Written by Monkey Woods

Monday, 22 June 2009

image for Man Suicidal After Selling Durutti Column LP
This isn't the record

A Hull man was described by men in white coats as "suicidal" today after he sold his prized possession - a copy of the much-sought-after Durutti Column album The Return Of The Durutti Column - on eBay for a fraction of its real worth.

The man, who had owned the aforementioned vinyl record for 30 years, had been 'in two minds' about selling the item, and having owned it for so long, had come to regard it more as a 'member of the family', than a useless piece of black plastic.

The Return Of The Durutti Column (FACT 14) was issued in 1979 by Factory Records, formerly of Manchester, and is an iconic album, not least because of its physical presentation - it comes packaged in a sandpaper sleeve!

The idea behind this was a strange take on a Situationist joke - a book, Guy Debord's Mémoires, which had a sandpaper cover to destroy other books placed next to it on the shelf. Likewise, the Durutti Column album would ruin the cover of any album placed next to it in one's collection.

A further twist to this fact, is that the now-dead boss of Factory, Anthony Wilson, assigned the job of assembling the record sleeves to the members of then-fledgling Manchester band, Joy Division, featuring the also-now-dead singer Ian Curtis, as well as the future members of New Order, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris.

Whilst Curtis used spittle and glue to stick the sandpaper covers together, the rest of the band watched porn films, meaning that it is more than likely that anyone who has a copy of the 'sandpaper' album, would have a sample of Curtis' DNA in their collection.

The band's name is derived from a misspelling of the name Buenaventura Durruti, who led a column of anarchists during the Spanish Civil War (the Durruti Column). A 1967 Situationist International poster included the phrase "The Return of the Durutti Column", which eventually became the title of the group's first album.

The music was unlike anything else being recorded by post-punk acts at the time. Although main protagonist, Vini Reilly, identified himself as a "new wave" artist, the record contained nine gentle guitar instrumentals described by some music lovers as "the sound of Jack Frost dancing on a windowpane". The music included elements of jazz, folk, classical music and rock. Martin Hannett's production included the addition of electronic rhythm and other sound effects, including echo, reverberation, and birdsong on 'Sketch for Summer'.

Despite all this though, the fact that the man was moving to another country where records tend to warp in the heat, had resulted in his decision to sell his prized possession, which he then left with his mother to post once a buyer had paid for it.

Speaking from a mental detention centre near his Southeast-Asian hideaway today, the man moaned:

"I met this record before I met me wife. It feels like a divorce."

There was some good news this morning, however, as the buyer, who had bid £111.21 for the record, still had not paid for it, which means the divorce is not yet final.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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Topics: Music

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