Vandalized Records

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This copy of the Stones’ Some Girls has some pretty sweet art. We like it better this way.

I love a written-upon record but it seems like ages since we posted on here on the website.  Here’s a single by Ronnie McDowell from a radio station library that came through the shop recently.  Those blue lines are all ballpoint pen.  Somebody must have been awfully bored while working the third shift…

The same collection had several singles I was excited to hear, only to find “no!  no!  no!” written on one side and razor marks cut across the grooves.  I suppose that’s one way a station manager could make sure a cut never made it on the air.  The destroyed sides included “Up Goes the Bottle” and “The Girl at the End of the Bar” by Conway Twitty, not particularly inappropriate songs but a little gloomy I guess.  George Jones redid the second one on his 1983 album Jones Country, but I haven’t found a copy of the original. “Up Goes the Bottle” of course is on several Conway collections, but I’d like to have a nice 45 of it to play every third Monday of the month when I spin records for the Cactus Blossoms at the Turf Club.

Another record I’d like to have for those sets was in that collection but also cut and marked – it was “Bleep You” by one of my favorite country singers, Cal Smith.  This one broke my heart because it’s near the top of my 45 “wish list”.  Ironically, this one doesn’t need to be edited for radio.  Guess the station manager was just a jerk.

It is widely known that I love vandalized and written-upon records.  It is also widely known that I love John Denver records.  I present to you, therefore, today’s sample of each with a slightly heavy heart, for although Windsong is far from my favorite JD album – and the detailed work of this particular miscreant is so nuanced as to merit attention – I lament the fanaticism, joy even, that goes into the pervasive mockery of dear old Deutschendorf and his fans.

The work on this copy is  detailed, with devils, pitchforks and potleaves abound.  The use of sharpie to overlap and sometimes accent the original ballpoint pen work is compelling, especially around the eyes and the horns.

My favorite feature of this work, however, is the UFO featured within the gatefold:

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If you’re not sure how to deface your records you can’t go wrong with a beard and moustache. Desperate? For dramatic effect we recommend a pair of devil horns.

An occasional topic of dispute around here is our enthusiasm for vandalized record covers. I don’t think either of us has ever written on the jacket of a record, but we’ve saved a lot of them with various additions and commentaries. One of the many features of our new webpage is this blog, which allows usan opportunity to share a few of them once in a while. We’d also love to see any vandalized records you’ve collected if you’d like to share.

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A favorite from our collection of vandalized records – I don’t know what I like about it more, the fact that there are bumper stickers out there which say “Canadian pigs make you sick!” or the fact that somebody saved this sticker until he could find an Anne Murray record. Were there no Joni Mitchell records around? No Neil Young? If I had a Diane Krall album that’s where I would have stuck it.

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I wonder what percentage of Shilo covers haven’t had the dots connected. You could probably ask the same question about Who by Numbers and the newspaper that Thick as a Brick folds into. I imagine once you start connecting the dots, its tempting to express yourself a little more. I wouldn’t trade this copy of Shilo for one with a clean cover, if only because of the squiggly chest hair.

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This one is a recent addition to our collection – It came from the WCCO library which Hymie’s purchased a couple months back. Lots of the records had radio station labels and cue timings, and several had commentaries, but this was the gem of the lot. Somebody put a lot of work into this subtle expression of malice and I love it.

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This last one isn’t the most creative act of record cover vandalism, but its just mean-spirited enough to be charming. Nobody would do this to Perry Como’s A Legendary Performer cover.

Our next feature will be records on which the owner has written his or her name, which is probably a more controversial subject to collectors. There have been a lot of discussions about this at Hymie’s lately. Some of us can’t stand it and seem to consider the entire package destroyed, while others (such as myself) kind of like it. Feel free to disagree, and tune in later this week to see a few examples.

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