George Harrison - Living In The Material World Ringo Starr - Postcards From The Boys
The first book is a must-have for every George fan. It includes beautiful memories, pictures, stories, interviews etc… The second one is a nice little book with (as the title says) postcards that Ringo received throughout the years.
Meet the Man Who Owns 1,373 Copies of the Beatles’ ‘White Album’
To see more from Rutherford’s “White Album” collection, check out @webuywhitealbums on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.
The Beatles self-titled 1968 record, known affectionately as the “White Album,” is their most idiosyncratic. It had a mix of everything — the Cold War, a backwoods raccoon, drugs, whatever the hell “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” meant. Fittingly, its cover, a piece of white cardboard designed by Richard Hamilton, was just as interpretive. People would write love letters on it, put their addresses on it, paint it. Eventually the art would begin to age, and develop a dull gray ring on the outside, molded after the shape of the wax.
“The cover, being entirely white, it picked up all kinds of stains and drawings,” New York-based artist Rutherford Chang (@webuywhitealbums) tells @music. “That’s when I realized all of them would be unique objects. And that’s when I started collecting them with the purpose of getting as many as possible.”
Today Rutherford owns 1,373 copies (and counting) of the “White Album.” What first began as a mild fascination, picking up a copy here and there on eBay, soon turned into a full-fledged art project.
“I had an aim to make something with it,” he says. “I didn’t know exactly what, but I knew it was interesting material. And I just kept going.”
The project eventually turned into an exhibit — a record store set up in SoHo called We Buy White Albums. It looked exactly like your typical record store, except instead of selling music, Rutherford was there to buy more first editions to add to his collection. His own copies were also on display, each arranged by serial number.
In an added twist, Rutherford created a one-of-a-kind soundtrack for the event’s duration: one long track made up of every single copy of the “White Album” he owned playing at the exact same time (check it out here). He did it with the covers too, superimposing every one on top of each other then printing the results.
“When you layer 100 different tracks, they’ll start together, but they’ll actually change over the course of each set,” he says. “So it’ll start sounding like just a f—ed up Beatles record. And it’ll just gradually drift into like a noise, like totally psychedelic.”
Rutherford’s next move is to take the “White Album” exhibit on the road to Europe — and, in the meantime, look for more copies. The lowest numbered (aka the oldest) version he owns right now is 0003067 — though he’s been offered lowered, but declined due to the expensive price tag. That probably means that number 0000001, which previously belonged to Ringo Starr (he sold it this past December for $790,000 at auction), is off-limits. No matter. Rutherford may not end up with all 3 million first editions, but that won’t stop him from collecting what he can.
“I mean I don’t think it would work as well with any other album,” he says. “It’s the ultimate record to collect.”