The Big Hurt: Fire sales

Plus, this week in tedious headlines
By DAVID THORPE  |  March 4, 2008


The world’s largest collection of recorded music has gone up for auction on eBay with a starting bid of $3 million. It includes millions of vinyl LPs and more than 300,000 CDs. Impressive as that may seem, I get a weird feeling it would be a huge letdown. Imagine bringing it home and cracking open thousands of crates one by one, only to see all the same PETER FRAMPTON and CARPENTERS LPs you’d find at some Salvation Army. You’d be like, “Shit, I’ve already got all this stuff.”

Estimated to be worth around $50 million, the collection doesn’t appear to have fetched even its modest starting price. The high bidder, an Irish guy who’d bought a few DVDs here and there, has since been banned from eBay — not a good sign. The auction will likely be relisted, so if you have a few million sitting in your PayPal account . . .

In other auction news: Neverland may be up for sale soon. MICHAEL JACKSON’s palatial menagerie of undisguised psychosexual horrors is in grave danger of foreclosure, and the singer must now pay off his ungodly debt to keep it from going under the gavel. Reports claim that all the exotic animals have been removed, however, so don’t worry about them getting squished.

Dullest music headline of the week: “PRETENDERS Frontwoman Supports Ohio Public Transport.” Runner-up: “Jury Duty For MADONNA?” I swear to God I didn’t make these up.

The Caribbean island of Barbados has named local hero RIHANNA its honorary cultural ambassador. Befitting her elite station, the singer showed just how cultured she is by purchasing 35 grand worth of paintings by pop artist and ironic T-shirt designer TODD GOLDMAN, who made news recently with well-founded allegations that he’s been ripping off other artists and selling their ideas as his own for years. Maybe Rihanna didn’t know. She’s worked with TIMBALAND, though, so I guess she’s pretty chill about plagiarism accusations.

Rapper T-PAIN has expressed a desire to work with LIMP BIZKIT visionary FRED DURST. Add another chapter to hip-hop’s sordid history of having bafflingly shitty taste in rock.

The gossip columns are abuzz with the news that GOOD CHARLOTTE’s BENJI MADDEN is the latest unfortunate to be sucked into PARIS HILTON’s gynovortex. Let’s hope he dies in there. For those of you who amuse yourselves with degrees-of-separation games: Benji’s idiot brother, JOEL MADDEN, sired a calf with erstwhile Hilton co-hag NICOLE RICHIE.

Once in a while, JOHNNY MARR comes down from whatever outdated genius monastery he inhabits and blesses a lucky band with his guitar magic. Having spent the past year as a full-fledged member of Modest Mouse, he’s now hanging with the CRIBS. Will he give them the golden Marr touch that’s bolstered so many legendary UK indie acts? Like, remember HAVEN? Huh? Or remember MARION, whose lead singer got addicted to heroin and was caught stealing garden gnomes for junk money? Remember? Best of luck, Cribs.

The drummer of BLUR is gonna be running for Parliament. I don’t know whether he’s a Common or a Lord or got his O-levels or what, because I have no understanding of British politics and I’m unwilling to do even the cursory research required to figure out what the hell I’m talking about. One way or another, he’ll be wearing a wig.

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Related: The year the music thrived, The Big Hurt: Pop eroticism, faux sincerity, and sperm motility, MySpace celebrity, More more >
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