Quick Reads: "Do Not Sell at Any Price" by Amanda Petrusich
An engrossing first-person foray into the weird world of 78 rpm collectors.
Do Not Sell at Any Price
By Amanda Petrusich
Once you get past the overexplaining of vinyl-era terms (gatefold album cover, etc.), Amanda Petrusich's first-person foray into the weird world of 78 rpm collectors is an engrossing romp that illuminates this cartoonish slice of nerddom so aptly portrayed in the movie Crumb. She catches the bug, too, embarking on a quest for 100-year-old Paramount blues 78s that takes her to flea markets and record swaps, although not, like one of her sources, to the bottom of the Milwaukee River. This obsession, Petrusich ultimately divines, is rooted as much in the (perhaps unattainable) sense of authenticity and passion crackling up from those vinyl grooves as in the earthly desire to own something rare.
This review originally appeared in our July/August issue of Mother Jones.