Want to Root Through a Cool Record Collection? Just Make Sure You Bring a Hazmat Suit

Chris points us to this weird article at Would you go through this kind of trouble in search for collectible records?

The invitation sounded innocent enough.

Somebody had died, leaving a massive classical record collection. Would I take a look to see if it’s worth donating to a school or something – despite the formats (LP and 78s) being out dated?


“You’ll have to wear a haz-mat suit.”

“Really? Who was this guy?”

“He was a morbidly obese shut-in and lived in squalor.”

The sketchy story that unfolded – nobody wanted to talk in details – is this: The man was the son of opera aficionados, was one himself, but had few if any relatives, and tended to spend his days, if out at all, at the public library indulging in various arcane interests. Or maybe he was one of those library denizens who are there because few other places that would have him.

And then he was murdered. Nobody knows why or by whom.

He was a defenseless for sure. Maybe the murderer did it because he/she simply could. Arriving at the compact three-story townhouse – your basic old Philadelphia “trinity” – I was told the place had been cleaned up enough that only a face mask and rubber gloves were necessary. Looking through the records, I thought the tastes were pretty mainstream. About the only thing I would’ve wanted to hear was a 78 set of Gyorgy Sandor playing the Liszt Sonata in b, but I don’t have a proper player. Few do.

Whoa. You want to keep reading, right?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37438 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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