A couple years back, Minor Threat drummer and Dischord Records co-founder Jeff Nelson decided to do a little spring cleaning. So, he did what any person looking to unload a whole lot of perceived junk would do: Sell it on eBay. Yet, Nelson wasn’t getting rid of, say, an old Tickle Me Elmo. Nelson began unloading flyers, records and other memorabilia from hardcore punk’s nascent days.
Though Nelson has typically listed his items at relatively affordable prices, it has been something of a gold-mine. In December, Nelson sold a test pressing of Minor Threat’s Out of Step EP for $5,899.99 after putting it on eBay for a modest price of $50. (For the curious folks, the winning bidder paid nearly 118 times the original asking price.)
Some may consider that an infraction of DIY punk rules, but really, it’s the fans who were willing to pay extravagant amounts of money that made the price, well, just that extravagant. Nostalgia seems to be taking hardcore punk fans by force, and Nelson just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Now, Nelson’s not the only musician from hardcore punk’s original class on eBay. Black Flag’s original bass player Chuck Dukowski jumped onto eBay in January, and has begun to unload some of his personal collection online.
Dukowski has a pretty solid collection on eBay. Of course, a lot of it will really appeal to the rabid SST Records fan. Still, there’s an unopened copy of Negativland’s recalled U2 album, and test pressings of BLAST, fIREHOSE and Black Flag albums. While the test pressing of Black Flag’s Wasted Again is currently going for almost twice the original price of what Nelson asked for when he put Out of Step on eBay (that’s $99 to $50), it’s still considerably cheaper than what some fans would be willing to spend on such an album. Especially with Dukowski’s description of the item:
This is an ultra rare “Test Pressing” of BLACK FLAG’s “WASTED AGAIN” compilation.
Not to many of these out there. Definitely under 100 probably in the 20-30 range.
You can berate Dukowski all you want for the pricing if that’s how you choose to spend your time. I, however, would rather compare and rate Dukowski’s item descriptions against that of Nelson’s. And Nelson wins by far. Whereas Dukowski gives short, informative descriptions, Nelson weaves entertaining yarns. Check out Nelson’s description of a Minor Threat/Meatmen/Negative Approach flyer (current asking price: $1.26):
RARE, mint-condition black & white xeroxed flyer (8 1/2″ x 11″ [216mm x 280mm]), for crazy show at The Freezer in Detroit, Michigan on June 18th, 1982. While The Meatmen are listed on the flyer as playing, my notes do not list them as having played. Instead, lineup for that night was Minor Threat, Negative Approach, Whipping Boy, and The Allied. Fighting outside show, cops swarmed the place, and our singer Ian had to chase the concert promoter several blocks to his apartment to get paid. Flyer features life-affirming Pushead illustration, of a punk with good bone structure but bad teeth doing party tricks with a guillotine to impress his girlfriend.
As the flyer information shows, eBay item description writing is an art form that few understand quite like Nelson.
Black Flag (sans Dukowski):