Monday, 5 October 2009
What Value a Music Collection?
Read has just been declared bankrupt for the umpteenth time since his heyday in the 1980s and as a consequence must sell his entire collection comprising approximately 120,000 items in the hope that it will raise £1M. Like John Peel, a large part of his residence is given over to storing all this stuff and now it’s got to go. I have no truck with Read, but I have to sympathise with his plight even though my own collection is less than one percent the size of his. To lose my collection would be like cutting off my own arm.
It is a part of me that has grown over 40 years of my life. It has become a diary of events, cataloguing the social history of not just me but society as a whole. Sixties protest, the summer of love, punk, the eighties boom years and the rise of technology are all represented in musical form. All my choices are laid bare from the inspired to the downright silly although admittedly some of the latter have been expunged from the record over the years.
Anyone looking my collection would have a pretty good insight into me as a person and this is why it is so difficult to part company with it and why I will clutch it to me until the day I die. I have no idea how Mike Read feels about it but I would guess that he is pretty devastated. But who will buy it? It’s a bit like buying someone else’s shoes – they’ll never quite fit and will mean nothing to them in the long term. No doubt most bids will come from the asset stripping community, keen to sell off the most valuable items and send the rest to the nearest charity shop. It doesn’t bear thinking about.
What’s worse is that my own children as inheritors of my precious collection will probably do exactly the same.