“Man, this place is really nice.” My new buddy wrote copy for a graphic design firm located in a loft in a former warehouse. The firm was small: the owner, a couple of artists, and my buddy.
“Yeah, not too bad. He likes to have a lot of parties. This is my writing desk. Back there, that’s where he lives so it’s off-limits.”
“Is this your stereo?”
“No, it’s his but he keeps it out here so that we can all use it.”
“Sweet set up. Look at that turntable.”
“Yeah, he’s got some good albums. You should look through them.”
I got down on my knees and flipped through the owner’s record collection. He only had maybe a hundred albums, but it was really good stuff — bootlegs, early Beatles and Stones, Pete Townshend’s legendary and rare Happy Birthday. And then I hit it. “No way.”
“Force Majeure on clear vinyl.”
“Yeah? Good album?”
“Great album! I’ve never seen a copy on clear vinyl.”
“I can’t do that.”
“I can’t steal the dude’s records.”
“It’s not stealing. I’m giving it to you.”
“It isn’t yours to give me.”
“You wouldn’t believe how much back pay that guy owes me. You’d have to take all of his vinyl to even make a dent. Let him take it out of my pay.”
And that is how my clear vinyl copy of Tangerine Dream’s Force Majeure came into my possession. At current market prices my writer friend recovered $10-$25 of the thousands he was owed. I should’ve taken Happy Birthday, too.