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Back in February the Siren wrote about Paul Mawhinney. Due to health issues and the dire straits of the vinyl record industry he had decided to sell his entire archive of vinyl records, all 3 million of them. At the time of that article it was reported that the winning bid was $3,002,150. Although with the discovery of the video below (bestowed upon me from schneiderism) it appears that his collection did not sell.
It seems that the 3 million dollar price tag might be the largest obstacle for those that would be interested in purchasing the collection (the Siren included), but in an age of eccentric millionaires who create their own airlines and space exploration programs someone who can afford it must be interested. Apparently there isn’t. Why is that? Why is it that the greatest collection of music from the 20th century (and then some) cannot find a home? Have the high speed lights of technology so blinded us to the importance of preservation that it is now assumed that everything is replaceable?
It has been pointed out that this collection, as an archive of EVERYTHING contains a lot of crap, and I’d be quick to respond that the importance of this collection goes beyond the value of any individual record and it’s the comprehensiveness that is important. Imagine what the investigation of all the music of the 20th century would reveal about us as humans. It is Pompeii! It is Atlantis!
Aside from selling to a private collector I don’t know what attempts have been made to preserve the collection. Has the Library of Congress been approached to take the archive? Would they even want it? The collection must be preserved in it’s entirety. To break up a collection as comprehensive and rare as this would be unthinkable.
And so, I appeal to the eccentric millionaires of the world, you are needed now like no other time in history. This is your hour. Buy this collection. Preserve it so we can know it, study it, learn from it. So that we know how good our music can be. How bad our music can be. How shallow, vapid, and evil. How uplifting, triumphant and beautiful. Save the favorite songs, the sell-outs, the first dances, the Pepsi commercials. Save the teenybop, the boogie, and the the punk. Pizza parlors, dim basements and Nash back seats. It’s all in there. Please, save the music. Because the music is us.