Yes, they break if you sit on them, shoot ’em, step on them, run them over. Sometimes 78’s break if you look at ’em the wrong way. Here’s my collection of broken discs and how they got that way.
From the top photo we find Tampa Red- Mercy Mama b/w Drifting (RCA)— fell out of the sleeve and onto the floor—crack! Miss Lee Morse and Her Blue Grass Boys– Everybody Loves My Baby But My Baby Don’t Love No Body But Me b/w Better Shoot Straight With Your Mama (Perfect, colored shellac) held too tight by an idiot I let look through my country 78’s. Rev A. Nix & his Congregation- Black Diamond Express To Hell pt 1 b/w pt 2 (Vocalion) It was fine when I found it, when I got it home it developed a pressure crack– I think it committed suicide.
Blind Lemon Jefferson- Bad Luck Blues b/w Broke and Hungry (Paramount) An old girlfriend — Dr. Sarah Covington, author of The Trial Of Martyrdom: Persecution and Resistance In Sixteenth-Century England (University Of Notre Dame Press, 2003) found a whole pile of Pre-War 78’s up in Connecticut, mostly jazz but a few blues discs where in there. She was bringing two Blind Lemon 78’s back to New York City as a present for me and in Grand Central Station a big fat guy bumped into her, knocking the records out of her hands. Luckily the other disc– Blind Lemon’s Black Snake Moan (Okeh) survived the crash.
Furry Lewis- Mean Ole Bed Bug Blues b/w Why Don’t You Come Home Blues (Vocalion) This one lived under the sink at Bob Quine’s mom’s house for thirty years undisturbed. While bringing it back to New York (as a present for me) it got cracked. Quine couldn’t remember how it happened (he managed to get several dozen other 78’s to NYC for me, all in perfect condition. I called record dealer and collector John Tefteller to ask if there was anyway to fix it and he told me a copy had recently sold for almost four grand, adding “I’d have paid that for it”. And a great record too! Damn….
Third photo from top: Roy Milton- Milton’s Boogie b/w Groovy Blues (Specialty) I dropped it when I was drunk. Swallows- It Feels So Good b/w I’ll Be Waiting (King, DJ promo) I have no idea how this one got broken. Johnny Ace- Yes, Baby b/w Saving My Love For You (Duke) Cracked when flipping through the records, must’ve had a pressure crack in it I never saw.
Lightnin’ Hopkins- Prayin’ Ground Blues b/w Gotta Move Boogie (Sittin’ In With) Destroyed by the movers when I moved from the E. Village to Chelsea, the only record that got broken, and a good one too. Especially the instrumental b-side.
Bottom Photo (45’s): Kip Tyler & the Flips- She’s My Witch b/w Rumble Rock (Ebb) Destroyed when the fill in DJ following my show at WFMU threw his pile of records on top of mine in the record rack. I should have killed the prick. I did manage to replace it, but this copy, bought at the old Tower Records parking lot flea market in Hollywood cost $5, the replacement cost $40.
Kid Thomas- Wolf Pack b/w The Spell (Federal) See last week’s Kid Thomas posting for the story on this one. I’ve since found a 78 but I still need a replacement 45. Eddie Cochran– Jeanie Jeanie Jeanie b/w Pocket Full Of Hearts (Liberty) Another WFMU fuck up, basically the same story as the Kip Tyler record. Still haven’t found another copy (it’s not even rare, I just refuse to pay $30 for it).
Breaks your fucking heart, eh?