A Record Collector's Guide

About John

John Pette can't stand it when people write about themselves in the third I won't. Before I start, I need to clarify, because I know you are's pronounced "pet." Not "peet." Not "petty." I have lived all over the eastern U.S. and several places around the world. I was born a New Yorker, but mostly grew up in Tokyo. In addition to those places, I have lived in Washington, DC, New Orleans, Atlanta, Delaware, Switzerland, and Central America. Right. Onward. Well, I was born a collector. This was clear by the time I was four, and became obsessed with hoarding Star Wars figures. I got over that one, and moved into comic books when I was about seven. That fizzled eventually as well, giving way to music when I was thirteen or so. I grew up in Tokyo, and had limited sources for music until that fateful summer in 1992 when I discovered the vast Tokyo record store community. Suddenly, I had a new obsession. At that point, I wasn't yet really collecting vinyl. It was more a quest to make sure I had every song by every band I liked. Tokyo was a great resource for this, as those stores imported European bootlegs with ruthless efficiency.

Well, completeness (obsessiveness...loyalty...whatever you would like to call it...) led me to compilations, and compilations led me to more obscure bands. Suddenly, I was faced with a dilemma: I liked bands who had albums out that were only vinyl, and I had no record player. I remedied the second part fairly quickly, and then discovered another problem: some of these bands had albums out that were impossible to find. And thus, the search began. I spent the next several years (pre-eBay, which completely changed the collecting landscape) trying to track down three incredibly scarce records: The Fluid's Punch n Judy, the Afghan Whigs' Big Top Halloween, and Screaming Trees' Clairvoyance. This was not an easy task. In fact, I only managed to get one of those before eBay came into play. I was out of the vinyl market for many years...I had very little money in college, not much more for the first couple of years of my working life, and absolutely none in grad school. It wasn't until sometime in 2005 that I caught the vinyl bug anew. And now, here we are. The internet and online auction arena have created an amazing global marketplace. While I understand people who prefer digging through record stores to poring over auction listings, I think it's a good addition to the trade. It has given me access to items I could never have dreamed of owning before. I hope this site is a useful guide for you. I plan to keep expanding it for the foreseeable future, and we'll see where that takes us.

Scarcity Score Definition
10 Near impossible: Fewer than 50 copies or publicly sold every few years
8-9 Very rare: 50-199 copies or publicly sold 1-2 times per year
6-7 Rare: 200-499 copies or publicly sold a few times a year
4-5 Medium: 500-999 copies or publicly sold ~10 times a year
1-3 Common: 1000+ copies, readily available, or publicly sold 20+ times a year

Estimated values are based on recent auction results or online sales. Commercial use of images on this site is not permitted. Non-commercial use of images permitted, with attribution to Pette Discographies. All images copyright their respective owners.