Unfortunately, I have a certain degree of empathy for most facets of this conundrum.
I've been fortunate to buy a few Bill Nelson lots from other fans, for quite reasonable prices, & naturally enough have thus received some duplicates. But seeing these "back up" albums sitting on my shelf, literally doing nothing but gathering dust, makes me feel guilty, because I am depriving someone else of delighting in the little treasures. So I'll occasionally put up a few on eBay for $14.99/disk minimum... & sometimes I'm a little dismayed to set off a bidding war that gets me $40+.
And there's that goshdarned GUILT again because I wish there'd be an easy way to share out my profit with The Man Himself. But there ain't, & (lazy twat that I am) I don't.
At the moment, I have given up television, so there's a steady soundtrack to my waking hours, about 50% being Bill Nelson's post-2000 catalogue. Two albums I keep returning to are Return to Jazz of Lights
& Silvertone Fountains
-- both still available via SOS, both "Low Stock!" & both "sale priced." I've thought of buying a half-dozen of each as gifts, & most of my friends & relatives realise that not only are these heartily endorsed by my fussy little self but that they're actually -- gods help us -- a sane investment, like buying Terry Redlin paintings & prints (a regional painter), in that their value -- unlike just about everything in life -- will likely never decline.
I don't endorse gougers, not in the least. However, when some gouger like that guy on eBay appears, shoppers see the same item for a reasonable amount, & sometimes go completely insane, so that a seller who was asking a reasonable minimum will be overwhelmed, a weird take on Gresham's Law. Everyone (it seems) wants to find the next "hot collectible" & become wealthy with minimal work.
But then again, it's not doing Mister Nelson any damned good whatsoever if his CDs are gathering dust on the SOS shelves, hanging around for (in the case of Rosewood 2
) seven (!!!) years.
Dunno. I've suggested a classic "subscription" route, where BN announces an in-the-works project, & someone gathers cash, & only us die-hard in-the-know fans will ever get a copy. Then, I suppose, if a copy (numbered perhaps) should ever appear at an exorbitant price, that "club member" could be stricken permanently from the rolls & never again able to purchase from the club. As a nice person from SOS informed me, though, this involves some potentially nightmarish book-keeping.
Another means would be to essentially make each copy a "loaner," with ownership of the physical for & any copies thereof (like for an iPod) to actually remain with Bill Nelson & his various labels. Therefore, no copy could be transferred in any fashion without the direct consent of BN or his agents or assigns. The only way a copy could be sold (or even gifted) would be to sell it back to that same Nelson et alia, then reassign the official title of ownership.
(Did I ever mention that I once wanted to be a contract lawyer...?
All in all, it seems (to me) that the only way to control is to control, & my anarcho-syndicalist tendencies rebel at overmuch control.
The music (ugh) industry is ALMOST ENTIRELY made up of profiteers. As Harry Crews said, "Publishing is a nasty, dirty, bloody business
." It's all down to profit, because that's what keeps the machine running. Yes, given a chance, that very machine will run down real artists & grind them to pink paste, because it is there for PROFIT.
(pause -- just HAD to put Practically Wired
into the Discman)
Yet while I work within the capitalist machine, I also try to use it for good, & at heart I'm a communal socialist. I would be happy -- nay, PROUD -- to participate in subsidising Bill Nelson, because he has steadily brough me so much sonic joy. I'll clear off an SOS slot or pre-buy CDs or sign up for the "Bill Of The Month Club" or underwrite his next CD or whatever.
I mean, thanks for flagging yet another eBay leech, but they're actually kinda easy to spot. I do appreciate the whole "support the artist" mentality, but I can't help think of Robert Heinlein saying "Cash is the sincerest form of flattery." If we (as fans) are going to support BN or protect his interests or whatever, then PAY THE MAN. Buy stuff from the Dreamsville Store, at least. Maybe figure out how to make it easier for lazy bastids like me to send him cash for his projects & gear upgrades.
Oh, & FWIW:http://www.bugtownmall.com/New_Matt_Howarth_Stuff.htm
Howarth's site has Neon Cynics
-- as "NEW!" yet -- listed for $20.