A Warning About Garage Sales….

This is a sad story that I think all Beatles collectors can relate to….

When you go to a garage sale (or you might call them yard sales) the thrill of the chase for that elusive LP or CD can sometimes see you just not taking enough care.

It recently happened to me. Went out as I sometimes do on a Saturday morning to a local garage sale. These can be rich pickings (or not – but you never know). Did the quick scout around upon arrival – but there was no vinyl in sight. There were a couple of compact discs – but nothing remotely Beatles-related. So before leaving I posed the usual question to the owner of the house, just on the off-chance: “Do you have any records? LPs or 45s. You know, vinyl?”  It never hurts to ask.

“Oh – yes. Actually we do, but I hadn’t thought to put them out. Are people still interested in them?” And off she goes, into the house to hunt out said vinyl records….

About 5 minutes later (it seems like ten) out they come, boxes of them – frustratingly one box at a time. Most are pretty bashed up – but quite an eclectic selection and some interesting things – and by this stage another record collector has arrived and is also interested….

The first thing I see is a picture disc copy of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”. Hmmm. Could probably get that. Might as well for A$1.00. (Its actually the same as this one – selling online for US$75.00).

There’s also, for some strange reason, lots of Jethro Tull. All original pressings and all in reasonably good condition. Probably collectors items for the right person – but not me. Then some Hendrix. Tempting, but the other collector seems really interested and so I let him have free reign.

Then finally a box with some Beatles. Both me and the other guy fall upon it and kind of unofficially, by mutual agreement, agree to split the contents amicably. No need for aggro on a Saturday morning over $1.00 records.

He finds “Abbey Road” and I think: “OK. You can have it. I’ve got lots of pressings of that.” It’s the Australian pressing on Apple by the looks of it. He is happy.

I find a copy of “Revolver”. Its also an Australian pressing, this time on the orange Parlophone/EMI label and I can’t remember if I have this or not and so decide to get it anyway. Its actually in pretty good shape and for a dollar, what the heck?. When I get home later turns out I don’t have this particular pressing. Good one!

Then there’s a copy of the Beatles “Oldies…but Goldies!”. It too is an Australian pressing and I know I have this and so let the other guy take it. More good karma points for me. Then there’s a copy of “The Beatles”, or the “White Album“. Its an older, original Australian pressing on Apple – the one with the top-loading cover, and its got the poster. No Beatle pictures included though, and the cover is a little battered, but still, its kind of rare and interesting because of it’s age. The old-style top-loader cover is mildly collectable. I flipped out Disc 1 for a quick look to see if it was scratched and useless. It was in pretty good shape and so I decide to get it.

Move forward in time now about three hours. I’m back home cleaning up the LP’s I got and I pull out Disc 2 of the “White Album” from it’s sleeve and guess what? Its not the “White Album” in there but “Abbey Road”!!

The seller, probably years ago, had mixed up the LPs when putting them away. So, the other collector guy who bought “Abbey Road” has probably got my Disc 2 of the “White Album”, and I have his “Abbey Road”. I don’t know who he is and have no way of contacting him. There is really nothing quite as frustrating to a collector than an incomplete set I can tell you…

So, a lesson for all garage or yard sale hunters: always check the contents of the CDs or LPs you’re interested in before you leave the premises….

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2 thoughts on “A Warning About Garage Sales….

  1. I have 2 Abbey Road albums. One of them has an extra song on it. Would this be worth anything to a collector? I have wondered about this for years.

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    • Hi, I am guessing you mean the track listing on the cover and or the record label for the very last song on Abbey Road called “Her Majesty”. As Wikipedia explains, the vinyl early covers don’t have the song listed (nor do the labels on some releases – but some do):
      “Her Majesty”, tacked on the end, was originally part of the side two medley, appearing between “Mean Mr. Mustard” and “Polythene Pam”. McCartney disliked the way the medley sounded when it included “Her Majesty”, so he had the medley re-edited to remove it. However, second engineer John Kurlander had been instructed never to throw out anything, so after the group left the recording studio that day, he picked it up off the floor, spliced 14 seconds of red leader tape onto the final mix reel, and then spliced in “Her Majesty” immediately after the leader tape. The box of the album’s master reel bore an instruction to leave “Her Majesty” off the final product, but the next day when Malcolm Davies at Apple received the tape, he (also trained not to throw anything away) cut a playback lacquer of the whole sequence, including “Her Majesty”. The Beatles liked this effect and left it on the album. Original US and UK pressings of Abbey Road do not list “Her Majesty” on the album’s cover nor on the record label, making it a hidden track.”
      If you have an LP with the song listed on the record cover itself then it would be mildly interesting to the collector but not a huge collectors item.

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