Should We Boycott Record Store Day?
AS everyone knows, Record Store Day is to hipsters what Valentine’s Day is to the romantics. It’s enforced fun where naysayers chirp “you shouldn’t need a designated day to show someone you love them/buy records” and generally, everyone is quite annoying about it on both sides of the fence.
Of course, the people who really like RSD are those who love to queue for hours and touts.
Regarding the latter, Paul Weller, complete with his old lady’s haircut, has called for a boycott on the event, after copies of his limited 45 ‘Brand New Toy’ were being sold on eBay for hiked-up prices.
He said attacked touts on his website and said that online sale of records “goes against the whole philosophy” behind the annual event.
“I agree with all of you who have sent messages expressing your anger and disappointment at the exploitation of these “limited editions” by touts. Apart from making the record, the rest has very little to do with me but I am disheartened by the whole thing and unfortunately I won’t be taking part in Record Store Day again.”
“It’s such a shame because as you know I am a big supporter of independent record stores but the greedy touts making a fast buck off genuine fans is disgusting and goes against the whole philosophy of RSD. It only takes a few to spoil a wonderful concept for everyone else. Shame on those touts.”
A statement on the Record Store Day website replied. Organisers said they are “disappointed” that touts are exploiting the event and that thanks to only 500 copies of the single being available, “some re-selling was expected.
“We share Paul Weller’s frustration at evidence that ‘Brand New Toy’ has been offered for sale on eBay, and we are disappointed that despite our best efforts to drive out the touts, once again some people are seeking to exploit the goodwill of artists and labels by selling RSD exclusives at vastly-inflated prices on eBay,” RSD said.
“At just 500 copies Paul Weller’s ‘Brand New Toy’ was one of the most limited editions available on RSD and so some re-selling was expected. However, thanks to the measures we have taken on re-sales, overall the number of complaints about unauthorised sales this year is well down on previous years, though we continue to monitor eBay on an hour-by-hour basis.??We clearly cannot control the activities of members of the public, but the Record Store Day Code of Conduct makes it clear that any store found to be complicit in unauthorised sales on eBay faces being banned from future events.”
“Record Store Day would not exist without the support and commitment of artists and labels and we take our responsibility to them very seriously.”
So, if Paul Weller is boycotting the event, should everyone else?
Here’s a better idea – RSD should completely ignore established acts like Weller, Jack White and other participants who don’t need the exposure. RSD should be about those bands that are only ever championed by local indies. If they pushed new and obscure acts and, if they wanted to get a famous person involved, have them do something instore… otherwise, ignore the already famous.
The thing everyone likes about record shops is the tip-offs onto new and unheard stuff (certainly not customer service with a smile); so for RSD2015, let’s completely ignore any Bowie 45s or sevens released by Blur.
It isn’t, and shouldn’t be about that lot.