Thursday, 19 June 2014

DAVID BOWIE & BOB DJUKIC

Bob Djukic is one of the most experienced and successful sellers of rare vinyl on eBay, who - as he puts it - makes a 'good-faith effort to provide only genuine, authentic items'.

At the moment, however, he is stumped: he is selling what he believes to be 'THE ORIGINAL, AUTHENTIC, FIRST U.K. PRESSING' of David Bowie's Man Who Sold The World LP, and - as such - 'a legitimate, official release'. Unfortunately, as he points out, it has been counterfeited in its time. After what must have been extensive and scholarly research, drawing on his decades of experience in the rare vinyl business, he's billing his item as 'INSANELY RARE', but adding the caveat 'WE ATTEMPTED TO CONFIRM THE GENUINENESS AND AUTHENTICITY OF THIS PRESSING, BUT WE ARE NOT 100% SURE.'

Of course, were he to list it as a '1980s COUNTERFEIT' it would reach perhaps $50 - that is, if eBay even allowed the auction to proceed. But if the high bidder thinks it's original... well, that sum could easily reach $2000 - and that's not money Bob'll be returning if it does indeed turn out to be fake ('No returns, refunds or exchanges on this item').

Several people have emailed him, and - being the open, even-handed kind of dealer that he is - the correspondence can be seen at the foot of the listing. Oddly, he tells one correspondent that he has 'no point of reference' as to whether or not this copy is original, though when he sold one in 2011 (as visible on popsike.com)  he raised no doubts as to its being authentic, stating: 'THIS IS THE ORIGINAL, AUTHENTIC, FIRST U.K. PRESSING; THIS IS NOT A REISSUE, AN IMPORT, OR A COUNTERFEIT PRESSING'.

Posted below is the link to his current auction, and the label for the copy he's selling. Below that is the label to a copy whose authenticity is in no doubt (right down to the well-known 'Tonny Visconti' spelling error that the first batch of UK originals carried, and 'P 1971' test to the left of the label - on Bob's copy it apparently says 'R 1971', in keeping with a blunder on counterfeit copies, though a blemish seems to be making the downstroke of the R look like a P). Either way, it occurs to me that a dealer who's 'NOT 100% SURE' as to whether he's selling a counterfeit or an original of a major rarity can't be expected to know his stuff elsewhere. What do you think?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DAVID-BOWIE-MAN-WHO-SOLD-WORLD-ULTRA-RARE-ORIG-UK-LP-WITHDRAWN-DRAG-COVER-/161335258312?pt=Music_on_Vinyl&hash=item259054acc8



UPDATE: The auction has now ended, and Bob raked in an impressive $328.99 for his LP. Despite a blizzard of comments both via eBay and elsewhere online, he stoutly maintained until the end that 'I reserve my judgment on the authenticity of this item'. He substantiated his position by adding that 'Minor variations in color, shade, hue, texture and overall appearance of the covers are not only NOT an aberration in the record-making business, they are absolutely a NORM.' Under further questioning, he would only offer the following: 'I would prefer to neither speculate, nor comment. The item is sold as-is, no guarantees offered or implied.' Quite what evidence he was awaiting whilst he reserved his judgment is impossible to say. In any case, the inescapable conclusion is that any halfway serious dealer who can't tell a counterfeit copy of this album from an original is a joke - and, indeed, this listing has made Bob a laughing stock.

SECOND UPDATE: the Thin White Djuke has relisted the LP because - in his inimitable words - 'THE PREVIOUS WINNING BIDDER ACTED IN PATENTLY BAD FAITH AND WITH PREMEDITATED INTENTION OF SABOTAGING THE OUTCOME OF THIS SELLER'S PREVIOUS AUCTION'. Because he always acts in good faith, he adds that 'COUNTERFEIT COPIES OF THIS ALBUM ALLEGEDLY EXIST', and that 'IN A HIGHLY UNLIKELY CASE THIS ITEM IS NOT GENUINE, IT COULD STILL HOLD GREAT VALUE FOR THE BOWIE COLLECTOR AS A VERY FINE AND HIGHLY DETAILED AND ELABORATE REPLICA.' He also makes it clear that he will not stand for any further abuse of the sort he received last time around. Unlike selling potentially fake copies of his albums and calling them 'INSANELY RARE', Bob is quite clear that this sort of behaviour 'BRINGS GREAT DISCREDIT TO ANY BOWIE FAN'. Cheers!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DAVID-BOWIE-MAN-WHO-SOLD-WORLD-ULTRA-RARE-ORIG-UK-LP-WITHDRAWN-DRAG-COVER/161348373626?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D23772%26meid%3D7892484198372988303%26pid%3D100005%26prg%3D10164%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D351104272352&rt=nc#ht_15130wt_610

8 comments:

  1. After a few neg comments someone added this:
    Q: Hi seller This is the original first release ( i know it and collect for 30 years) I already have it but just want to inform you about that. ;-) Greetings from Holland Bert Jun-14-14
    A: Thanks Bert, duly noted. I appreciate your information and your interest in our auctions. Kind regards Bob Djukic

    Looks staged i mean he can ask someone he knows well to add this.
    It surely is a boot. //JJ-Sweden

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  2. Just looking at the difference between labels, it's obviously a boot. The bottom photo you're showing here is a fine, standard Mercury/Philips UK label from the period. The auction photos show pretty clearly that this is a 1980s repro; the color is completely off and the typeface looks grainy. Not to mention the spacing issues in the type.

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  3. Bob must really need the money. Poor guy. I've seen counterfeit records and they all have the same thing in common - blatant errors.

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  4. He need only reference the cover to view the playing cards and compare them to an original. Wotta tosser...

    The 'drag cover' has been counterfeited twice, in Japan in the late 70s and in Italy in the early 80s. The Italian counterfeit is easy to expose, as it has a poorly reproduced sleeve that lacks the textured appearance of the original, and has a white rather than black record label. The Japanese counterfeit is a much better copy, but it can be identified by the slightly cropped photo's on the cover (on the front Bowie's feet touch the edge of the sleeve on the counterfeit, whereas they by far don't on the original) that also has a different texture (it uses wax to reproduce the original wallpaper-like sleeve), the spine (on which the album title and catalogue number have been inverted), and the record label (which is dark grey instead of black, with a silver edge that is absent from the original, and has R 1971 rather than P 1971, plus a space in the word BRO ADCASTING). Note that most books and even the Rykodisc reissue use a photo of the counterfeit!

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  5. There are two important differences:

    At first the print quality sharp vs. blur; black backgraund deep and clear vs. grizzle … There is also a circle lefthand on the counterfeit label. Normaly labels has no circle line … They cut out and then they put into the pressing machine. You don´t need any outlines …

    The second important difference: Philips setting their production information – like catalogue number and or matrix number and date of cut – with machine generated types into the blank mirror between the endgroove. Conterfeits show most no entries in the blank erea or sometimes handwirtten numbers – normaly only the catalogue number …

    regards, won.

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  6. This is a common Italian counterfeit, you will notice a space in the spelling of "bro adcasting" on the label.

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  7. Sorry by everyone is clearly wrong on this. Even a fool will know it is the very rare Antarctic 1st Pressing, made by penguins in the shadow of Mount Vinson. Allegedly only 20 copies exist and its worth 6.5 billion. Apparently the 'vinyl' is made from crushed seals, and takes 4 months to set hard under the Southern Lights. Although I could be wrong of course, its very hard differentiate that pressing and the even rarer Syrian 1st Pressing made in Aleppo in 2011. However the Syrian pressing does usually suffer from 'spatter' and 'shrapnel' blast issues which can cause troublesome play back. So its hard to know for certain.

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