The Vinyl Collector: If it ain’t broke . . .

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By Alex Mosier

Back in the summer before college, my friends and I did a lot of road trips to small hole in the wall music clubs.  The go-to vehicle for an extended trip was C.J.’s old 1980s dodge van; C.J.’s shaggin’ wagon.  Progressively, he worked on decorating the van to the pinnacle of modern age hippie and music trash.  Blue paint with black pin stripping, blue and black leather interior with limo seating, blue LED lights in the ceiling – the van was the culmination of what every current hipster wants.  That is minus the fuel efficiency of course.

One afternoon, C.J. set out to add the final detail to the van, the little crown on the shaggin’ wagon.  His plan was to take a bunch of vinyl records his dad left lying around and set them in a narrow, thin Plexiglass box coated with resin. He would then build that homemade record display into the ceiling along the back. This was obviously a little before we all started collecting vinyl records and understood their value – as well as the pain of destroying viable albums.

So, C.J. went to work on his project and a few hours later, called us over to see the final product.  The finished product looked amazing.  The albums looked as if sloppily thrown around a dorm room, but on the ceiling of the van.  The LED lights illuminated the Plexiglass for an awe inspiring glow. We looked across the glossy surface, examining the albums that had found their way into a resin based tomb.  Most were black, a few here and there were colored.  One in particular that we all loved the display of was a pinkish/ reddish marble vinyl.  All the label said was “Led Zeppelin.”

Years later, sometime after vinyl records at worked their split speaker lines into our hearts, we all took a ride in C.J.’s old shaggin’ wagon.  Naturally, we couldn’t help but inspect the albums displayed overhead once again, and the intensely colored marble vinyl was a center of attention.  Another friend riding in the back pulled out their phone and started doing a little research. 

To our, and mostly C.J.’s dismay, the record was a limited edition pressing of the Led Zeppelin album.  This version, pressed in this color, was selling online for an average of $120.  If only he had taken a second to research what it had before re-purposing it.  On more than one occasion, C.J. has brought up trying to pull the box apart and save Led Zeppelin and a few other gems he had encased, but there is no evidence that they will be salvageable.