05. Death’s Wheel
06. Black Trinity
07. House Of Doom
08. The Omega Circle
05. Death’s Wheel
06. Black Trinity
07. House Of Doom
08. The Omega Circle
Written By Robert Ham
The estate of Dimebag Darrell and Dean Guitars have won a lawsuit filed against them by a man who alleged that he hadn’t been compensated for the sale of replicas of the late Pantera co-founder’s “Dean From Hell” guitar.
Buddy Webster, aka Buddy Blaze, brought the copyright suit against the estate as well as Armadillo Enterprises, the parent company of Dean Guitars, which made the original instrument and has sold replicas of the Dean ML guitar used by Darrell.
The crux of Webster’s claim, according to the suit, which was filed first at the U.S. District Court in Central California before being transferred to the Middle District of Florida, is that he was responsible for the design of the “visual look for the guitar… a unique blue background with lightning emanating from the center of the guitar body.”
Webster alleges that he and the guitarist were friends when Pantera was getting their start in the ‘80s and that, after Darrell had sold the guitar, he purchased it secretly and “modified the neck of the guitar, changed some of the hardware and stripped the paint” as well as adding the new artwork. He then gifted the new Dean ML to his friend, which, according to the lawsuit, quickly “became his signature guitar.”
After Darrell’s murder in 2004, Webster apparently worked with Dean Guitars to produce a similar instrument, sold as the “Buddy Blaze Signature Model.” According to the suit, the manufacturer went on to sell further reissues without giving Webster credit or money for his work.
In a motion filed in June of this year, Darrell’s estate and Armadillo Enterprises countered that Webster had no claim to the graphic on the guitar, stating that it was really the work of artist Craig Patchin who painted the design after receiving instructions from Webster. And because Webster wasn’t even around for the painting of the design, he can’t be considered owner of the copyright. The motion also states that Patchin recently signed over the rights to the lightning graphic to Darrell’s estate, making it the sole owner.
While Darrell’s estate hasn’t commented on the ruling of the District Court, Evan Rubinson, President and CEO of Dean Guitars, took to Facebook to post his relief at the results.
“After a long-fought battle to defend the legacy that is #DimebagDarrell, we emerged victorious on summary judgment on every single claim by Buddy Blaze (Webster). Dean Guitars & the Dimebag Darrell Estate are pleased to announce that we are back & better than ever!”
Written By Evan Bleier
It’s been neither confirmed nor denied that he’ll be having a bat-flavored cake, but Osbourne is celebrating his 7oth birthday today.
Had he not cleaned up his act and gotten sober, the high school dropout made good as the frontman for Black Sabbath likely would no longer be with us.
Sober or not, Osbourne has always had a penchant for drawing attention—be it for biting the head off a bat onstage, peeing on the Alamo while wearing a woman’s gown or snorting a line of ants because nothing else was available—and a mouth on him to match. (His wife, Sharon, has a similar affliction.)
Since Osbourne has created both stellar songs and great sound bites over the course of his 70 years, we thought it’d be good practice to collect some of the best of them.
In honor of the Ozzman turning seven decades young, let’s get this train off the rails with 13 of the craziest things Osbourne has said over the years.
No. 1 – On what a bat tastes like: “Immediately, though, something felt wrong. Very wrong. For a start, my mouth was instantly full of this warm, gloopy liquid, with the worst aftertaste you could ever imagine. I could feel it staining my teeth and running down my chin. Then the head in my mouth twitched.”
No. 2 – On how people perceive him: “People take me too damn serious. I mean, I have sung songs about the darker forces, but I’ve also written songs about everything across the spectrum from pollution to politics to war to poverty to happiness to a boy meets girl. People go, ‘Oh, Ozzy Osbourne. He bites the heads off things and pissed up the Alamo.’ I kinda feel typecast … What I’ve desperately tried to get across is that if you think you know Ozzy Osbourne, you’re only scratching the surface because I don’t even know Ozzy Osbourne. I so often frequently surprise me, you know?”
No. 3 – On Black Sabbath’s (perceived) interest in the dark arts: “We couldn’t conjure up a fart. We’d get invitations to play witches’ conventions and black masses in Highgate Cemetery. I honestly thought it was a joke. We were the last hippie band—we were into peace. I never did this black-magic stuff. The reason I did “Mr. Crowley” on my first solo album [Blizzard of Ozz, 1980] was that everybody was talking about Aleister Crowley. Jimmy Page bought his house, and one of my roadies worked with one of his roadies. I thought, ‘Mr. Crowley, who are you? Where are you from?’ But people would hear the song and go, “He’s definitely into witchcraft.”
No. 4– On a manicure infection almost killing him: “I was in hospital for a couple of days and had emergency surgery, and I remember waking up in the morning and Sharon said: ‘What the f**k have you done to your hand?’ The funny thing is they reckon I got it from a manicure. It won’t stop me from heading to the U.K. in February. I’m right-handed. You can’t wipe your own ass. And I didn’t have many f**king volunteers who would do it for me.”
No. 5 – On his experience using drugs: “It was always fun in the early days of Black Sabbath, when I stayed away from heavy drugs. Then someone gave me cocaine and I went, ‘Hallelujah!’ I thought I’d found the meaning of life! But everything I tried after that was the same. The ﬁrst hit was the best but I would never get the same hit again—morphine, f**king Demerol, Vicodins, f**king quaaludes, you name it, LSD, speed. It eventually stopped working or rather I stopped working with it. I just started to isolate. I would lock myself in a room all flicking day and just do paintings and watch a big-screen TV. I became a TV f**king ﬁend. I never shot up smack. I tried heroin once and I didn’t like it. It frightened me.”
No. 6 – On why he doesn’t talk politics: “I don’t understand them. I don’t. I don’t understand how we all go nuts for a few months to get the people into office and then they never do a f**kin’ thing they said they were gonna do anyway! If there’s a job ad in the newspaper saying ‘Builder wanted’ and you show up for the job and they say ‘Can you do this?’ and you say ‘Yeah, yeah!’ And they go ‘Start Monday’ and then Monday they say ‘Can you do what you said?’ and you say ‘No,’ you’d be f**kin’ fired! So what’s the deal with politicians, eh? I don’t get it. They should all start to play rock and roll, I think.”
No. 7 – On his wife making him who he is: “It’s true to say that if it wasn’t for Sharon, I wouldn’t be here. Yeah, I’d be dead. She has helped make me the man I am today. Through tough love and pushing me. In the ’70s I was so scared I wouldn’t go on stage. I’d sing on the side of the stage. And she said, ‘Here’s a cordless mic, f**king work that stage!’ She just bulldozed me into becoming what I am now.”
No. 8 – On getting old: “The hardest thing about getting old is all my good friends are dead. My problem, really, is I don’t remember I’m 70 [said when he was 69]. I don’t really know what 70-year-old people are supposed to do. So I just do my own thing.”
No. 9 – On what has kept his marriage going: “I suppose it’s fair to say we love each other. I love her, and she loves me. She was brought up in a music industry, so she’s not like a schoolteacher who married a rock star. But that’s a very good question. There’s no other woman I really want to spend the rest of my life with. You make a mistake and you learn by it. She’s made a few mistakes, and so have I. You know when you hear these people go, ‘Oh, we’ve been married 35 years and we’ve never had a row.’ I go, ‘You must have been living in a different f**king country.’ Sometimes, I’ve looked at my wife and I’ve just been angry as f**k, and vice versa. Other times, I go, ‘F**k, I love you.’”
No. 10 – On if he would change anything: “No, I wouldn’t change a thing. If I changed anything, I wouldn’t be where I am now. ‘Road to Nowhere’ is about how none of us know where we’re gonna go. I had no idea when we did our first Black Sabbath album, 50 years up the road, I’d be doing all these shows in front of 20,000 people like we had last night,” he continues. “I thought, ‘This will be good for a couple of albums and I’ll get a few chicks along the way.’ I left Sabbath and I did a great thing on my own. I met Randy Rhoads. He was a phenomenal guy. My life has just been unbelievable. You couldn’t write my story; you couldn’t invent me.”
No. 11 – On life on the road (which he once summed up as “a bag of dope, a gram of coke, and as many chicks as I could bang.”): “Well, if you were going to have sex, you had to shove your willy somewhere. But, you know, been a long time since those days. And you’d always end up paying one way or another. I’d be lying in bed thinking, Have I got the f**king clap, or something else? It would drive me insane by the end of the week. But women were running away from me in the end because I was so f**king out of it.”
No. 12 – On late Black Sabbath guitarist Randy Rhoads: “I was smoking dope and getting tanked and f**ked up on powders and I just wanted to go home, but he said I had to see this guy. So Randy came in, five foot f**king two and so skinny, I thought he was a fairy. When he played my brain went, ‘Either this is the greatest gear ever or this guy really is the best guitarist in the world.’ It took me a very long time to get over his death. I’m on a low dose of anti-depressants even now. Randy gave me a purpose, he gave me hope. I was fed up fighting people. I just had the greatest respect for him.”
No. 13 – On what he would put on his epitaph: “Just ‘Ozzy Osbourne, born 1948, died so-and-so.’ I’ve done a lot for a simple working-class guy. I made a lot of people smile. I’ve also made a lot of people go, ‘Who the f**k does this guy think he is?’ I guarantee that if I was to die tonight, tomorrow it would be, ‘Ozzy Osbourne, the man who bit the head off a bat, died in his hotel room….’ I know that’s coming.”
A question many record collectors ask is, where can I put all these records? If you’ve asked yourself this then you’re in luck, as we’ll be doing our best to cover storage options and tips. We’ll begin by outlining the proper, recommended, government-approved guidelines for how to store vinyl records. In a separate post, we’ll look at some vinyl record storage options that meet these criteria and will look nice in your humble abode. I know some of you have stellar storage setups, as evidenced by the 5K+ posts tagged with #iloveDiscogs on Instagram. If you have recommendations on vinyl record storage cabinets, shelves and the like, feel free to drop them in the comments below. You might see your pick mentioned, with credit, in the next post!
Now, let’s check in with the consummate professionals of media storage, the US Federal Government. Yes, you read that right. They just so happen to have one of the largest collections of vinyl records in the world, safely nestled in the remarkably dust-free archives of the Library of Congress. We reached out to staff librarians through the Recorded Sound Research Centerand utilized their guide to storing audio visual materials to learn how to store vinyl records properly.
Luckily, a collector has an advantage when it comes to storing vinyl records. Vinyl records are the most stable physical sound recording format developed to date (tally 1 for vinyl in the great format debate). Unlike tapes and CDs, they can last 100 years in a controlled environment. However, a wide range of variables, from dust and foreign matter to heat and pressure, can cause distortion and surface noise in playback. Also note that although vinyl records are relatively hardy, record covers are not. You’ll want to keep in mind the fragility of the cardboard sleeve as much as the record itself.
We’ll start with the four core tenets of sound vinyl storage; heat, light, humidity and pressure.
Though less problematic than the rules above, there are a few other factors to consider when storing vinyl records.
As a rule of thumb, attics and basements are typically not the best places to store vinyl records, though there are exceptions to this. Neither are non-climate controlled storage units. My parents made the mistake of storing their collection in a non-climate-controlled storage unit in Texas one summer. None of the discs made it out in a playable form. Try to find a place that is relatively clean, cool and stable.
Now that you know the requirements for the location you should aim for while storing your records, let’s talk a bit about what vinyl records should be stored in.
Many of us are at a place in our life where we have run out of room in our living quarters to store all of the records we have acquired. At this point, some tough decisions must be made: Which ones should be kept? Which ones can be let go? For those who cannot trim their collection, overflow storage becomes a necessity. Whether it’s a basement, attic, storage unit, or hole in your backyard, there are some precautions you can take to ward off potential disasters.
Okay, now you know the cardinal rules to follow while storing records. You’re welcome! While you’re here, jot down some notes, or refresh your memory, on how to properly handle vinyl records.
One final tip – keep your machines clean and well maintained. Make sure your mat is dust free and replace your needles when they start to get worn folks.
That’s it! This vinyl record storage post turned out a bit longer than expected, but I learned a lot along the way and I hope you did too. Don’t forget that this is just part one in a two-part series. I’ll be reviewing some vinyl record storage cabinets and shelves in the next post. Send me your leads if you got ’em and thanks for reading!
I want to give credit to the Library of Congress and Reference Librarian Harrison Behl for assisting with this post. They were a huge help in leading me to informative resources and with answering specific questions I had. If you’re curious about the work they do or have questions that weren’t answered in the post, check out the Recorded Sound Research Center, where you can read more and reach out to librarians for assistance. As a reminder for those living in the United States, your local librarians are tremendous resources whose job is to help you find information. If you ever have a question, stop by your local library and you might be surprised by the help you receive!
Interested in joining the passionate community of music lovers at Discogs? Sign up for an account to track your Collection, start a Wantlist and shop for thousands of music releases in the Marketplace!
Written By Bill Rosenblatt Via Forbes Magazine
Music industry watchers know that vinyl records have been enjoying a resurgence since their near-death in the mid-2000s, and the market continues to grow. But vinyl sales are actually much larger than what industry figures report, because they don’t count used vinyl sales. Now, thanks to some new data, we know that with used sales taken into account, the true size of the vinyl market is at least double those industry figures.
Revenue from sales of used records is particularly significant in the digital era, now that most of the attention is on streaming, where users can’t “resell” music. The music industry doesn’t bother to count used sales because no revenue from used sales goes to record labels, artists, or songwriters. “Given the size of the overall market, I am always shocked that these numbers are ignored when reporting sales,” says Ron Rich, SVP of Discogs Marketplace, one of the two largest online marketplaces for used records, along with eBay.
In honor of eBay’s first-ever Vinyl Obsession Week this week, the company has offered a rare glimpse into its vinyl sales data. Discogs also supplied data for this story. A household name among record collectors, Discogs is an online database of detailed info about physical music products — mostly vinyl — that launched in 2000 and started its e-commerce marketplace in 2007.
Both Discogs and eBay have very large catalogs of used vinyl available. Discogs lists 5.7 million used vinyl items in its marketplace from U.S. sellers (Discogs doesn’t distinguish between new and used; it only lists items by condition. The 5.7 million figure doesn’t count a million items rated as “Mint.”) eBay lists 2.3 million used vinyl items from U.S. sellers. Amazon is likely the third-largest player in this space; it lists about 900,000 used vinyl records on its U.S. site. If those numbers seem small compared to streaming catalogs like those of Spotify and Apple Music, bear in mind that Amazon is the largest online seller of new vinyl but lists “only” about 300,000 new titles.
These online marketplaces also sell several million vinyl records per year. As this figure shows, unit sales numbers from eBay and estimates based on Discogs data added up to about 6 million last year. Compare that to new vinyl sales, which reached 16 million units and $395 million in revenue last year, according to RIAA figures. (Skeptics counter that this is a far cry from vinyl’s early 1980s market peak, when vinyl pulled in $2 billion from 300 million units.)
Note that Discogs’ sales are growing at roughly the same rate as new vinyl sales, while eBay’s sales have stagnated. Discogs is becoming the preferred marketplace for serious record buyers and sellers. That’s because Discogs requires that sellers submit highly detailed metadata about music releases — including such things as identifiers, country of release, pressing information, artist credits, and conditions of both discs and sleeves — whereas eBay has looser metadata standards to encourage more casual sellers and buyers (and, of course, supports auctions). It takes more effort to list your records on Discogs, but collectors like having all that information.
Meawhile, beyond eBay and Discogs’ 6 million, Amazon and other specialized online vinyl marketplaces (like these and these, which focus on classical, jazz, world music, rarities, and so on) probably account for one or two million more. That gets us to about half of the RIAA’s 16 million figure.
But these figures don’t count offline sales — of which there are likely at least as many as online. Discogs’ Rich says that their online sales represent only “a fraction of what is out there in the used market, considering the amounts of used inventory selling through local record stores.”
To make a stab at offline sales volume, consider that there are over 2000 record stores in the U.S., the vast majority of which are indie stores that sell used as well as new vinyl. If each of those stores sold just one piece of used vinyl every hour, that would add roughly another 6 million total annual units sold. If we add in sales at thrift shops, garage sales, and flea markets, we probably get to the RIAA’s new-vinyl figure of 16 million. In other words, the overall vinyl market is likely about double the size that the RIAA reports in unit sales, possibly more.
It’s also interesting to note that used vinyl prices are almost as high as new — and new vinyl is quite a bit more expensive than new CDs. In fact, as this chart shows, average used vinyl prices (currently $22.80) are 92% of new ($24.73) and have been mostly tracking at that percentage since 2010. Meanwhile used CD prices are a much lower percentage of new CD prices.
That’s because vinyl albums have become collectibles, while CDs haven’t really (apart from special editions, box sets, and so on). This chart shows that this happened around 2009-2010, when the average price of used vinyl on eBay almost doubled. Prices have risen steadily since then; even adjusting for inflation, used records have appreciated 9% in price since 2010. And the turntable market is growing too: NPD reports that revenue from turntables with prices over $250 grew 135 percent from 2016 to 2017. That’s the market for quality vinyl-enthusiast machines like this, not novelty/nostalgia items like this.
Finally, here’s a revenue chart that shows eBay’s revenue from used vinyl juxtaposed with RIAA new vinyl figures on apples-to-apples scales. It shows that while revenue from new vinyl sales grew at a fairly constant rate since 2007, used vinyl sales jumped dramatically between 2011 and 2012. That’s remarkably consistent with music industry trends at that time. 2011 was the year when the music industry began its big shift to streaming. Spotify launched in the U.S. in July 2011, and the major record labels concluded license agreements with YouTube by the end of that year. Revenue from on-demand music streaming started to skyrocket, while revenue from digital downloads started to decline and then plummet.
In other words, 2011-2012 was the time when music fans found that the best way to hear music digitally was on demand from an enormous online library, for $10/month or free with ads, rather than through permanent downloads at $9.99 per album or 99 cents per single; and by then, the collectible nature of vinyl had grown into a sizable movement.
Vinyl fans have various reasons for their love of black discs, but audio quality is the one heard most often. “Despite the broad availability of digital today, the unique sound qualities of vinyl are resonating more than ever,” says Michael Mosser, General Manager of Lifestyle, Media & Toys at eBay. While no one will argue that vinyl is any threat to streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube, now we know that vinyl is still a stalwart presence in the music market and will likely remain so for years to come.
Bill Rosenblatt runs GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies, a consultancy that focuses on digital media technology, business models, and copyright. Check him out on LinkedIn or Twitter.