There are few phenomena more likely to cause unsustainable rises in music geeks’ blood pressure than that of the eBay record profiteer. They are an easily identifiable fixture on Record Store Day; a couple of dozen men (always men) in shabby trench coats and military surplus rucksacks, twitchily fingering dogeared lists.
These little parasites are an irritation with which record shops and punters have simply had to learn to deal. But this year the scourge seemed even more egregious – because they were profiting from a cancer charity’s fundraising efforts.
Just up the road from the cash till thrum of Rough Trade East, a gallery called Idea Generation was hosting an exhibition of ‘Secret 7″‘s. Several hundred artists had been invited to create artwork for one of seven tracks. The Cure, DJ Shadow, and Shouty Florence were amongst those who donated tracks; Robert Smith, David Shrigley, and Central Station were amongst the artists. The rules were simple: pick a sleeve you like. You don’t know who the artist is, or which track is inside. All the pieces are £40. All proceeds go to the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Well, with crippling inevitability, some charming chap (I’m willing to bet it’s a chap) calling himself ‘rock-collectibles’ has already had the forethought to put the handmade Robert Smith ‘Friday I’m In Love’ cover up on eBay. The auction has eight days left to run – and it’s up to £1,000. And the fucker has the audacity to charge £4.50 for economy delivery.