Published Dec 11, 2009Forever known for their affordable records and concert tickets, Minor Threat and Dischord Records have long been considered torchbearers of the do-it-yourself movement. Ian Mackaye has continued that message with his subsequent bands (Fugazi and the Evens) and in the way he runs Dischord, with every record staying in print to avoid scalping on eBay. Former Minor Threat drummer Jeff Nelson, however, clearly has a different stance on the subject, as reports suggest that he made nearly $6,000 U.S. from a Minor Threat test pressing last year.
As the Washington City Paper reports [via The Daily Swarm], Nelson started selling off his collection late last year. In October of 2008, he made a cool $5,899.99 from an autographed test pressing of Minor Threat's seminal Out of Step EP. Speaking with the paper, Nelson defended his actions.
"I know that many will say that the monetization of old, rare records (especially those emanating from a music scene renowned for its do-it-yourself ethic and anti-commercialization) cheapens the music and any message inherent in it," Nelson said. "As a long-time collector of all sorts of things, I very much disagree. Sure, it means that original copies of our records have become unaffordable to most people, but the records themselves (and music contained therein) have never been out of print, and Dischord continues to sell them for a very affordable price. I think that after a quarter-century removed, the music/art we produced in our youth is now being valued on several different levels (perceived historic importance/cool factor/money), for which I continue to be very grateful."
The whole thing puts a rather capitalistic spin on the classic Fugazi lyric, "Never mind what's been selling/It's what you're buying and receiving undefiled."