Monday, July 25, 2011

What a Story at The Virginia Vintage Comics Show!

I really had another topic that I wanted to get into but will save that for Wednesday (BIG announcement....). The Virginia Vintage Comics show was another success for yours truly and many thanks go out to Roger Mannon for running another great show.

That isn't the real story at all - not by a long shot. I just got in the building and hadn't unloaded a single book when I saw a record album up on Roger Mannon's display board. It wasn't an album that I had ever seen before so I went to get a closer look. As I was holding the record and checking it out, another dealer, Banks Robinson said that I was holding a $700 dollar album in my hands. My eyes certainly went wide on that little piece of information so I had to look at it closer (You can see a larger version of the album cover by clicking on the thumbnail at left - sorry for the reflection but this lil' gem was still in its original shrinkwrap!). Immediately, I saw that Roger himself was the young fellow on the far right. The band's name was Virgil Caine - named after the confederate soldier made famous by the song "The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down"

The ever-so-humble Mr. Mannon said that I could get the whole story from some other guy across the room but I stayed put until he told me a little bit about it. Turns out that Roger and his two friends recorded the album in 1971 on a back porch using a Sears reel-to-reel tape recorder. Roger explained that he didn't understand it but there are small pockets of underground folk fans that really like the album. He showed me a webpage printout that showed that the album sold in an auction on eBay for $699 dollars! WOW!

Roger explained that a guy called him up and offered $10 for 10 copies - Roger said sure as he had a few copies around the house and was surprised that anybody wanted them, much less 10 copies. The guy called up a few weeks later and said that he would pay $40 for any copy left - that gave Roger a reason to pause. Roger said that the sound quality was not good and that one track on the album, "The Great Lunar Oil Strike, 1976" was the track that people seemed to like the most. Roger indicated that their might be a re-release of the album some day.

So far, I have been able to listen to the first two tracks of the album and while it is not professional studio quality, it is ANYTHING but bad sound quality. This band was talented and I can readily understand how fans are still clamoring for a re-release. I hope that the band will get it digitally remastered and get it on a site like CD Baby or some MP3 site where they can get some royalties for this Blue Ridge Mountain 1970's classic. Me? I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of the album tonight!

You just never know what stories people have created in their lifetimes....
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