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Re: Spectrum/Stereolab 7"

Hello Lab folk,

I read this thread with interest as it mentions me and talks about what was a very interesting situation at the time. I thought I'd tell the full tale and set the record straight.

Stereolab and Spectrum were due to play a show together at London's Garage on Highbury Corner. I was buying loads of great Spacemen 3 and related things from Sonic Boom/Pete Kember at that time and I knew he planned to give a record away at the show. I was a huge Spacemen 3 fan and remain so to this day. Runcible Records specialised in anything Spacemen 3 related so we had a healthy working relationship and a lot of fun too. Pete was coming to my house regularly and we'd hang out, listen to music and trade stuff. About a week before the gig I heard he'd been taken ill - turned out to be a collapsed lung and he was very poorly for a while.

When he recovered he got back in touch and after a bit of chat about his condition and recovery I asked him about the single for the now abandoned gig. In the meantime Stereolab had released French Disko and had become very popular - worth noting as they were a smaller act than Spectrum when the gig was originally planned. I kept saying 'you must have pressed test pressings at least' and hassled for one as I was such an avid Spacemen collector I really wanted one. Eventually he said there were just 3 copies but as a result of my harranging him he decided to press a total of 25. Some had to go to Stereolab, some to a couple of other people and I would get one free as it had been my hassles that had made him decide to do it. We discussed the costs and as it was not a cheap thing to get Silvertone to press them up a starting price of 80 was set. Mad money some thought, others saw a shrewd investment opportunity. The day arrived and the uncut sleevs and the 7"s came to my house and I cut up the sleeves myself and put everything together. The whole lot sold in about an hour. I could have sold loads more.

That's sort of it on the actual record front. One day Pete said he was selling his original copy - #1/25 - with the glued up sleeve all the others had been copied from. Naturally I bought it and kept it so I had a spare for a few years before selling it a friend. The idea of me using these as beermats is preposterous Imight add - I am a vinyl fan and treasure my copy. Then I read copies were selling for 500 each, and the highest I heard was 750. I still have mine - no way would I sell something like that. At one point I had a list of where every copy was but Runcible closed and I lost track.

That's roughly it. Not sure about self-publicity (or being terribly clever) as I'm rather a shy bloke really. Yes I went off the Lab many years ago - I wanted loud droning guitar noise rather than pretty songs and I lost interest big time. I loved Stereolab for many years but when the drone guitar was put away and the handclaps took over that was it. I still play the noisy stuff from years ago and have fond memories of Tim droning away behind a wall of guitar noise. These days I am in the wine industry and a moderator on the Spiritualized forum where I hang out most of the time. Come and visit - it's a friendly place!

Good luck to y'all. Nice to see mentions of Runcible Records - long since demised now. I am still a music fan and I still crave guitar noise like the old days. Bardo Pond, The Heads, Wooden Shjips, Magic Lantern all float my boat big time. Just keep the volume up and the distortion on and I'm there.


Oct 05, 2009, 23:17


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