Record collecting can be both fun and frustrating. In the (good) old days it could take years of visiting record shops, record fairs and charity shops to find that one elusive title needed to complete a collection. Today it is often enough to log on to eBay to find it. It makes collecting considerably easier but much more boring. I mean, you do not even have to put on your coat and go out to find that one item. Record collecting, like any other collecting, should be a social activity. Visiting record shops or fairs should enable you to make contact with like-minded people. This social aspect is lost when you sit in front of your computer and let it find the goodies for you. The thrill of the chase and the opportunity to bump into other collectors, not to mention, discussions with knowledgeable record shop staff, who might suggest where you could find what you were looking for is lost completely.
On the rare occasions when eBay lets you down, there are several other sites to search, Musicstack, GEMM are the best known.
So, what of my collection of Banksy record cover art? There are currently three items missing. Banksy designed the cover to a CD of Bristolian poetry in 2008, entitled “Monkeys With Car Keys” – the title uses Tery Fugate-Wilcox’s famous quote “Without art we are but monkeys with car keys”. Banksy has used the quote in his street art down a crack alley just off Stapleton Road, Bristol and on this CD he uses it again. The CD seems impossible to find. I’ve been in contact with Bristol’s main public library and they checked all the local libraries in the city without success.
Then there is a sampler 4-track 12″ EP by hip-hop group One Cut, for whom Banksy designed several covers in 1999-2000. This one, the “Grand Theft Audio Sampler”, which has a Banksy image on the label and comes in a generic white card cover with a sticker with Banksy’s design. I have been looking for this for some time and may possibly have found a copy…
The third missing Banksy cover is – of course – The Capoeira Twins promo “4×3″ 12” single. I’ve seen one on eBay and know of one person who has it (but won’t part with it.) I have to be happy with the copy that I’ve made.
Currently up for grabs – providing you have the cash, asking price £1500 – is one of the original 500 Banksy/Danger Mouse bootlegs of Paris Hilton’s CD “Paris”. Banksy manipulated the cover image to show Paris apparently topless and added texts to the pictures inside the booklet. The CD contains 40 minutes of Danger Mouse’s music. I have a copy of the reissue bootleg (of which 1000 copies are said to have been made), so I don’t think I shall invest in the original, which I don’t think is worth more than, say, £400-500.
And here’s a reminder that our exhibition of Banksy’s record and CD cover art opens at Stockholm’s Konserthus on June 19th and runs until August 23rd. Every Banksy cover will be on show (except, of course, the “Monkeys with Car Keys”.) Come along and see them.