Super Duper Special Edition

A couple weeks ago, BoingBoing had a story about a “musician” who was selling his new album in a special edition which includes a command performance for $5000.

The “musician” is in fact John Wesley Harding, a favorite around here, and this is his first new album in half a decade. I’ve been eagerly waiting for this release since it was announced that it would be recorded with the Minus 5.

“Who Was Changed And Who Was Dead” is available for digital download weeks ahead of the March release date. It’s not a perfect offering – there is no download-only option, no FLAC download, and it’s a little pricey.

The “Crazy Deluxe & Personal” package includes the download, album on CD, live show on CD, DVD, T-shirt, signed artwork, and a personal performance.

John Wesley Harding will come and perform at your house, for you and your friends, on a mutually agreeable date. NO JOKE! If it’s near, he’ll even pay the transport; though if it’s far, you’ll have to pay. The price of this epic package, including your own personal John Wesley Harding concert, is $5,000, and at that price, we’re waiving the postage and packing. This is the only offer of its kind, and quite possibly the only offer of its kind ever.

There are too many packages, in my opinion. But the personal performance is a cool idea. Needless to say, I ordered one of the cheaper options. Unfortunately, it was not an instant download – it took nearly all of the promised 48 hour maximum window to receive the download link. Still got it before it would have been possible to pick up at Best Buy, so one can’t complain too much. The album is quite good.

Josh Freese, Orange County punk drummer gone solo, has a new album called “Since 1972” coming out with a whopping 10 price levels, including a $75,000 “go on tour with Josh for a few days” option. If that’s too rich for your blood, you can play mini golf and get a personal tour of Long Beach for $20,000. Or you can co-direct a video for $5,000 (which could be a good opportunity for some aspiring director). $250 gets you lunch at PF Changs. There is also, smartly, a $7 download-only option. NO word on FLAC availability, as it will not be available (even for download) for another month.

$75,000 (limited edition of 1)
Signed CD/DVD and digital download -T-shirt -Go on tour with Josh for a few days. -Have Josh write, record and release a 5 song EP about you and your life story. -Take home any of his drumsets (only one but you can choose which one.) -Take shrooms and cruise Hollywood in Danny from TOOL’s Lamborgini OR play quarters and then hop on the Ouija board for a while. -Josh will join your band for a month…play shows, record, party with groupies, etc…. -If you don’t have a band he’ll be your personal assistant for a month (4 day work weeks, 10 am to 4 pm) -Take a limo down to Tijuana and he’ll show you how it’s done (what that means exactly we can’t legally get into here) -If you don’t live in Southern California (but are a US resident) he’ll come to you and be your personal assistant/cabana boy for 2 weeks. -Take a flying trapeze lesson with Josh and Robin from NIN, go back to Robin’s place afterwards and his wife will make you raw lasagna.

We’ll see the details when the album is available, but this one-upmanship is inspired and should lead to good things. The music industry is in the midst of re-inventing itself and only by trying crazy stunts like this will anyone figure out what is going to work.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By The Revolution Will Be Analogue? – BlogSplat on 29 December 2011 at 12:24 am

    […] at The Economist’s The World In 2012 Festival about the future of music formats. Wes has some experience with the recent trend of deluxe editions, so it’s not surprising that he sees tangible copies […]

  2. By Who Won The Week? – BlogSplat on 27 April 2012 at 10:23 pm

    […] I have written about special edition packages before, and I like them. They give fans a way to support musicians above and beyond just buying the album. But they have to offer something more than just the album to be effective. […]

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