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 Spring album 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!
It’s been a while since i’ve seen a “new” copy of the Ratfab record on ebay. There’s been that crazy french guy asking $2-3000 for a bad looking copy and that other guy with the nice looking copy that keeps listing it with a high starting bid or an equally high “buy it now” price. But yesterday a new copy that i haven’t seen before was listed by a swedish seller. It looks to be in great condition with no real issues besides the normal little ring wear and so on… It’s already at $100 with close to a week left before it ends, it’s going to be interesting to see what the winning bid will be.
About a week ago i got a comment on the very first post in this blog by a guy who’s son had recently (?) found the record among some other things from his school years. Maybe it’s him that’s selling it now i don’t know, if so i wish him luck!
It’s been there for a few days. And it’s not the first time either. I first saw this copy back in may and then it was listed at $1150 and this time it’s at $949. Judging from the pictures this is the best looking copy that i’ve seen so far.
It’s not a crazy asking price in my opinion but if you’re a seller i still don’t think that high “buy it now” prices is the way to go with these kinds of records. Just look at the copy of The Joke/Chase the Dragon or the Trombone by Three album which has been on ebay for as long as i can remember.
Everyone likes the illusion of having the chance to make a bargain on these rare finds. And when they do show up it’s highly unlikely that they fly under the radar so from a sellers point of view i think the risk of a steal is almost non-existent. So i don’t think it’s the last time we’ll see this particular copy listed.
This is a few weeks old now, but Recordpalace has sold another copy on ebay and this time around the auction ended at $1100. I actually put in a bid for this one also but was nowhere close to winning it.
I’m also waiting on information from Recordpalace if they’re willing to sell me copies of the extra material they had and sold together with the first copy the had up on ebay. To be continued…
I’m also still working on my DIY Brillo Box, also here it’s to be continued… perhaps indefinately.
So… the quest is over. I’ve actually had it laying around at home since the start of the summer but i haven’t gotten around to posting in a while. But now is the time.
Ratfab – Det brinner en eld / Mörka ögon (Red House Records – RH-2)
I can’t really remember when i first got my eyes on it, but i know fore sure that it was through Richard Forrest’s excellent list Rateyourmusic. At first i didn’t really put much of an effort into finding it. I did the random searches on ebay and discogs and came to the conclusion that this most likely was a record that i would probably never find and/or afford. Or i would at least have problems convincing myself to justify a purchase. Or at least so i thought. Time went on and i picked up other covers here and there which had a little healthier price tag. Before i knew it was stuck with something that at least resembled a collection. And every collection must have it’s crown jewel.
I think it was the combination of it being by a swedish band (thus making the possibilities for me to find it a little bit better compared to many of the other rare covers) and that it had such a great backstory to it which made me develop an extreme “must have feeling”.
Somehow i found the emailadress to Calle Häggqvist who played bass in the band and eventually he made me an offer to buy a copy which unfortunately didn’t happen. I also contacted my two involuntary mentors Richard Forrest and Frank Edwards to ask if they, against all odds, had an extra copy laying around. I posted on forums, ad sites and contacted almost every single online record store i could find. All to no avail.
Every now and then the record would appear on ebay and so in may a copy was posted from a swedish online record shop that i hadn’t seen before. This copy also had some interesting extra material like a press release and some other things and eventually sold for more than i was willing and/or able to pay at the time. I then contacted the seller, intentionally only to enquire about the extra material but i offcourse also asked if they had more copies available and if they might be willing to part from one outside of ebay. And they did. I was offered two different copies, the first had quite a lot of ring wear and some other issues. The second one looked much better. I debated with myself for quite some time i finally decided to go for the better looking copy, and i don’t regret this for a second. It’s not in perfect condition but i am more than pleased and so happy about finally having this cover to add to my collection!
But “smakar det så kostar det” (if it’s tastes good it’s most likely expensive). My hopes where offcourse to find the record hidden and forgotten in a bin somehere in the back of an old record shop, but like i’ve said there simply isn’t time to move around and try to find it. And i also do believe that most owners of the few record stores that still exist know enough to not sell this record for a few dollars.
So… it was with somewhat mixed feelings i put this cover up display at home. Offourse it’s fun, great and exciting to finally get a hold of it for what turned out to be a fair price. But intentionally there was a slighly different plan. But this is good enough. And the chance to sometime find it for some spare change hasn’t disappeared just because it’s now up on my wall. Someday… maybe…
The latest copy on ebay closed at just below $900. The last three actions for the record have all sold for roughly the same price. Perhaps a tad surprising that the previous copy with the press release didn’t sell for more than it did. But i guess it’s all about (bad)luck and happenstances like to many other things.
A few days ago another copy surfaced on ebay and once again from a swedish seller. The cover appears to be in decent condition besides from some rather large dings, folds or whatever it’s called, to two of the corners. In swedish these are called “hundöron” or “dogs ears”, i don’t know what these are called in english though. The price is at $170 with three days left, it will be interesting to see what the closing bid is.
As usual i contacted the seller to enquire a little bit about the record, where and how he found it and so on. All i recieved was a short reply that it was from his “private collection”. So he obviously wan’t interested in giving me any detailed backstory.