t see the value of a video like this, for which they paid nothing, and he’s even being a pain in the ass to me and the person who shot the video, why the hell should I do anything to help them?"
REVENGE CLUB DOES VEGAS (AND LIVES TO TELL….)
“We try to play Las Vegas as much as possible,” says Revenge Club singer Amy Lawson. “Sometimes the pay is better than San Diego, but generally we wind up chipping in for gas and hotel.” The band recently came back with several war stories from a single show at the Double Down Saloon. “It’s a really rowdy punk bar…Between the first and second bands, Maggie [Winn, drummer] and I were sitting close to the door and saw a guy walk over and punch another guy by the stage. He turned and ran out the door. Somehow, this triggered another fight right next to us, and another guy got punched, knocking into our seats. The fight was over a punk chick being hit-on in front of her angry boyfriend…every time we walked outside, we ran into the couple screaming at each other.”
She says at least one doorman (presumably between shifts) was inebriated. “Doug [Whalen, guitarist] was trying to talk to him outside, and the guy just stared without saying anything. Then, he got up and puked in a dumpster, and took off running across the street.”
When Revenge Club took the stage, there WAS no stage – only a small riser for the drum kit. “Kids were trashing around all over the floor, so I kept having to pull my mic back. I knew there wasn’t much chance of holding a mic in place to sing and playing guitar, so I just hit the first few chords of the song and let go of the guitar, to hold the mic and scream. Which was good, because people were literally slamming into the band.”
WHEN KAMOO MET KYLE XY
The music of the Stereotypes is being featured on episodes of ABC’s “Kyle XY," thanks to artist reps at Sugaroo. “They shop your music to different licensing avenues,” says guitarist Mike Kamoo. “They find placement in TV, movies, commercials, and even video games. We get paid up front, and will continue to see residuals as the shows get repeated.”
The songs recently used on the series are "The Lines" (February 11 episode), "Came To Say Hello" and "Did You Know" (February 18), and "Our Time" (March 17). “To be honest, I don't watch much TV, so I'm out of the loop when it comes to current shows," says Kamoo. "I've heard that the music for Kyle XY has a good reputation, so I'm sure they will use our songs in a tasteful way. It is out of our hands at this point, though.”
The Stereotypes aren’t new to licensing songs. “Our first licensing deal was and still is with Coleman, the outdoors company,” according to Kamoo. “They used our song ‘Outside’ in their national ad campaign, which kicked off last year.” The commercials will continue to air through 2008 in San Diego, which is one of Coleman’s target markets for the ad campaign, and the song also plays on the Coleman website.
In other Stereotypes news, Rosey at sddialedin.com reports "The Stereotypes landed the theme song for a new cable show called Peter Perfect." It aired on Saturday April 19th at 9pm on The Style Network (www.mystyle.com). "They are using the song 'Skinny Penny' from their Leftovers EP," says Rosey. "The same song is also being used in an episode of Bones (Fox) which air[ed] on May 5. They're also working on a new record which should be out in Fall '08."
LOCAL SYNTH COLLECTOR
"I've got eight Roland Bassline 303 synthesizers," says John Goff, guitarist for the space/prog electronic band the SSI and a collector of old tube amplifiers and vintage sythesizers. "Techno is pretty much all based on the sound from that keyboard. They basically built it wrong. It's got this weird built-in sequencer and a three pole filter and almost all the other synthesizers are four pole. It makes it have this really weird sound. You can't emulate it. The only thing that comes close is a [computer] program called Rebirth. The 303 was a flop when they made it, they couldn't give it away, and then when techno got big, they became really hard to find."
John Goff was originally in the late ‘90s band Physics, which later evolved into Aspects of Physics. He and his brother Will formed SSI and released the albums Pax Romana and E Pluribus Unum, on their own label Chlorophyll Records.
Physics played what he calls "kraut rock, like Can, like the European progressive stuff from the seventies." While studying music at Southwestern University, his interest in classic equipment was piqued. "They have this huge modular synthesizer. I had a teacher there named Burke McKelvey and he's got a Moog System 55, which is like the Rolls Royce of synthesizers, and I really got into that kind of thing for awhile. Just amazing sounds, but a lot of work to get out of it, not like now with a computer."
His collection has not cost him much, he says, though its value has increased immensely. Even though something like a Moog synthesizer represented the apex of technology in its day, subsequent advances caused them to be tossed aside. "Five years ago, old tube equipment and analog stuff was selling for next to nothing. I bought Vocoders, sequencers, analog synthesizers by Moog, Arp. I used to get them for fifty or seventy-five bucks. Now that people are trying to recreate that sound, they're like five or six hundred dollars! Everyone's trying to find them."
Among his favorite scores, he mentions "I've got a Juno 60 I use for live shows. I also just found an Echoplex I really like a lot, one of those old tape echos. I found a full modular sythesizer at the swap meet for a hundred bucks that's probably worth 14 or 15 hundred. It's got all kinds of plug-ins to route in signals."
Goff's musical interests aren't confined to classic keyboards and guitars. "My first instrument is the bagpipes," he says. Though he's never incorporated any highland howling into his synthesizer music, he did play the piper in the Sterling Bridge Pipe Band, along with his father, in and around Solana Beach. Another side project was a four piece "analog sythesizer band" called Contact. "That's when I get out the really vintage equipment," he says.
Not that a set of bagpipes isn't vintage.
LOCAL WOMAN ILLUSTRATES DAVID BOWIE STORYBOOK
“He may not even know about it…[David Bowie] hasn’t seen a copy yet but I sent one to his New York office,” says local author Jamilla Naji, whose children’s book “Musical Storyland” contains a ten song CD by Bowie.
While the press release for the book announces “music and lyrics written and performed by David Bowie,” Naji informs that the book was actually created without Bowie’s input or even his knowledge – the songs come from a 1973 LP “Images 1966-1967,” a compilation of B-sides and early recordings which Naji once owned as an 8-track. “I listened to those songs probably 8,000 times when I was growing up.”
("Sell Me a Coat")
After two and a half years of writing and doing canvas acrylic illustrations based on ten of the LP’s songs, Naji decided self publishing was her best option. Researching song rights, she found Bowie doesn’t own them – the initial masters were licensed to Deram Records by a former-manager Bowie has since sued and split from, creating a tangle of subsidiary owners.
("Love You Till Tuesday")
“Licensing the music was really complicated, there are actually four different companies [three publishers and one owns the recording] which have the publishing rights and the mechanical rights [to press CDs]. I really didn’t know what I was doing at first and it was really intimidating.”
After negotiating deals with Universal, TRO Essex Music, Warner Bros and Embassy Music Corp, Naji was required to purchase a minimum of 10,000 CDs from Universal, who controls the audio masters with her ten chosen Bowie songs (25 minutes of music), intended – and in fact contractually required - to be packaged with copies of the book itself.
("Come & Buy My Toys")
With mechanical rights costing her 8 cents per song pressed to CD, that’s $8,000 just to burn tracks, with Naji footing all the bills herself. The 32 page hardcover tome was printed in Hong Kong (“I couldn’t afford to do it here”), however she says “I don’t even have world rights to sell it overseas.”
("There Is a Happy Land")
Naji set up a shipping station in her Lakeside home and, on the book’s publication, took in an inventory of 10,000 books and CDs on “a palette that covers an area about 16 feet by 8 feet and 4 feet high.” She’s fills retail orders self, as well as distributing to bookstores. [musicalstoryland.com].
SECRET (CRIME)STORY OF A BAND NAME
Now it can be told – the secret story of how the now-defunct Bad Sticky Ant Gas got their name.
They were originally called the High School Dropouts, until a chance meeting with a guy whose band is named after a wound you get from having rough sex on the carpet. “Gregory Page told us our band name sucks,” singer/guitarist Zach tells me. “He said 'That's too negative and nobody will ever take you seriously enough to hire you, let alone give you a record contract or put you on the radio.' I went to the other guys in my band and we figured, hey, this guy's got songs all over the radio, so maybe he has a point."
With a weekend gig already booked and just days away, the quartet wanted to come up with a memorable name, one they could market in a big way, to make a maximum impression. "Two of us went out to Hillcrest and, in broad daylight, we stole this six foot tall theater marquee. It was the kind with a board and removable plastic letters that clip onto it, in a big glass showcase and with little flashing lights, you know? The letters that were already in it spelled out 'Gay Bands at Sticks.' We jacked a shopping cart, to lug it home, and then we came up with a name that'd use all the letters.” Thus was born Bad Sticky Ant Gas.
“It looked cool, the first time we fired it up with the letters in place and all the flashy lights! We put it out in front of ‘Canes the first time we played under the new name, but after that we were paranoid about getting busted, over stealing the marquee, so we only used it when we played private parties."
Among the alternate bandnames considered with the available marquee letters, but eventually abandoned:
Dicky Satan's T-Bag, Ty Santa's Dick Bag, Santa's Icky DT Bag and Big Tacky Satan S.D.
"I think Bad Sticky Ant Gas was definitely the right choice,” says Zach. “But I still don't see what was wrong with High School Dropouts.”
Zach says he may recruit a new group of players some day and revive the music of Bad Sticky Ant Gas. “The patient is alive,” he says, “but don't put the defibrillator away.”
"It took me twenty years to get up the nerve to record my own music," says songwriter Susan Smith, "and now I have to wait until a judge says it's okay to release my CD."
Smith sold her first composition while still in her teens, living with her parents in Oceanside, in 1980. She's since written dozens of songs recorded by artists like REO Speedwagon, Orleans and The Atlanta Rhythm Section, among others, usually published under her "professional" name S.F. Simon.
Her music has been used in film soundtracks for "Blame It On The Night" and "Never Too Young To Die" and for the TV series "The Crow: Stairway To Heaven" but, other than demo-making, she never recorded her own music until late last year. "I play piano and guitar and I have an okay singing voice, so I went for it. [I] saved some money, rented studio time, hired some local [musicians] and recorded a whole album of quirky PJ Harvey type songs under my stage name, Suzie Simon."
Smith signed with Rockland, a small east coast label, which was set to release the CD - called "Neighbors From Hell" - on February 4th. However, the title track, an "autobiographical musical rant," caused the release date to be pushed back until the results of a civil lawsuit against Smith are in.
"The song is about these two women who live on my street, a mother and daughter...I can't mention names but everyone around here knows about them. They're basically hermits, and the house they live in looks like The Addams family place, only messier. The yard is overgrown with weeds and briars, the paint's falling off in sheets, boards are coming off the [outside] walls and there's a pile of trash in the backyard full of skunks and possums and rats."
Smith took a photo of her neighbor's ramshackle home from her own front porch and Rockland used the picture as the CD's front cover.
"I never see these women [because] they hide inside all day and night, but I wanted them to know what effect their house has on our neighborhood, so I dropped a demo copy of 'Neighbors From Hell' in what's left of their mailbox, cover proof and all." A sample of the title track's lyrics:
"Crackheads and junkies say that crib's a mess
What these creeps live on is anyone's guess
Got no visible means of support, for their house, for their breasts
Or their beliefs, or their porch roof, or the rats they call pets."
Smith was served with a civil lawsuit claiming "defamation and invasion of privacy," and had to appear in court that same week to block her neighbors' attempt to have an emergency injunction placed against the release and distribution of "Neighbors From Hell."
"The judge said the suit had enough merit to grant the injunction pending the outcome of the case, and they were ready to send marshals into Rockland's office out east to sieze the master tapes and every pressed copy of the CD and the printed sleeves. Rockland FedExed an agreement to sit on everything to keep it from being siezed, but now it's going to be at least until summer before I get the chance to plead my side at a hearing. I'm dead set against dropping the song or changing the cover and I'll fight it as far as I have to."
The lawyer Smith retained informed her that the plaintiff's case is weak. "There's no picture of the women themselves, there's no address...there's no way of even knowing what state the picture [of the house] was taken in. The record company isn't even based in California so who's to say the house isn't in the Bronx somewhere? Maybe ten or twenty people on this block would recognize what the song's about and this is the kind of neighborhood where everyone's probably into Jewel or Neil Diamond, not Suzie Simon and her neighbors from hell."
Rockland is appealing the injunction against distribution of the CD and will be flying a representative to San Diego to do so. Smith herself, as publisher of the song under her own publishing imprint SimonSongs, will fight the defamation and privacy invasion suit herself.
"I've already dished out thousands of dollars for a lawyer. If I'd have just given [my neighbors] the money instead, they could have fixed up their stupid damned house and maybe they'd like me enough to not cause me so much [expletive]."
“It's kind of funny, but a bit of Shambles ‘magic’ is being included on a lot of local recordings - besides my usual studio stuff - via my old twelve string,” says Shambles singer/guitarist Bart "Big In Spain" Mendoza. “I exchanged it with Mike Kamoo for studio time, figuring it was staying in the family. Now a house guitar at Earthling Studios, it's shown up on lots of albums by local acts."
"Most recently, I was in studio when the Swedish Models borrowed it, mentioning it would be on a Prayers recording as well. The guitar’s main life has probably been on Stereotypes recordings…you know how people are about their guitars. I felt like a proud dad for a second! Considering it had sadly sat unused in a closet for a few years, a pretty good fate for a guitar.”
So why did Bart stop using the guitar himself? “It never made it further than #3 on my list of guitars,” he says. “It was/is a cool guitar, but I had a hard time tuning it, particularly live, so it became a backup, and then just got retired except for the occasional studio outing.”
Ever since Bart and I first met and worked together in the mid-to-late ‘80s at a local comic book distributorship, he’s been regaling me with tales of his Beatles collection. Recently, he wrote me “My coolest [recent] item isn't very valuable, but fun. I've been friends with a lot of Beatle people over the years and have Alistair Taylor, Tony Sheridan and Alf Bicknell's business cards and autographs/letters together in a frame, with a small print signed by Pauline Sutcliffe, and a picture sleeve for the unreleased Leave My Kitten Alone single, alongside a copy of My Bonnie signed by both Sheridan and Pete Best. Not exactly a signed copy of Sgt. Pepper's, but still fun!”
Bart informs that the new album by local Beatleholic Dave Humphries was recorded at Earthling and ALSO features a guest appearance by his old 12-string. Another guest, on five different songs, is none other than aforementioned Brit crooner Tony Sheridan, whose 1961 record “My Bonnie” was the first platter to feature the Beatles, playing behind him as his backup band.
“I don’t think he can stand Beatles fans,” says Blizzard singer/guitarist Chris Leyva of Tony Sheridan. “We met him when we played BeatleFair in 2001. We got the gig by sending them three songs from the Backbeat movie soundtrack that we claimed was us! We were surprised that such bigtime Beatles fans didn’t recognize the soundtrack, but then we had to learn some Beatles covers in order to play the gig.”
Leyva says it was a thrill meeting Sheridan, but notes “He had just gotten off the plane or something and he wasn’t too happy.”
After Sheridan watched his group (temporarily named the Backbeat Band) perform cuts like Long Tall Sally, Leyva says he came over and said “That sounded like a blizzard,” and a new band name was born.
So now you know.....................................................................the REST of the story.
AWARD CONTROVERSY: TIERNAN’S SLOPPY SECONDS
“I recently won the 2007 Songwriter of the Year Award from the Pacific Songwriting Competition,” Michael Tiernan recently wrote me in an email. “I was actually the runner-up, but when the actual winner, from Nashville I think, got into a scuffle with the people who ran the competition, they offered it to me instead.”
Accusations of misrepresentation are swirling around the 2007 Competition. In previous years, PSC has offered cash prizes of $20,000 to $40 000. However, according to the contest website, “[The] 2007 competition has ended on a low. PSC has been accused of being a sham because PSC didn't post the prizes for the 2007 competition.” Those prizes turned out to be only $200 in cash and “presence” on the Competition website. PSC has admitted that only around 50 submissions were received for 2007. The entry fee was $35.
The original 2007 Songwriter of the Year winner, S.C. from Nashville, posted on the PSC site “For what we invested in fees and postage, we barely broke even. I feel duped. I would like you to pass the award on to the next [song]writer…I would like a full refund for all of my fees and postage. I want you to remove our song and my name from your website immediately. This smells like a scam…What you have done is not only unscrupulous and immoral, it’s borderline illegal.”
PSC replied “This years[sp] small prize pool was forced upon us because we are non profit and in fact run at such a loss we were going to rest the competition for a year… All information regarding you and your work has (or will shortly) be removed from the website as requested.”
S.C. then posted a challenge regarding that “non profit” claim. The Competition spokesperson replied “Just to clariify [sp], ‘non profit’ did not mean ‘not for profit organization.’ It meant we received no profit.”
The next grand prize runner-up, T.E. from Iowa, also declined the award, posting “I am already upset about this whole thing being misleading to us all…I feel like the whole thing is a fraud.” Local boy Michael Tiernan was then named this year’s PSC Songwriter of the Year.
Says Tiernan, “Sloppy seconds, but I'll take it!”