STUFF THAT ROCKS

Anarchy in a size 9 and a half.

Anarchy in a size 9 and a half.

Three years ago The Sex Pistols and Converse released a collab to celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary. This year, The Sex Pistols and Dr. Martens are putting out a Dr. Martens x Sex Pistols limited edition collection. It’s enough to make a UK punk fan drool. Or […]

George Gruhn knows your guitar.

George Gruhn knows your guitar.

You may have just bought it, owned it for years, or even if you don’t own it yet. Especially if you don’t own it yet. George Gruhn knows your guitar. And this is why Gruhn’s Guide to Vintage Guitars is the bible of identifying American […]

The most expensive piece of album memorabilia is White not Wu.

The most expensive piece of album memorabilia is White not Wu.

An original pressing of The Beatles White Album, number 0000001 to be exact, has the distinction of being the most expensive album ever sold. In December of 2015, it was auctioned off for $790, 000. Now some will point out that The Wu Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin did indeed sell for much more commanding $2 million. But it was never commercially released and it was bought by pharma douchebag Martin Shkreli.

Rock n Roll memorabillia acquires its worth based on a number of things:

Who made it, or used it in the case of an instrument.

The impact the art had on pop culture.

The condition of the piece.

The rarity of the piece.

What it means to the buyer.

The 0000001 pressing of The Beatles 1968 self-titled album, commonly known as The White Album, checks all the boxes. It’s an original pressing, the first of the lot. It is one of the best albums (arguably) by one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands to ever plug in. AND it was originally owned by one of The Beatles who actually played it for friends at parties.

In the world of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, The Beatles are bluechip. Them and Elvis are money.

The White Album is such a landmark achievement that when artists release a sprawling album with music crossing into unexpected genres, it’ll be referred to as their White Album.  The Rolling Stones’ White Album would be Exile on Main Street. The Clash’s White Album is Sandinista. The Dammed put a goth spin on things when they released The Black Album. Sign of the Times is Prince’s White Album.

Geek fact: The White Album moniker started out more as a description than the double vinyl’s official name. The Beatles commissioned British pop artist Richard Hamilton to design the cover. Hamilton came up with the ultra minimalistic art work with nothing but a subtle embossed The Beatles on the front and spine.

Fans organically started to refer to the release as The White Album.

The original pressing was numbered and the band members took home numbers 1 through 4. The whereabouts of 3 to 4 are unknown. Many believed that John had number one, but in reality Ringo had it packed away in a vault. The Beatles’ drummer sold the album at Julien’s Auctions were it raised $790,000 for the Lotus Foundation. One of Ringo’s favourite charity’s,  which raises funds to advance social welfare.

Good on Ringo.

WuTang more marketing than memoribilla.

When it comes to The WuTang Clan’s Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, it is indeed a rare piece with only one copy in existence. But while the band owns a pivotal chapter in the story of rap music—and I would say pop culture, the album is more stunt than anything else. Now I know WuTang’s RZA has a rationale about the 88-year ban on the commercialization of the album, but the fact remains, unheard the music has touched no one.

I will say WuTangs marketing efforts were on point. The idea was that the one copy would go to the highest bidder with the condition that whoever bought it would share it for free with the rest of the world. Unfortunately once pharmadouche got his hands on it, all that changed.

The Beatles White album is the most expensive album ever sold.

You can insert the commercial distinction if anyone challenges you on this. That or you can just walk away. Walk away knowing you are right goddam it.

Now not everybody has $790,000 in their entertainment jar to drop on an album purchase. Nor should you unless you’ve got the funds.

50th Anniversary Edition

For some $789,870 less, The Beatles released expansive 50th Anniversary Edition packages of the album in 2018. You can go all in with the Super Deluxe package which includes a 168-page hard covered book featuring photos, press-releases, and handwritten lyrics. From there you could choose from the  Deluxe 3CD, 4 LP package or the Standard 2 LP package. I’d pass on the Standard as it doesn’t include the Esher demos and all you’re really getting is Gilles Martin’s remix.

As re-releases go this one is pretty sweet. Fans of the band have long heard of acoustic demos the band recorded at George Harrison’s house before heading into the studio. Now I’m not usually a big fan of demos, but the Esher demos are pretty cool. These songs are so well known. It’s amazing to hear the band harmonizing together on campfire versions of Back in the USSR, I’m So Tired and Revolution. A lot of people mark The White Album as the beginning of the end for the band. It’s believed that they were working separately on their songs. The Esher demos have a band working out songs that have become Beatles classics.

What’s the right White for you?

Because of the hardcover book the Super Deluxe version is pretty tempting. However the Deluxe 3CD, 4 LP package has a 24-page abridged version of the book plus the 4-vinyls set is a limited edition. If you’re a fan of vinyl go with the Deluxe. If not, the 168-page Hardcover book is an amazing get.

The Clash’s 2nd album cover wasn’t always this un-American.

The Clash’s 2nd album cover wasn’t always this un-American.

Give ‘Em Enough Rope artwork print signed by Mick Jones and Paul Simonon If you’re lucky enough to have a first pressing of Give ‘Em Enough Rope, you’ll know that the cover is not exactly the same as the limited edition print featured above. The […]

The Edge’s 1972 Explorer. A failed guitar that made U2 huge.

The Edge’s 1972 Explorer. A failed guitar that made U2 huge.

The Edge’s stage-played, 1972 Explorer is up for grabs at Julien’s Auction If you’ve seen U2, you seen the Edge’s Explorer. To be specific his 1976 Limited Edition Gibson Explorer. The year is important, because this is when Gibson re-introduced the model to the public […]

Gaslight Anthem Tour Posters. Signed on Springsteen holy ground.

Gaslight Anthem Tour Posters. Signed on Springsteen holy ground.

The ’59 Sound 10th Anniversary Autographed Tour Poster

The Gaslight Anthem got back together this summer to celebrate their greatest moment. The ’59 Sound is the band at its best as can be heard on the 10th anniversary box set. The lucky few got to see them play the album in its entirety on a short but sweet US tour this summer all of which culminated at the Stone Pony.

Springsteen fans will recognize the Jersey Shore venue as the stomping ground of a young Bruce.

Gaslight has been described as a punk Springsteen, telling American blue-collar stories with an aggressive push.

So ending the tour at Asbury Park’s Stone Pony was particularly poetic to any Jersey rock fan.

That same fan would appreciate the dedication Gaslight Anthem has shown towards Ernie of Hellgate Industries.

Throughout his career Brian Fallon has turned to Ernie to create tour posters for both Gaslight and his solo career. For the 10th anniversary tour, Ernie created 3 visuals: Grandmother’s Clock, Miles Davis and  Boardwalk Talks. All of which sold out immediately.  No surprise to the illustrator. It was also no surprise to see them turn up on re-seller sites like eBay for hundreds of dollars over their original sale price.

Having known the 10th anniversary mech would draw a bigger price tag than most, Hellgate and the Gaslight Anthem held back the #1 print of each poster and all four members of the band signed the posters during their 3-night stint at the Stone Pony.

Up for auction.

Now Ernie is auctioning off the Gaslight Anthem tour posters on eBay to raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Big up to Hellgate.

First up in the series is Grandmother’s Clock and you can bid on it here.

The Joe you don’t know.

The Joe you don’t know.

Joe Strummer 001 Limited Edition Super Deluxe Boxset The Joe Strummer 001 compilation tells the story of Joe before (and after) The Clash. The Limited Edition Super Deluxe Boxset offers collectibles that are as diverse and random as the music that fills the 2 CDs, […]

Get in line for signed Sgt. Peppers

Get in line for signed Sgt. Peppers

Peter Blake signed Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band screen prints. Hands down one of the most famous album covers of all time, Snap Studios has been promoting limited edition Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band screen prints signed by co-creator Sir Peter Blake. The […]

Is this ska’s next big band?

Is this ska’s next big band?

The Interrupters release limited edition Fight The Good Fight bundle including a clear vinyl pressing and FTGT tour t-shirt.

This is the Interrupters third and most successful album to date. The single She’s Kerosene has been featured on YouTube’s Artist on the Rise. The song is also tracking on billboard with radio airplay.

Now in 2018, radio airplay is far from a given when you are a ska band. Three albums in, The Interrupters have got to be commended for slogging along in the less than mainstream music genre. Hence the name of album number 3.

With She’s Kerosene seeing some movement on the charts, could this be the beginning of a ska revival of sorts?

Of course the answer is who gives a crap.

Ska has always been a left of centre genre with groups like The Specials, The English Beat, Operation Ivy, Rancid, Sublime and, perhaps the most successful of them all, No Doubt, carrying the touch set by Jamaican originator Prince Buster.

You don’t start a ska band to get rich. You start a ska band because you love the music. The staccato rhythm. The conscious lyrics. Or maybe you just really look good in a pork pie hat.

You start a ska band because something happened inside you when you first heard Gangsters and you needed to spread the word.

The Interrupters are the ska band of the moment. Backed by west coast punk rock royalty. Rancid’s Tim Armstrong signed the band to his Hellcat Records in 2014 and has produced all three of their albums. And Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong gave them a riff which became Broken World on FTGF.

The Interrupters are currently on tour. You can find info here. And I’ll add that few things are as much fun with your clothes on as a ska concert.

For the limited edition Fight The Good Fight bundle along with the rest of the band’s music and swag click wearetheinterrupters.com.

Arctic Monkeys offer the keys to Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

Arctic Monkeys offer the keys to Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

Truth be told it’s a key ring. The Arctic Monkeys key ring is a novelty, a gaff, a frivolous accessory. It’s also perfect. The Arctic Monkeys latest creative leap is a sci-fi concept album about kicking back on an interstellar outpost in deep space. It’s […]

A brief and incomplete list of people who might want the Rolling Stones Studio Album Vinyl Collection 1971-2016

A brief and incomplete list of people who might want the Rolling Stones Studio Album Vinyl Collection 1971-2016

The first thing that came to mind when I heard about The Rolling Stones Studio Album Vinyl Collection 1971-2016 was who would need this? At $450 US, this is for the serious fan. Few bands, maybe none, can offer a box set so phat with material. 15 […]

Where Green Day grew up.

Where Green Day grew up.

Turn it around: The Story of East Bay Punk gets a deluxe package release.

One of the guidelines that Green Day set when entrusting a film about the roots of East Bay punk to first time director Corbett Redford was to not mystify nostalgia to the point where people think this is something that they could not recreated. The goal was to inspire kids to create something of their own today. The result is Turn It Around: The Story of East Bay Punk.

With Turn it Around’s home release, 1-2-3-GO! records has put together film and soundtrack packages. The mother of which is a Mega Combo Pack with 2 Gold LPs, 2 Cassettes and a Blu-Ray/DVD. If you’re like me you’re wondering who is listening to cassettes? I also think it’s a major puck rock shame that they did not include a book featuring the art and illustrations from the film and scene.

If you haven’t seen the film and would like to see if it’s something you’re into,  there are a few interviews with the director on YouTube. This one from the Kalma Show goes into more depth than most.

For the completely uninitiated, this is the story of how in the mid-90s the surrounding suburbs of San Francisco produced hundreds of bands most notable Operation Ivy, The Offspring, Rancid and Green Day. The epicentre of the movement was The Gilman a non-profit art and music centre. The space run by members is still alive today giving unsigned acts a place to scream and shout.

Whether you’re the type who likes to watch or play, you should head to 924gilman.org

Billie Joe’s sideband Longshot just did a tour of tiny gigs in the US and Canada which speaks volumes to how much he loved the Gilman days,

Back to the merch. Are the Turn It Around packages worth it?

If you are a fan, yes.

If you’re simply looking to get inspired stream the soundtrack or film.

Then once you convert, you can drop some fun funds on the cassette.

The ’59 Sound Sessions features a band about to burst.

The ’59 Sound Sessions features a band about to burst.

One look at this image from Gaslight Anthem’s ‘59 Sound Sessions Photobook and you can smell the beer. Sweat in the air. Cramped dance floor. The low suspended ceiling adds to the romance. The thrill of seeing a band about to step up fuelled by […]

The revolution is no accepting US funds.

The revolution is no accepting US funds.

The Joe Strummer Foundation has recently launched a new store to help raise money for its various causes. The JSF, ex-Strummervile, was created after the death of The Clash frontman in December 2002. Strummer, along with being one of the coolest punks to ever dawn […]

The right and wrongs of Springsteen on Broadway.

The right and wrongs of Springsteen on Broadway.

Springsteen on Broadway is both incredibly brilliant and incredibly overpriced.

To see the Boss pour his heart and soul out in the intimate 975 seat Walter Kerr Theatre, it’ll cost you betweeen $850 to $75 a pop. Whenever there is a range like this the bulk is usually at the higher end. This show is no exception with the $75 seats consisting of two rows in the balcony. Springsteen does have a lottery every show. Winners are offered $75 tickets sprinkled throughout the theatre.

Overall you can peg the average price at $500. This is coming from a guy who has built a career singing about the working man. He did install #VerifiedFan ticket purchases, which made sure that those willing to dig deep into their pockets were at least #realfans. Or motivated #realscalpers.

The minimun wage in New Jersey is $8.60. $850 is roughly two and a half weeks wages. Pay me my money down indeed.

Kind of gross, but here’s an argument. When the Stones set $600 ticket prices on many of their 50th Anniversary Tour seats, the rational was that they were charging what scalpers charged anyways. Until now, Bruce has refused to join the price-the-scalpers-out-of-the-market thinking. Noble, but also niave. One could argue that until now, he has done little to keep reasonably priced tickets out of the hands of secondary markets.

PersonalIy, I paid way more for the 2016 River Tour than for Springsteen on Broadway. Full disclosure, I was one of the lucky verified fans to score $75 tickets. I sat in the nose bleeds, which in the Walter Kerr Theatre is like having high side-stage reds at any arena show.

The tickets are overpriced, but they are also sold out. Apparently, fans of Working on the Highway have lots of money. The show has been extended twice and still scalpers/doucebags have tickets listed at north of $1,000.

Sometimes it sucks to be a music fan with a mortgage.

But still, sitting in the theatre last night with my $32 double gin and tonic… hey the bar closed as soon as the lights went down and a guy has to cover his bases. As I sat there with the most expensive drink I’ve ever ordered, I couldn’t help but think that it was all worth it.

Springsteen on Broadway is nothing short of amazing. It’s about the passion of rock ‘n’ roll. How once heard, it changes lives. It is a testament to Springsteen’s gift as a storyteller. He bears his soul and raise spirits. It’s the Boss and an expression of rock ‘n’ roll like you’ve never seen it before. And he is doing it 5 nights a week.

Anything more and I’d spoil it for you.

Look, hopefully one day artists will be able to keep their tickets out of scalper’s hands. We all know they can try harder. Until then punch a scalper in the face for me. And don’t give them your money. Supply and demand peeps. How StubHub is even allowed to operate is an injustice.

I wish you luck in scoring the cheap seats and would like to save a little face by mentioning that my $32 gin and tonic came in a commemorative cup. And I have no intention of listing it on eBay for $500000000000000.00 even through the Boss did look up to the balcony while I was taking a sip from said cup.

You can enter the lottery to win $75 tickets to Springsteen On Broadway here.