I guess you might call this an anniversary gift… I keep a wish list on Amazon for some of the books that i’m still searching for, kind of like the ebay saved searches kind of thing. But on Amazon you don’t get a message when something new on your lists are made available, or maybe you can but i haven’t been able to figure that out. So i usually check my list a couple of times a week and most of the time there is no new activity at all. There has been one copy of this, without the dust jacket, on Amazon for as long as i can remember but then a couple of weeks ago i noticed that there were now two copies available. Expecations were low since it does happen that something new is listed but then it’s usually for a totally crazy asking price. Luckily this was not the case this time as the seller was asking a quite healthy $40-50 for it.
The only other time i’ve seen this book before is on an old listing on Etsy. But on that site you can’t see what the price was once it’s sold so i have no idea if i made a good deal or not. But my gut feeling is that this is somewhat rare and also that i made a pretty good deal, at least i certainly don’t feel i got ripped off.
This arrived just a few days ago and with easter and birthdays and whatnot i’ve been busy with other things so i actually haven’t had time to check it out that much so i don’t really know what the book is about. But i think it’s something like a collection of humorous observations and stories of the authors day to day life with his wife and three daughters. I found a short review here but i’ll have to check it out more myself later…
I didn’t get to see any images of the dust jacket before i got it but the seller said it was “acceptable” but i have to say that by my standards it’s more than OK. I would assume that finding perfect copies of many of these books would be almost impossible. With the record covers i guess there are people here and there that have treated these with great care and seen them as collectors items from day one but with books… i don’t know, i just don’t think that enough people viewed them in the same way. It’s a bit beaten up here and there but nothing really major and it also has a protective plastic cover which is nice.
Written by Dick Ashbaugh (who i’ve had a little trouble finding good information on, so i assume he didn’t write any classic master pieces) and as with The Saint in Europe, The Red and the Black and The Grand Mademoiselle this was published by Doubleday in 1953. Up until now i’ve considered Borderline Ballads by William Plomer to be the rarest cover in my collection but until i learn otherwise i think this one will move in as a new number one.
To sum it up i was very, very happy to find this at a price i could afford and it’s probably the most exciting find of the year for me so far!
Today is the one year anniversary of this blog. What started out as a journal kind of thing about the hunt for the Ratfab cover then shifted course much quicker than expected into stories about the other covers in my collection. Then somewhere along the lines there was also the start of a book collection. Even though neither collection will most likely ever be completed both have slowly but surely started to turn into something that is not totally embarrassing to show off to the world.
When it comes to the dust jackets i find it hard to say how many (in any) real gems i’ve found so far and concering the record covers i feel i’m still missing that little “oomph” to make my collection something extra. I’m still missing many of the really rare covers but thanks to Richard Forrest i’ve been able to add some extremely nice mock-ups of some of these covers to my collection during the previous year.
All in all it’s been a great run so far and i can only hope that this is just the beginning and that this will continue to bring as much excitement and fun as it has so far. And this thing has never been about getting a lot of followers and readers and so on, i’ve bascially been doing this for myself pretty much. But here are some stats for the first year, just short of 1900 views and visitors from 24 different contries so far. The bulk of views are, not surprisingly, from the homes of the members in WCCC.The most popular post so far seems to be the On Record: 11 artists booklet. I hadn’t looked at this before today and i would have thought that it would have been one of Richards creations like Giant Size $1,57 Each, The Nation’s Nightmare or Night Beat, so that was a little surprising…
When i first started looking for the Ratfab record you would be lucky to find it for under $1000. Prices have dropped quite a bit lately as more have been made available. A couple of years ago you might have seen a few a year being sold but lately you haven’t been forced to put in a lot of effort to find one. It almost seems as there’s constantly been one or two on ebay. Many sellers still put a hefty price tag on it though. But if you’re willing to wait you could probably make a pretty good deal these days. Just a few months ago two sold for about $400-450 each. In retrospect it might have been wise to wait, but for me this thing is not about making money. As long as i don’t feel i got completely ripped off i’m happy to pay top dollar for a cover here and there.
I quite like statistics and trends and so on and there’s no doubt that the Ratfab cover is on a bit of a downward spiral with the occasional high posting. It will be interesting to follow the development in the coming years and i’m still waiting on the day i find it in a $5 bargain bin, if nothing else that would have a nice effect on my average acquisition cost.
I’ve also given up on finding the press release and accompanying letter that was sold together with the record by the same seller that i got my copy from. At first he wanted to wait until that buyer had received his record. Then he told me he had accidentally deleted the files with the high resolution scans but that he was pretty sure that he had psychical copies somewhere. I’ve asked him repeatedly but not heard anything back so the possibility to get a hold of those seems to be forever gone.
So i guess it’s time for my “big” revelation from a couple of weeks ago… To start things off i’ve made a conscious decision not to include or start collecting covers that mimic Warhols style, covers with “unauthorized” use of his design or covers with any kind of reference to any of his work. A few exceptions like the Arab Springalbum and the Fractal Flow single have found it’s way into my collection though. And every now and then something pops up that’s just to good to pass on… Especially if it’s something that relates to the band and record that was the initial focus of this blog!
Roland & The Flying Albatross Band – I den djupaste djungel / Montezumas Revenge (Red House Records – RH-1)
Of the four images of covers that are on the history page on the official Ratfab website you can really only read the title on the first one and it’s – “I den djupaste djungel”. I’ve browsed the site before thinking that it would be fun to try and include this is my collection. As far as i know this is the only release other than the Det brinner en eld/Mörka ögon single with the original four members of the band. I’ve looked around for this one here and there when i’ve come to think of it but i hadn’t looked for it in a while. As usual i start with a quick seach on the title and to my surprise that lead me straight to a listing on Swedish auction site Tradera. Unfortunately the listing had ended just a week or two earlier but it hadn’t been sold! The seller didn’t have any other items listed at the time so i couldn’t contact them via the site but the company selling it called MJ Retro did have a website. I first tried to contact them using a form on the site but when i didn’t receive a reply i started getting paranoid thinking someone else would “steal” it from. So i sent out a couple of SMS messages and eventually i got a reply saying they still had the record and that i could get it for 50 SEK or about $8. If it’s a good deal or a standard price i have no idea but it sure felt like a steal. I never made a huge effort in trying to find it before but it might be easy to find in any given record store i Stockholm but this is the first time i’ve ever seen it and i’m quite happy to add it to my collection.
Released on the same label, Red House Records, as the now famous follow up single with the Warhol cover and with the catalogue number RH-1 this appears to be the first release on that label. Oh, and they seemed to have been a little undecided on the spelling of the title to the song on the b-side. On the cover it’s Montezumas with a Z and on the record it’s Montesumas with an S. I’ve also been trying to figure out if they did in fact release any other single(s) as Ratfab or as Roland & The Flying Albatross Band but so far i haven’t found anything. The Ratfab site does however claim that between 1987 and 1997 or so Carl and Roland did release several singels as either Ratfab or Moby Dick. I’m to young to remember Moby Dick but apprently the band was made up of Calle and Roland and released six or so singles in the late 80’s. All of these are available at discogs for very resonable prices and all are also on YouTube or in this excellent post from the site Beatbox (Swedish only) for those who want to have a listen. And for those that are taking notes, Björn is mentioned in various roles on the covers to My Dreams Are Clear, When The Time Comes, New Time and Song From the Radio.
To sum it all up – this might not be something that makes my friends in the WCCC go green with envy. And it might very well be highly available in the right kind of record stores around Sweden. But i think it’s a great addition to my collection, a nice complement to the bands other and now more famous single and a valid exception to my general rule of no exceptions. All in all i think it’s the best find of the year so far for me. At least when it comes to records, i do have one or two books coming up that i’m pretty excited about!
Things are funny sometimes… I was just doing some random image searching for some various covers i don’t have. At first nothing new or exciting turned up but then something finally caught my attention and i ended up at site called Auctionet and more specifically at this page.
At first i thought it was some old listing for an already closed auction so when i noticed that it ended in five hours i almost couldn’t believe my eyes. The estimate is at 3000 SEK or $450 and i’m currently the high bidder at 600 SEK which is roughly only $90. But… once against i’m left fighting a stupid reserve price which of course isn’t met with my current bid. The cover looks to be in fantastic condition so for some lucky winner this will be a really nice addition to their collection. Whatever happens It’s going to be very interesting to follow this auction tonight. I’ve never heard of the site before but it seems to be kind of international so i’m guessing i’m not the only one with my eyes on it.
They also seem to be rather crazy, which unfortunately might call for a hiiiiiiiiiigh reserve price on this album. Just doing a search on “Warhol” turned up more covers, all located in Malmö, Sweden. But since they figure 1500 SEK ($225) for MTV’s High Priority, Aretha, Emotions in Motion and 2000 SEK ($300) for Silk Electric, This is John Wallowitch! and Soul Vacation is fair then they are obviously completely out of their minds.
Anyways, i thought it was a pretty funny coincidence. And it would make a nice birthday present to myself (even though it was yesterday). Wish me luck!
UPDATE: Well, i was pretty much the only bidder and thus also the “lucky” winner at $130. As expected the reserve wasn’t met.
So the first catch of 2014 has finally arrived! Initially i thought there where two verions of this release, one 10″ and one double 7″ EP. The 10″ was a pretty early addition to my collection and then i found the EP sometime last autumn. For some reason i then looked it up on Warholcoversand noticed that the back of Franks cover was different than the one i had just received. So it became quite obvious that instead of there being two versions there were actually three out there. And so the chase started again…
Arturo Toscanini & The NBC Symphony Orchestra – William Tell Overture / Semiramide Overture (RCA Victor – ERB-7054)
As i’ve written before at first i actually thought that these were somewhat rare, but i know better now. However, it’s funny how something can become “rare” as soon as you start looking for it. I’ve seen plenty of these covers on ebay but never thought about giving them a closer look since i thought i had them all. And since i’ve been on the chase for the second version of the EP i have hardly seen any of them on ebay at all…
But then a few weeks ago i finally noticed a familiar back design on ebay. One neat thing about the WCCC is that on the rare occasion that something new and/or interesting pops up on ebay someone will throw an email out there asking if anyone is planning on bidding on this or that item, just to make sure we don’t go up bidding again each other. This rarely concerns me though as most of these items are generally out of my price range. But this time i popped the question and Richard Forrest, who initially thought about bidding on it very gracefully left it to me. Thank you very much for this Richard! At the end it seemed no one else on ebay was interested in it so i ended up getting it for the listing price of just $10 which surprised me a bit, but i ain’t complaining.
Condition wise i’d say it’s probably the worst of the three that i have now but still in good condition with no major flaws. One thing that i’ve noticed both on this copy and on Frank Edwards as well (i guess this might be a coincidence or that i’m just seeing things) is that the cardboard appears quite darker than on the other releases. And then there’s the thing with the two EP’s having the same catalogue number – ERB-7054. I’m certainly no expert on these things, maybe it not that unusual to have a slightly different design on the cover to the same release?
Anyways, as said this is nothing spectacular but it’s fun to finally have a complete set of something. Apart from the fantastic set of Giant Size $1,57 Each and Progressive Piano (that i’ve yet to post) that i got from Richard Forrest this is probably the only set i’ll ever get. I’m not really looking forward to finding about 10 different verions of the covers to Alexander Nevsky, A Program of Mexican Music and Both Feet in the Groove. And offcourse spend thousand of dollars to do so…
And thanks once again to Richard for not going into a bidding war with me over it.
First off i didn’t get to swing it to some latin rhythms this time around either. I let it go at $162 and the winning bid was $164,50. The reserve still wasn’t met though so i guess it will be back on ebay in a few days or so. I really do hate these auctions with a reserve price. They can make you go for a week or two just waiting for it to end and building up your hopes and expectations just to have them shot down in an instant. I wish these people would just list it at the price they want and be done with it!
But it wasn’t all bad yesterday. First thing in the morning i got an email from Frank Edwards informing me that the book i had to send via him had arrived and should start it’s next journey across the atlantic sometime soon. Good news!
And last, but certainly not least, last night i found what’s probably the most exciting catch of the year so far. It should be delivered the coming tuesday so i’ll keep it a bit of a secret until then. It most definately won’t blow my friends in the WCCC away though since it’s not exactly a Warhol cover, but let’s just say there’s a kind of relationship thing going on….
EDIT: I just got an email from the post office saying i have a package to pick up. Either it’s the William Tell cover, a Monsters University kids puzzle or a Mike Wazowski plush toy. We’ll see soon…