"World's Greatest Music Collection" being auctioned
February 18, 2008 12:30 PM   Subscribe

Do you love music? Do you have at least 3 million dollars? If you answered "yes" to these questions then you may be interested in bidding on "The World's Greatest Music Collection." (single link to ebay auction)
posted by anathema (44 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
More details about the collection here.
posted by anathema at 12:33 PM on February 18, 2008


Luckily, as an evil internet music pirate, I already have access to all of the music in this collection.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:35 PM on February 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


I loved the "Get $10 back on this item" promo right under the $3,000,000 opening bid... with a discount like that, how can I afford NOT to bid?
posted by HuronBob at 12:37 PM on February 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


And they accept Paypal! I can't wait to see that transaction go through.
posted by Salmonberry at 12:44 PM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


2 minutes searching turns up some back story which might have enhanced the post.
posted by fire&wings at 12:45 PM on February 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


But I already own the Rush discography.
posted by aftermarketradio at 12:50 PM on February 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thanks, f&w. Excellent background.
posted by anathema at 12:53 PM on February 18, 2008


He remembers buying 500 copies of a rare album made by Porky Chedwick, the famed local DJ of the 1950s. With the record backed by a funeral home, Mr. Mawhinney remembers buying a casket full of them from Mr. Chedwick at 11:30 p.m. The deal was done in a graveyard, appropriately enough.

Great article, fire&wings.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 12:57 PM on February 18, 2008


Every genre of American music is represented: rock; jazz; country; R&B; blues; new age; Broadway and Hollywood; bluegrass; folk; children's; comedy; Christmas, and more.

No trip hop? No psytrance? No post rock? No punk? No modern classical? No dubstep? No post punk? No ambient electronica? No death metal? No hiphop? No reggae?

Your world's greatest music collection sucks.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:06 PM on February 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


The collection contains many thousands of duplicate copies...

I think we know who has all those copies of The Bodyguard soundtrack.
posted by chillmost at 1:07 PM on February 18, 2008


...no Latvian pagan metal...
posted by Wolfdog at 1:08 PM on February 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


3 million records and 300,000 CDs. Not a bad price, really.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:16 PM on February 18, 2008


needs more cowbell
posted by From Bklyn at 1:31 PM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


So let's say 45 minutes per cd. You listen to them 10 hours a day. That's:

(45 * 300,000) / (60 * 10 * 365) = 61,6 years.

If you are older than 25, don't buy them.
posted by McSly at 1:46 PM on February 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


On his web page there's a picture of him sitting in front of a desk with vinyls stacked on top of each other outside of their sleeves! Who in their right mind would buy this after seeing that?
posted by dobbs at 2:16 PM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anybody have a torrent?
posted by Benjy at 2:18 PM on February 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


...no Latvian pagan metal...

speeeeeeeks! \m/
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:28 PM on February 18, 2008


...no Latvian pagan metal...

I'll be visiting Latvia, so maybe I should contact the owner to fill that Latvian pagan metal shaped hole in his heart collection.
posted by ersatz at 2:44 PM on February 18, 2008


"Paul Mawhinney bought his first record sixty years ago. It was a Frankie Lane song."

Almost certainly 99.9% lame.
posted by space2k at 2:52 PM on February 18, 2008


ersatz: you might like to take an order for leaf hats while you're at it.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:58 PM on February 18, 2008


Hey now, space2k! He's got a Tony Orlando and Dawn album visible in the auction graphic!
posted by dobbs at 3:42 PM on February 18, 2008


You'd need about 195 TB just to store the CDs if you average 650MB per disk and 300,000 disks. If we put it on Amazon S3 it'll only cost us $29,250 a month!
posted by furtive at 3:48 PM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


this sounds like a certain Hotline server I used to use in the late 90s. Heh, Hotline...
posted by porn in the woods at 3:57 PM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see Google buy it to digitally archive, at least up to the point where CDs can reasonably be assumed to be still available.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:05 PM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


It will be interesting to see if this actually gets any bids. It is a white elephant, in that it will cost a serious amount of money to simply move the collection, let alone store/care for it. It also has to be a little sad/depressing to see one's life's work worth so little. At $3 mill, he's only asking Goodwill prices for the albums, and throwing in the 300,000 CDs for free. Hard to imagine how much he had to invest for them, at the time.
posted by spock at 4:16 PM on February 18, 2008


Are they in flac?
posted by gorgor_balabala at 4:55 PM on February 18, 2008


[1]No trip hop? [2]No psytrance? No post rock? No punk? No modern classical? No dubstep? No post punk? No ambient electronica? No death metal? No hiphop? No reggae?

[1] UK; [2] Israeli (remember, it says "American" music); all others - no doubt covered under "and more". Then again, in one of the linked articles he said there was no point in buying contemporary music. So maybe not. (You're right, really, I'm just being pedantic).
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:11 PM on February 18, 2008


spock is right on. My first throught was: This is so sad. He's only asking $1 per album, with another 300K cd's thrown in as a freebie. Wow.

Yet no bids so far...
posted by Ike_Arumba at 6:00 PM on February 18, 2008


I have the world's greatest music collection.

I keep it all over the internet.
posted by surplus at 6:12 PM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Isn't there a institution in America (I remember hearing about it but I can't remember the name) that functions as a library of audio and is supposed to have a copy of everything anyway? Or is it more selective?
posted by awfurby at 7:17 PM on February 18, 2008


Yet no bids so far...

ebay sn[i]pers are standing by with their $3,000,0001.77 bids . . .
posted by panamax at 12:32 AM on February 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is so sad. He's only asking $1 per album, with another 300K cd's thrown in as a freebie

No massed produced items bought indiscriminately will ever be worth a whole lot of money. This is no sadder than huge worthless collections of Beanie Babies or Star Wars toys. He's clearly straddling the border of obsession and mental illness. If this was really about preserving music he'd be selling off the duplicates in order to pay for digitisation of all the vinyl and 8-tracks.
posted by roofus at 3:08 AM on February 19, 2008


ersatz: you might like to take an order for leaf hats while you're at it.

Ha, didn't know about the leaf hats! Thanks for the info.
posted by ersatz at 3:23 AM on February 19, 2008


supposed to have a copy of everything anyway? Or is it more selective?

LC is selective. The one in England though supposedly does have a copy of everything (published in England).
posted by stbalbach at 7:39 AM on February 19, 2008


"If this was really about preserving music he'd be selling off the duplicates in order to pay for digitisation of all the vinyl and 8-tracks."

He was selling off dupes to fund the record store he ran and to increase the collection.

I'd love to be able to rifle through something like this, if only for the mad Detroit soul sides he must have, but man, just storing the records I've got has been a giant pain in the ass.
posted by klangklangston at 11:42 AM on February 19, 2008


Article says he was in talks with the LC but backed out when they wouldn't pay him what he felt it was worth. Which sucks, actually. Would be nice if he just gave it to them anyway, because if he dies without selling it, it will be carved up at an auction and go piecemeal. As he said, the history of the items is worth more than the actual items, and he has the history. Chopping it up like that seems... well, a shame, I guess, because he can't decide how many millions it's worth to him to see the collection remain whole.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:52 AM on February 19, 2008


Cross-posted from another board I frequent...

"Steve": "HAHAHAHA. I know who that guy is. He runs a store in Pittsburgh called Record Rama, which quite possibly the the most misleading store of all time. If you go on the website, you can find a listing for basically [any] LP that you can think of (which explains the size of his collection).

The store is basically located in the basement of a closed down shopping plaza, you have to go down a large set of stairs to get there, and once you get inside it is quite literally a cave, it's super dark and creepy. The store has shelves upon shelves of all of the albums you would find at any second-hand record store, you know "I Robot" by Alan Parsons, Frampton Comes Alive, Styx, etc. etc. and there are probably about 100 duplicates of each. You look around and you start to get confused "Where the fuck are all of the records I searched for?". You look around some more...until finally you stumble upon the window where that guy sits. It's basically like a fast food drive thru window and behind him are rows of records as far as the eye can see. At the time I came there looking for The Clean's "Compilation" and I asked him where it was. He looked it up in his database and said "Yeah... I have it". I asked him how much and he said "$250". I asked him about a few others I had been looking for and they were all for sale for around a few hundred dollars each.... none probably had an actual value of more than 50-60 dollars. Basically the guy just sits down in a cave and hoardes all of this music and really doesn't want anyone to buy it from him. He either has millions of dollars and can just afford to waste his life away in that cave, or he finds a few suckers every week who are actually willing to shell out that kind of money. Insane."

posted by anazgnos at 3:58 PM on February 19, 2008


Here's a link to an NPR interview with the owner.
posted by 6550 at 6:23 PM on February 19, 2008


I have the world's greatest music collection.

I keep it all over the internet.


Either my searching skills suck, or there's a lot that just isn't available online. Back when Oink was still running, I was going through a book called '1001 Records You Must Hear Before You Die' and trying to download all of 'em. You'd be surprised how many weren't available, especially the early stuff, even from big names (like Fats Domino). I'm willing to bet this guy has huge numbers of records that were never ever digitised.
posted by Infinite Jest at 6:29 PM on February 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anybody who seriously thinks most music can be found somewhere on the internet has very limited tastes.

This guy's case brings up many interesting questions (and some sad questions). Not one of those questions can be answered in any meaningful way by "hey, it's all on the internet."
posted by sparrows at 9:26 PM on February 20, 2008


In fact, there's a bid on it now. By a buyer with 204 feedbacks, so maybe a legit bid?
posted by sparrows at 9:33 PM on February 20, 2008


And the winning bid is $3,002,150.00
posted by spock at 6:00 AM on February 21, 2008


Winning bidder from Ireland.
posted by spock at 6:01 AM on February 21, 2008


Winner bidder is apparently not legit.
posted by bowline at 10:07 PM on February 24, 2008


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