As they say, the early bird catches the worm. And if ever there was a moment in time to fall into place, it was at the opening of David Bowie Is….. at the Museu Del Disseny De Barcelona.
Taking many collectors by surprise was the recent announcement of the red 7″ vinyl pressing for “I’m Afraid Of Americans”. Despite the below par sleeve artwork, what three most collectors was the distinct lack of other releases for the event. With this in mind, the race was on to get hold of the little red vinyl on day one.
I made my way down to be first in line around 8 am. The damn thing wasn’t open until 10 am but I’ll be sweetly buggered if I was going to miss a copy of this record. As most of you reading this know, previous releases for this exhibit have been sold out in record time, only to arrive on eBay within hours for crazy sums of money. And the desperate fans will pay those horse shit prices as well!
The doors opened promptly at 10 am sharp and we all filed in and down an escalator to the exhibition entrance. It took a bit to find but we soon latched eyes on the shop selling Bowie merch. The only problem was, we had to scan our tickets and the be shoe horned straight into the exhibition. What the staff failed to understand was that most of the early birds wanted to make a bee line for the red vinyl. At first, the gallery were hesitant, informing us that we could go after we had been through the exhibition.
Like fuck I was waiting!
So I led the charge past the confused staff and into the merchandise area where I soon set eyes on the prize. I raced over and grabbed myself a copy and one for my mate in Oz, Bruce who helped sort me on Record Store Day this year. Others soon grab fist loads. One guy jagged over 30 copies and made his route for the tills before anyone realised what was going on. Greedy bastard!
I can fully understand getting one extra, maybe two for other friends who would have helped you out in the past but others were also grabbing 5, 7 and 10 copies. Within 4 minutes or so, they were all gone! When others realised this, voices began to raise towards clueless staff who had no idea what was going on. Apparently, the store opened last night which allowed a few people to get some things before opening day.
Museum staff soon managed to locate another 40 or so copies but they too went in seconds which still left many frustrated fans. Not even an I-Select red vinyl LP to soothe the frustrated punters who missed out. Actually, compared to previous Bowie Is…. ventures in other cities, the overall standard of merchandise was shite if I am being honest about it. You know me and my feelings towards modern collecting anyway.
One English lady who had flown in from London was in tears because she was unable to get a copy of “I’m Afraid Of Americans”. This instantly reminded me of the greedy bugger at the start who swooped up 30 copies. Tempers were fraying by now so I made a move for the tills and thought it best I make an escape for the actual exhibition we had all come to see.
At the end of the day, Bowie collecting has become an enormous cash cash over the past decade. Sure, I have missed out on a lot of items though I’m not that mentally challenged to pay £750 for a “Let’s Dance” yellow vinyl 7″. Still, plenty of “completists” are and there in lays the problem.
I’ll write more about the actual exhibition proper and my adventures in Barcelona later tonight after some kip.