Rare/Collectible San Diego
Jay Allen Sanford 5.15.7
These auctions featuring local music memorabilia took place on eBay over the course of eighteen months. The list - compiled via weekly searches and archiving - represents only a fraction of the thousands of local-centric auctions monitored during this period.
The Rosie And The Originals single "Angel Baby" b/w "Give Me Love" was released in 1960 on the Highland label, hitting number five in the U.S. In a 1969 Life Magazine interview, John Lennon cited Rosie Hamlin (fifteen when the single was recorded in San Marcos ) as one of his favorite singers, later recording the song for his mid-seventies "Rock 'N' Roll" collection. This Originals 45 was described in "mint condition, with slight scuffing." Auction photos showed the orange label and the plain paper sleeve in nice shape, but didn't depict the vinyl itself. Regardless, the single drew fourteen bids and sold for $26.00.
A private-pressing rock opera LP from 1973, "An Eye For Each Head" by Anthony Adams (Harlequin Records), was said to concern "a fly who eventually becomes king of the world due to man's evil and self destructive nature, then the fly reveals that he is really Jesus.found at a thrift shop about five years ago." Adams was in a local sixties teen garage band, the Norsemen. The winning bid was $24.99.
In the early-eighties, metal hairfarmers Victim were among the house bands at Straita Head Sound, a long-gone La Mesa club unique to its era due its ability to serve alcohol to the 21-and-up crowd while still allowing minors in the door (thanks to closed loophole in the "dinner theater" permits). In 1985, the four members of Victim self-recorded and released a vinyl LP "DMN" (said in the liner notes to stand for "Dirty, Mean & Nasty"), with only about 1,000 copies pressed. " Their sound leans heavily on glam metal, like Poison or Ratt, but a little heavier," said the seller. Described in "near mint minus" condition with "some light scuffs that don't effect [sp] the sound," the LP opened at $5.00 and closed nine bids later at $16.38.
The photo sleeve for a "splash-shaped" seven inch vinyl LP featuring five songs by the Locust and two by Arab On Radar showed an eviscerated rubber baby doll with blood splatters dripping behind twin band logos. "For this record," said the San Francisco-based seller, "they put it out on four different thick colored vinyls, each to represent a bodily fluid color, all in the shape of a liquid splotch. This one is white." One assumes the other vinyl color editions to have been yellow, red and, um, brown. The album opened at $1.00 and closed at $5.50.
Gary Wilson - who moved to San Diego in the eighties and currently works at an area porn shop - was cited by Beck as an early inspiration, thanks to his surreal homemade album "You Think You Really Know Me," recorded in the basement of his parent's home. A copy of the "totally insane" album ("part of the once-seemingly limitless supply of this record at Philly Record Exchange") attracted nine bids and sold for $126.00.
The Cramps' seven inch vinyl EP "Smell Of San Diego" was recorded June 2, 1984, at the North Park Lions Club, just days after ending their first headlining UK tour. Two numbered limited editions of this record were produced, one on red vinyl and one on black; this auction was for a black version, #280 of 475. Four songs appeared on the record including "I Ain't Nuthin' But A Gorehound" and "Faster Pussycat." The record sleeve depicted a B&W photo of a dismembered man, with red highlights where the body is sliced and bleeding. The auction opened at $9.99, with four bidders going head to head until the record sold for $46.00. Around a month later, a copy stamped "#40" attracted five bids and sold for $23.83.
Iron Butterfly's "In A Gadda Da Vida" vinyl LP was offered with five bandmember signatures on the cover, said to be "autographed in person" (as opposed to autographed from a remote location?) by mssrs Lee Dorman, Doug Ingle, Ron Bushy, Derek Hilland and Erik Barnett. " Many of these types of items were obtained at private signings, premieres, and special engagements by our group of collectors," according to seller Authentic Autographs, described as "a group of twelve collectors that began pooling their resources to help one another about five years ago." All five signatures appear to have been done at the same time, in the same gold ink. Barnett's is capped by a peace symbol and Hilland's has a drawing of a keyboard. The remaining trio of Dorman, Ingle and Bushy are the only signees who actually played on this album. The auction opened at $39.99 and closed five bids later at $88.00.
Hi-Five's "The Other Side Of Us" LP was released in 1981, featuring modern soul from a San Diego sextuplet (five black males and a female) said by its local-based seller to include "players from the San Diego Chargers." The album jacket was described as having "minor wear on front" and the vinyl itself with "minor surface scuffs." Four bidders entered seven bids before the LP sold for $85.49.
The self-titled debut album by sixties San Diego psychedelic pioneers the Brain Police, reissued on the German CD label Shadoks Records, was described by the CD's auctioneer as "Absolutely perfect fuzz guitar psych with great rhythm guitars, organs and St. Pepper-style vocals. With more luck this band could have been as famous as Strawberry Alarm Clock. They played on many bills together. The music is not as soft. It has a much stronger output than most of the famous bands they played together with." The sealed CD - described as a "test pressing" - sold for $16.95.
Clark Faville, a San Diego music historian, wrote the liner notes for Rockedelic Records' "Brain Police - San Diego 1968." According to the Texas-based seller, this 1997 compilation is "An amazing record from San Diego 's finest proponent of psychedelic rock music." Songs included "I'd Rather See You Dead", "Election For Mayor" and "My World Of Wax." On green vinyl and limited to only five hundred copies pressed, the twelve inch LP featured a custom die cut cover which, when opened, reveals a gold Brain Police badge. The first bid was $9.98 and, three bids later, the item closed at $27.62.
"The Litanies of Satan," Diamanda Galas' 1982 debut vinyl LP (a U.K. import on the Y Records label), was described by its auctioneer in Sacramento as " a raging beast of a record capable of blowing your mind and speakers simultaneously." The album had two side-long tracks - "Wild Women With Steak-Knives (Homicidal Love Song for Solo Scream)" and "The Litanies of Satan" (based on a poem by Charles Baudelaire). "What makes the LP more desirable than the CD," said the seller, "is the fact that the vinyl is mastered at 45 RPM speed, and this record sounds great when spun at 33 RPM. I'm sure Diamanda would frown upon such audio tomfoolery, but I won't tell her if you won't. It's like getting an extra album for free!" Bidding began at $7.00. A total of ten bids were placed, with the winner paying $36.00.
The Tell-Tale Hearts' limited edition seven inch vinyl record "Circus Mind," b/w "Flying" featured as its a-side a Pretty Things song, with sleeve liner notes written by the once-Pretty Phil May. "The Tell-Tale Hearts of course featured Mike Stax, currently of the Loons," noted the seller, "and this single is superb and in great shape, mint-minus with the very slightest wear to the sleeve and the single." Three bids were placed with the final price $10.50.
A copy of the early 1973 LP "Life And Times" by Jim Croce was said to have been autographed by the singer on 7/9/73, weeks before his death on September 20. The Kent , Washington based seller, Authentic Autographs, describes itself as " a group of twelve collectors that began pooling their resources to help one another about five years ago. The funds received are used to help our members further their abilities to get quality autographs from the stars they adore and follow...[this] is a perfect collector's item from one of our private collectors list of articles." The vinyl rarity earned five bids, selling for $107.50
A "Jim Croce rare signed large album page" was described by it Las Vegas-based seller as an " approx 5" x 6" ink signed page.by the deceased singing legend." The auction photo showed a yellow piece of paper with the word "thanks" written in black ink, and beneath that "Jim Croce," with a curly underline. "Includes guaranteed Certificate of Authenticity which is lifetime transferable from Kevin Martin's Piece of the Past, Inc. - one of the most respected entertainment autograph dealers in the country." Martin cites his credentials as having been an "authentication case consultant to governmental agencies and corporate supplier to major celebrity themed restaurants and casinos." No governmental agencies or restaurants or casinos are mentioned by name. The seller posted an opening bid requirement of $74.99, which is what the sheet of paper sold for.
An "Autographed Jim Croce LP" featured Jim Croce's "I Got A Name," the singer/songwriter's follow-up to his 1973 "Life And Times" LP, which hit number one while the Croce and his family were living in San Diego . The album included the hits "Time in a Bottle" and "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song." There was no photo of the LP or of Croce's signature, for which the Maryland-based seller apologized ("My scanner is acting up"). The seller - eBay username Rockraretees - posted a low minimum bid of $9.99, but nobody tried to win the autographed album over the ten-day auction. Perhaps this is because the record wasn't released until several weeks after Croce died on September 20, 1973, in a charter plane crash in Natchitoches , Louisiana . Rockraretees' eBay account has since been suspended.
Long defunct punks the Cardiac Kidz recorded a few obscure vinyl singles in the late seventies and early eighties, on a label they called Lub Dub. Demand for those records skyrocketed in 1988, when the Kidz' "Find Yourself A Way" was featured on Volume 007 of the popular "Killed By Death" series compiling the best and rarest punk singles. That song appears on a 1980 Lub Dub seven inch single "Playground," recorded at the Spirit nightclub (now Brick By Brick) September 13, 1979 (according to a flyer, the Standbys and the Exterminators opened). Four songs were featured on this EP, each about two minutes long; only five hundred copies of the record were printed. The auction page included a photo of the cartoon sleeve ("minor ringwear") and a posted opening bid of $10.00. The auction received 249 hits, with six bidders placing eight bids before buyer besofunny picked up the Kidz for $179.50.
Another Cardiac Kidz seven inch vinyl single, "Find Yourself A Way" B/W "Get Out" (1979 Lub Dub), was auctioned by the same seller and closed the same day, earning thirteen bids starting at $10.00. It also sold for $179.50, this time to buyer chibbeekit.
A 1982 twelve inch LP containing demos by heavy metallers Battalion Of Saints also included live tracks recorded at Bob's Place (a long-gone North County bar) on 6/11/82. Containing twenty-four songs in all, the Mexico-only release was imprinted on purple vinyl and included its original black and white insert, selling for $19.99.
"The Home Of Country Dick Montana," a 1987 twelve inch LP by the late Beat Farmers drummer/singer, was said by its seller to be "released as a promo-only to little fanfare, and even smaller distribution. Someone said around 200 to 250 of these records were pressed, but I'm unsure of the exact figure. Nevertheless, it is a decidedly rare record, the beauty of which lies in the pristine condition of the vinyl--shiny, glossy and fresh." The auction photo showed it to be on Curb Records, with a white label reading "promotional only, not for sale." Tracks included "Little Ball O' Yarn" and "The Definitive A Cappella Led Zeppelin Medley." Produced by fellow-Farmer Joey Harris, the vintage vinyl received eighteen bids before closing at $36.76.
A copy of the self-titled 1980 debut vinyl LP by Bratz was auctioned in its original shrink wrap (albeit "sliced open to remove the disc"), in mint condition "with no cut-outs, seam splits or writing." The San Pedro-based seller summarized Bratz' music as "very good dual lead guitar hard rock with some progressive tendencies and strong keyboards and vocals." The auction opened at $9.99 and closed six bids later at $25.49.
Three vinyl albums described as an "Eighties Mod Rare LP Lot" included a British version of the 1986 debut record by San Diego 's Manual Scan. " Vinyl is in excellent shape, cover has minor wear (ring wear, slight yellowing)," according to the seller. The second LP in the lot was "The Cutting.Edge," a 1985 UK compilation featuring Manual Scan along with Purple Hearts, the Risk, Beat Direction and others ("Vinyl and cover in great shape!"). The Risk are from the Channel Islands in the UK, though they resided in San Diego during the mid-eighties, playing local venues like SDSU's Backdoor, JP's and elsewhere (their debut album was produced by Matt Camione, of the local band the Tracers). The final item was another UK compilation, "Modstock - Starbrucken '94," including tracks by the Jaybirds, Apemen, Statuto, the Aardvarks, the Beat Set and the Clique. Only one bid was placed, with all three LPs selling for $9.99.
"Like A Hole In the Head," a ten inch vinyl picture disc by El Vez, sported a photo of the Hispanic Elvis impersonator wearing a glitter gold jacket, comically oversized sombrero and holding twin silver plated pistoleros. The album included a lyric sheet and a version of "Fever" recorded live in Denmark , earning its Michigan-based seller $15.50.
The Penetrators' 1979 single "Sensitive Boy," b/w "Stimulation," on the World Records label, was described as "Very rare early punk new wave from California" by its seller in Macon, Georgia. Reportedly in mint condition and including the original custom sticker insert, the seven inch vinyl earned two bids and closed at $14.00.
Rocket From The Crypt's seven inch vinyl EP "Rocket Pack" was one of their first recordings, done for a friend of the band, artist Pushead, best known for his album artwork for Metallica and the Misfits. In return for Pushead's design of the RFTC rocketship logo, the band recorded four songs for the artist, who subsequently released them in a limited edition run in 1991. "This is hand-numbered #18 of only seventy-five copies made," said the seller in Gainesville Florida . "Pink/Red swirled vinyl that comes with a hand numbered, printed inner sleeve." The record came with a fold-out felt rocket, with a silk screened RFTC rocket logo autographed by Pushead himself. After opening at $15.00, twelve bidders placed a total of thirty four bids. EBay buyer hillsidestrangler looked to be the winner until the final seconds of the auction, when stinkterror sniped the coveted EP for $716.00.
A collection of twenty Rocket From The Crypt records was said comprise "virgin vinyl.never touched by a record player needle." The lot included the blue wax version of "Normal Carpet Ride" (1992, Sub Pop), a copy of "Boychucker" with the original pog inserts (1996, SFRTI) and the limited edition 1993 bootleg 45 "Super Ride" (numbered 397 of 1,000). Five bids were placed, with the auction closing at $74.00.
Six bidders drove the price from $5.00 up to $31.00 for Rocket From The Crypt's 1995 vinyl LP "Hot Charity," available only in England on the Elemental label and unreleased in the U.S.A.
According to its seller in Germany , the seven inch vinyl Rocket From The Crypt single "Lose Your Clown" was never available for public sale. "Only a few people who have the RFTC logo on their bodies and some people at the RFTC gig at Intoxica Records in London had the chance to get this item. There are less than two hundred pressed, most of them came in a blank sleeve with a jukebox strip. Very few exist with the rare Intoxica gig fold out poster sleeve." An auction photo showed the sleeve folded out, with the signatures of all five bandmembers accompanying some crude cartoons. The single sold for $149.99.
Only four hundred copies were pressed of the 1979 vinyl single by the X-Terminators, "Microwave Radiation" b/w "Occasional Lay." The record was offered in VG- condition with a minimum bid of $49.99, but - even after multiple listings - it went unsold.