From email@example.com Tue Aug 22 15:26:59 CDT 1995
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org> "Steven B. Kanner" <Steven_B._Kanner@ccmail.bms.com> writes:
>The newest version of the Beatles records price guide just came
>out from Perry Cox and Lindsay (1995 version). They say there are
>vinyl records out there that are individually worth 10 to 12 thousand bucks
>each. I find it hard to believe there is anyone who would pay
>that for a record you not only couldn't play, but that you may
>never recover your investment....
Well, collecting is a curious pastime. And valuation of collectibles is even more tenuous. A record's worth can be based on a number of factors: how much you paid for it, how much it's worth in absolute terms (this may not have any real-world relevance: a record may be valued at one level but may sell for much more...or less), or who gave it to you. :-)
I have a copy (with picture sleeve!) of "I Want To Hold Your Hand"/"I Saw Her Standing There", and believe me, if it had been printed on gold vinyl with diamonds inset into the label, it couldn't possibly mean more to me than it does...all because of the giver's intent. :-)
Remember that collectors often don't really use the things they collect. Coin collectors don't spend the coins; stamp collectors don't send mail with their prized stamps; and often aficionados of comic books, records, and other elements of popular culture keep their treasures away from regular display or use, the better to preserve the tenuous nature of their existence. It's certainly *nice* to be able to play a record you like; but imagine having a rare 45 which even one spin on the turntable might reduce in value (and rating)...and you'll understand why some collectors have their "archive" version and their "everyday" version.
Investments are curious things. You could play the stock market and not have half as much fun as you might when combing the swap-meet record bins at dawn for rarities.
Then again, there are the collectibles that would seem apparently worthless to a real, hardcore gatherer of cultural history. Enough with the celebrity cars, guitars, jackets and half-eaten toast (the last allegedly discarded by The Quiet One and auctioned at Sotheby's!). One of my prized possessions is a simple, long-stemmed brandy glass from a pub on Mathew Street called Grapes. In 1985 I ordered a brandy there and cleverly (if furtively) hid the vessel in a large handbag, and after a long journey home with me it now sits in a cupboard at home (nestled comfortable next to a beer glass I "borrowed" from Ye Cracke a few years later. :-)
Now I *know* the Fabs never touched this glass. They were long gone by the time I breathed the air of that humble club, where the Boys used to grab a pint between sets at the Cavern. It's not signed by them; I don't have their fingerprints on it. It's a simple, cheap bit of glassware...but it's representative of much more, for me. And I do use it, on special occasions, to toast special Fabs' related days. And someday it may even break, and its shards will have even less relation to the Beatles than it does now (remote as that is).
It's the memory of the trip, of the magic of Liverpool, that this little relic really brings home for me. I see the whole landscape again---the warm spring morning ten years ago, the pub crowd, the sound of Liverpudlian voices, the wonder of being in a city so foreign and yet so familiar, the key to which was given to me by the men whose music I love.
In retrospect, that was a pretty good bargain...all for the price of a cheap glass of brandy! :-) But the glow of it lasts as long as my memory.
"Fads don't last, but it should be clear by now that the Beatles are no ordinary fad."
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