Okay, last week was one of those rare times when, as a record collector, you find such a major find that it makes the years of fruitless hunts in countless record and thrift stores worth it.
I happened to be on vacation in Florida, the city shall remain unnamed as it’s a goldmine, and as you might guess what is one of the first things I do – go to record stores of course!
Well luckily for me there were plenty of record stores to choose from so on the four days I was in Florida I managed to peruse five or six record stores as well as a few antique and thrift stores thrown in for good measure.
The first day was pretty uneventful but on the second day I managed to find one of those ultra rare finds that made my whole trip to Florida worth while.
As I was casually glancing at a very nice section of Beatles used albums at a lovely store run by a couple of really nice young guys I spotted a really clean mono copy of The Beatles 1966 album “Yesterday and Today”.
Of course as I’ve done countless times before I took a close look to see if it could be a butcher cover.
(Note: the “Yesterday and Today” album was initially released with a cover depicting The Beatles wearing butcher smocks with hunks of meat and baby doll parts covering their arms. It has been named the butcher cover and was immediately recalled and most copies destroyed.
It was replaced with what’s called the trunk cover (The Beatles sitting around a large trunk) and while most copies were to be destroyed to save costs Capitol Records pasted this new trunk cover over the butcher covers thus an instant and highly prized collectible was born.)
It really only took me about five seconds to see the tell-tale sign of a small black triangle in the white section to the right of the trunk.
You see one of the easiest ways to spot a pasted over butcher cover is to look for the black triangle which is the black from Ringo’s shirt that is on the butcher cover photo which can be faintly seen beneath the trunk cover (see photo above).
Sure enough a closer examination of the cover revealed the edge of another cover underneath and the catalog number at the top right of the front cover with hardly any white beneath it (another sign of a paste-over cover).
Not only was the cover in VG++ condition but the record inside looked as if it had never been played. It was completely pristine and looked lovely.
The best part about this whole thing is that the album was marked $27.00 so of course that baby landed in my hands and made it’s way out the door in just a few minutes. Needless to say they go for way more than that on ebay so I was elaited.
My friends who were with me of course know of my record hunting habits and/or madness but even they were kind of excited when I told them the details when I made it outside with my newly acquired butcher cover.
I’ve read stores of people finding paste-over covers “out in the wild” so to speak but after having looked at dozens and dozens of copies of the “Yesterday and Today” album over the years it never happened to me … until now.
As for the record store owners they were indeed nice guys but the story of The Beatles butcher cover is so well known that it really is their responsibility to check price guides out if they intend to sell used albums.
One of the owners commented on how pristine the vinyl album was but obviously had no idea what a butcher cover was because when you see it in person it’s really not that hard to spot the black triangle, etc. on the cover. I didn’t say anything I just calmly made my purchase and left.
As if this day couldn’t get any better later on I found a sealed 8-track copy of John Lennon’s “Live Peace in Toronto 1969” album and a mono Capitol first pressing of The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album for the princely sum of $2 at an off the beat antique store in the countryside.
The mono version is my go to way to hear this album. I love it as it has more punch and many noticeable differences to the more common stereo mix. Plus the mono version is a lot rarer as the mono was phased out in the States within a year of Pepper being issued so any mono Capitol version is a good find especially for $2.
To be fair the cover for this copy of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was kind of beat up and the record was really dirty. I actually bought it for the inserts (the cut-out sheet and original red inner sleeve inside) but after cleaning the album it played amazingly well (and sounded just great!) and looked as if it wasn’t really played all that much.
Really for $2 it was a no-brainer so I was very pleased. In fact all three finds cost me just $40 making this one of the more successful and fun record hunts I’ve ever had!
As usual you can glance at some photos above to see this collection of vacation gems. Plus if you’ve never seen a paste-over Beatles butcher cover this is what one looks like. In person the black triangle is easy to see but harder to spot in the photo above but it is there.
Anyway have a great week and until next time be well and go out and do some record shopping, you’ll never know what you’ll find lurking on dusty shelf.