Dinosaur Jr week, day 3, and today I'm moving on to a different record.
I'm pretty sure that 'Bug' is widely regarded as the band's finest moment and best record. It originally came out in 1988, and was released by SST Records, although it has subsequently been reissued on no less than eleven different labels! The first time I heard the band at all was back in 1989, when they featured on the soundtrack to the Santa Cruz Speed Wheels video 'Speed Freaks'. At that age I was a young skateboarder, falling in love with all the weird music that featured so heavily on skate videos of the day. As a result, Dinosaur Jr, and especially their third album 'Bug', will always have a special place in my heart.
A few weeks ago I was looking at something on eBay. I don't even remember what it was. But at the bottom of the screen I noticed another item under the banner of 'People who viewed this item also viewed' which caught my eye. It was a purple vinyl copy of 'Bug'. Now, I already owned 'bug' on purple vinyl and I've seen many other copies over the years. But this copy on eBay was a solid purple vinyl. I'd never seen such a colour before. The only copies I had ever seen were on clear purple vinyl. So I clicked on it and ... BANG!... the countdown timer jumped out of the screen and hit me in the face. There was just over one minute left on the auction! I had sixty seconds to decide how much I wanted this thing and how much to bid. Usually I like to watch an auction, try to guage the rarity and the interest, and decide how much I would be happy to pay. With this thing I had literally one minute. So I did what anyone would do. I panicked and entered some stupidly high number. Fortunately, I won it for a lot less, which was probably something to do with it being based in France.
It's crazy that I have been collecting records for twenty years or so and never seen this thing. Not sure whether it is simply rare or uber rare. I'm not even sure whether it is a pressing in it's own right or perhaps some kind of transition press where only a few were made accidentally. Who knows? Anyway, I dug out my other copy so that you could see the difference between this version and the 'normal' aka 'more common' clear purple vinyl.
The clear purple was one of the first records I ever bought. I bought it in 1992 in a shop in Wickford, Essex called Adrian's. What I remember quite distinctly was that they had two copies out in the rack - one on black vinyl, and one on purple. It was one of those life defining moments, and in my opinion pretty much sums up record collecting. So, as I said, there were two copies for sale. The interesting thing was the price. The black vinyl copy was £8.00, whereas the purple vinyl was £8.50. Now, a lot of people I knew then and have met over the years who are not collectors said (or would say) that there was no way that they would pay an extra £0.50 just to get a colour vinyl version. They thought it was a pointless waste of money. Me, on the other hand, couldn't wait to hand over the extra money, and wondered how anyone could possibly not choose the purple copy. And so began my whole coloured plastic adventure...