Friday, January 16, 2009

Hammer Damaged.

Today we get a tasty shocker from our pal at Broken Records indeed. Here's what justin had to say...

"Back in 2001 I get a random email from someone who stumbled on to my "My eBay" page since we were both bidding on an original copy of Guided By Voice's "Propeller" LP. At that time I already owned a couple copies of the LP, so I must have been bidding on it just to keep an eye on where it would end, which if I recall correctly, at that time was maybe $150. The guy was emailing me because he saw I had a picture of the Hammer Damage "Laugh" 7" on my page, and was surprised to see it. He told me he was in graduate school at Kent State at the time the record came out. He saw the band one night at a small bar on campus and bought the record the next day at a local record shop run by a couple members of the band Human Switchboard.

I already owned the Hammer Damage 7", having previously found it on a set sale list online for the super bargain price of $10, which still makes it one of my best scores ever. But I told him that I could use another copy for my trade list, and I had a spare of the Propeller LP to trade. At the time, the value of this trade was at least three to one in my favor, but he didn't realize quite how desirable his record was, and he was more than happy to do it. A few days later the package arrives, and it looks like the postal workers decided to play hockey, and this was their puck. I opened it, and a small chip of vinyl fell out onto the floor. Fuck! I looked closely, and luckily the chip did not quite reach the music grooves. On later testing, I found it would play great, but you needed a really steady hand to drop the needle in just the right place to start.

The sender had used a proper 45 mailer, although the padding inside was newspaper, not cardboard. I don't believe in postal insurance -- I'd rather take an occasional loss than pay out an insurance fee on the 99 of 100 packages that arrive fine -- so that was not an option. I decided the record in that state was still worth it to me, so I let the trade stand and did not give the other guy a hard time about his packaging job, which could have been better, but would have survived fine given normal conditions.

I let one friend trade his slightly rattier sleeve plus some now forgotten record for the still very nice sleeve pictured here. Then another friend, somewhat to my surprise, offered me the choice of a Fun Things 7" or Fear "I Love Livin in the City" 7", both in decent shape all around, for the Hammer Damage. I went for the Fun Things, thinking I'd be more likely to find the Fear again some day (something which finally happened this past year.) He later upgraded the Hammer Damage, and the current whereabouts of this very playable, but very ugly copy are unknown to me.

The obvious postscript here to people who know GBV records is that the value of an original Propeller LP later skyrocketed, with prices of $1,000+ not unheard of. My lopsided trade turned out to be in other guy's favor, not mine. I've had 3 or 4 original copies of Propeller pass through my hands, but currently have none, a situation I'm not so happy about. But given the choice, I'd rather have the Fun Things anyway, so no complaints here."

can't disagree, there aren't too many thing's id' rather have than that Fun Things 7"...

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