Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Genius Of Jack White, Or The Delivery Is The Money

First Cause Principle:  There will always be somebody with money.

Second Cause Principle:  If you package dog shit just right you can make a million dollars.

Above are the two tenets I live by.  So while other music news sites are framing the $4K sale on eBay of a balloon delivered Jack White flexi-disc as a crude and unintentioned by-product of a creative publicity stunt, I say BULLSHIT.

The delivery IS the money, and the money IS the intention.  Does Jack White understand this?  Don't know, don't care.  Einstein didn't make the atomic bomb, but it wouldn't have been created without Special Relativity.

Far more musicians struggle financially than earn a living with music, and every single one of them, in order to avoid becoming tire salesmen or real estate agents, learn record dealing.  This includes people I've known who did far better with one acetate pulled out of a Motown dumpster than with the two 80s albums his band released.

Jack White is to vinyl somewhere between Andy Warhol and Steve Jobs to their respective industries, both of whom were concerned with money first and foremost.  And not just money for themselves.  Nowhere is the expression, "the problem with capitalism is capitalists," better negated than in Jack White's balloon launch.

The following three things are certain about his balloon launch:

1.  Only about 100 of the 1000 balloons will ever be recovered.

2.  Known vinyl rarities where only about 100 copies are known to exist tend to increase in value.

3.  People will be looking for these for years.

If you're in Tennessee, Alabama or Georgia, think about starting balloon hunting tours.

The next following three things show why Jack White exudes the best qualities of capitalism.

1.  He's basically just given away $400,000.00, which he created out of $250 worth latex and helium, and which is wealth that could have been created only by giving it away.

2.  He's flipped a convention on its head, instantly creating a high demand collectible in a business where it takes decades for a record's value to mature.

3.  He's created instant publicity and mystique around his first "solo" album that is worth far more than the $400,000.00 he gave away (that he could never have kept for himself anyway).

For myself, the eBay sale of one of the balloon flexi-discs permanently closes a door of record collecting, behind which was the ever present question of how soon can a record become valuable.  The business has a customer base of cynical, smarmy, asbergery malcontents that are unlikely to gravitate to chrome prism covers, or any of the comic and card gimmicks.  Now its known what it takes.  Fortunately or unfortunately, it probably won't work again.

And . . . here's the song on that flexi-disc "Freedom At 21" . . . for free.

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