Although I have been involved with record dealing since 2016, when I steadily worked my way up to being in charge of the used record purchases and grading through Funky Moose Records, until I officially stepped away from FMR to focus exclusively on Mile High Vinyl, in late 2022, the most incredible of music and pop culture related gems seemed to only find their way into my hands after starting and centering my focus on my own business.
Though Mile High Vinyl only officially launched as a used online record and music store in late December of 2021, this blog will feature items sold exclusively on my own from June of 2021 onward.
1. MC5 7” Single (I Can Only Give You Everything / One of the Boys) 1967
Estimated sales value: $385 - $1500
Sold in mid-November of 2021, this debut 7” single by the iconic garage rock band who spiked in popularity during the late sixties – early seventies, remains the most sought after and rare item I have sold to date in any format. The reason being, the two tracks included on this 45 were the first to have ever been released or even recorded by the band in 1967, two years before their debut album was released. And although the 7” single itself was only graded as being Good Plus condition, the 45 sounded great and luckily went to a collector from the United States with an unwavering appreciation for the band.
For any listeners unfamiliar with the band, I suggest checking out Kick Out the Jams; a fast paced, catchy tune released on their debut album of the same name in 1969.
2. The Porn Murders VHS Tape (alternative banned cover) 1985
Estimated sales value: $250 and up
If there is one market even more lucrative then vinyl records, it remains the VHS market, which has blown up over the past few years especially. Now the market for VHS doesn’t mean your copy of Rob Schneider's The Animal is going to fetch $200 on Ebay (you’d be lucky to get $2). Classic and obscure horror films will fetch insane money, as well as sealed cinematic classics such as Back to the Future (actor Thomas Wilson, who portrayed Biff Tannen in the film series, recently auctioned off his early, sealed copy for $75,000 USD!)
The Porn Murders, (understandably renamed to Blue Murder) is a cheap, B-grade slasher flick from 1985. Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of it? Finding a copy in pristine condition with the original cover is next to impossible. I was unaware of the rarity until I posted the VHS within a Facebook group, and within a half hour, I had it sold to a collector from the United States who had been in search of a copy for years. Although I sold my copy for a rather high dollar figure, through an Ebay auction, that amount could have easily been double, if not triple that amount. If you come across a copy in excellent condition, expect to get minimum $250.
3. The Deverons 7” Single (She / Farmer John) 1966
Estimated sales value: $75 - $300
During my time working for Funky Moose Records, I came across a Near Mint original Canadian pressing of Chad Allan and the Expressions – Shakin' All Over – Guess Who?, (The Guess Who before they were The Guess Who) which sold for $300 to a collector in Spain. This was one of my best personal finds to date, and became among the first exceptionally rare early Canadian rock albums I have sold. Early Canadian rock, I have found, has been among the most desirable music genre to vinyl collectors.
Years after discovering Shakin' All Over, one of my greatest 7” single discoveries came after purchasing a massive 45 collection in Regina, and as fate would have it, the featured band, The Deverons, included a young Burton Cummings as lead vocalist. Burton also happens to be lead singer of none other than The Guess Who. This became a case of irony since two of my best Canadian rock finds were both closely associated with The Guess Who. Afterall, The Guess Who remains one of the greatest Canadian rock bands, and always will.
Although The Deverons wasn’t sold through Mile High Vinyl, it was ultimately traded for a significant album, which has also found a place on this list.
4. The Ardels 7” Single (Run Hully Gully Boy / Piece of Jewellery) 1966
Estimated sales value: $77 - $350
The Ardels, not to be mistaken for The Ardells (a little-known rock band formed by none other than Steve Miller in 1962) was another Canadian rock act, formed in Etobicoke, just outside Toronto, in 1963. The garage rock band only released one full length studio album in 1964 (an album which will fetch $1000 if you ever came across a copy due to its rarity). However, their best-known song, Piece of Jewellery, was featured on their second released 7” single in 1966.
This holy grail Canadian release was purchased by a collector from the United States. One whose knowledge of 45’s remains far beyond my own. To date, The Ardels 7” single remains yet another substantial discovery within the realm of rare Canadian rock.
5. Rolling Stone Magazine Issues #95 & #96 (Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas issues #1 and #2) 1971
Estimated combined sales value: $200 - $2500 (varies based on condition)
Throughout the early months of 2022, I sold a ton of early pressing Rolling Stone Magazines. The most sought after of the issues sold were issues #95 & #96, which together culminated into the drug fuelled Vietnam protest ballad known as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, written by oddball motherfucker Hunter S. Thompson. The only other issue of the rock and roll editorial more desired by collectors is issue #1, which features John Lennon on the cover. A copy of Issue #1 in pristine condition can from 1967 can fetch anywhere from $1000-$2000.
To collectors of the infamous rock and roll editorial, the prices mentioned here are not the least bit outrageous. No different than vinyl collectors who spend $500 to own a minty, original pressing of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, early Rolling Stone Magazines, in a way, have become a form of fine art. And with the price of both Rolling Stone Magazines and vinyl records continuing to steadily increase from year to year, an investment of either can become something which helps to generate further value in the future. Similar to comic book collectors purchasing first issues of comics to feature Marvel characters before they are cinematically introduced, which becomes an educated investment.
6. Funkadelic – Maggot Brain (1st original US pressing) 1971
Estimated sales value: $80 - $400
I made a trade with a fellow collector from Quebec to receive this record. In hindsight, it may not have been the best trade, considering the value and rarity of the item in which I traded to receive it. With that said, owning an original US pressing of Maggot Brain had always been on my bucket list, ever since hearing the hypnotic guitar playing mastery of Eddie Hazel, showcased within the album’s title track.
The song became a repeat listen on my turntable in the mere months I owned the album before selling it to a customer from Ontario. This was one of only a few times where I purchased an album with the intention of hanging onto it, only to eventually list it for sale. Although I was sad to pack the album up and ship it off, temporary ownership in this business is key to success, otherwise I would be a collector instead of a dealer and would have next to no inventory available through my store. For any vinyl lovers who dig the sound of funk rock, at times, fucked up on acid, Maggot Brain is an absolute must. And if you happen to locate an original pressing, you can expect to sell that sexy piece of wax for anywhere from $80 for a Good Plus copy, to $400 for a Near Mint copy. Be forewarned, some first pressings can be worth more or less than others. Mine held solid value due to rarity, but some might not be worth as much as my formally owned Very Good copy.
7. Rolling Stone Magazine, Issue #3 (The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour) 1967
Estimated sales value: $50 - $500
Once again, we are back to Rolling Stone Magazines. This time around, a very early issue from December 14th, 1967, among the rarest to come by, which was sold in early 2022 to a customer from Manitoba. The magazine itself was a work of pure art, from the advertisements, to the print on the slightly yellowed pages.
What made early Rolling Stone Magazines from the late sixties particularly interesting was the fact that they were printed in a similar manner to the morning newspaper. This brought more of a vintage aspect to the printed pages. Also, with The Beatles being on the front cover during the height of their psychedelic phase, which brought about some of their more experimental hits, this issue becomes a must for any hardcore fans of the Fab Four. And for the specific collector who purchased the issue, it became a missing piece within a substantial Rolling Stone Magazine collection she had been in search of for years.
8. Gin Blossoms (New Miserable Experience) 2017
Estimated sales value: $35 - $123
This record came as a part of a consignment deal, I had through Mile High Vinyl with a good friend and vinyl collector. Being a sealed copy, the album sold for top dollar. And considering that it was a reissue from 2017, it was worth far more then I would have ever thought. A customer from British Colombia quickly snatched this baby up.
Gin Blossoms released New Miserable Experience in August of 1992 (exactly a month before I was born) which was initially met with lackluster sales and reviews, only for “Hey Jealously” to enter the Top 40 nearly a year after the albums initial release. To date, the album has sold more than four million copies. And for anyone in search of a CD copy which will cost you substantially less than the vinyl version (two dollars Canadian), a CD copy is currently for sale through Mile High Vinyl.
9. Rush 7” Single (Lakeside Park / Bastille Day) 1975
Estimated sales value: $30 - $250
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have more than likely heard of the band Rush. And whether you love them or hate them, due mostly to Geddy Lee’s “distinctive” vocal chops, the bands mainstream success and effect on Canadian music has been undeniable.
Following the release of their debut, self-titled album in March of 1974, Rush released only a handful of 7” singles (their first 7” single Not Fade Away / You Can’t Fight It released in 1973 has fetched as much as $1900 online) which makes their early 7” singles particularly valuable. This specific 45 contained two songs by the band which aren’t as well-known as hits such as Tom Sawyer or Moving Pictures which are commonly associated with Rush. But to a collector with an authentic love for the band, this 7” single would be a must. The customer from Ontario who had purchased this 45 had been hunting for it for years, which led to a great deal of appreciation when he finally received it. Knowing that I helped to fill that missing piece within his collection makes running Mile High Vinyl all the more satisfying.
10. Sarah McLachlan (Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and the Freedom Sessions) 1997
Estimated sales value: $50 - $200
The last sold item featured within this list relates to an original pressing album by Canadian songstress Sarah McLachlan, during the height of her illustrious career. This 2LP, which is incredibly difficult to come by, featured bonus track I Will Remember You, quite arguably her best song.
Sold to a customer from Ontario, I’m sure she will enjoy the wonderous singing of Sarah McLachlan for years to come.
Judging from the volume of Canadian bands and musicians featured within this list, it goes without saying that the talent pool within our beautiful country is immense and diverse which has resulted in music collectors, no matter the format, eager to buy rare, difficult to find items.
In closing, we currently live in a world where there exists a collector's market. And although the current price of specific items may seem costly, it’s important to keep in mind that a lot of these items are not being reproduced in their original form. So if you’re able to locate any of the sold items within this list I have compiled from sales through Mile High Vinyl over the past year and a half, I hope you use this as a guide and possibly make a purchase if you locate any of these items in the wild. If not for your own enjoyment, then perhaps for the potential enjoyment of collectors who have been searching for whatever you may come across down the road.