So finally after hope double-dashed a copy of On The Waterfront, an Essex band from the mid 80's, appears on ebay. I first acquainted myself with this elusive 12" in a charity shop about three years ago. Flicking through the usual morass of Mozart, Beethoven and Wunderlich I was all agog when said band's only masterwork massaged my defeated eyes. Joy and rapture, or at least mild excitement, overcame me. Then frustration as the record had eloped from it's sleeve's needy clasp. In vain I pulled out records from other sleeves but my vigour, though valiant and persistent, yielded no reward. In the following months I would sporadically visit the charity shop and hunt yet again until one day the sleeve disappeared too. My second meeting with the record was at Olympia record fair. The dealer sold it to me for a reasonable £5. I glanced at the condition and happily took it home. About to play it I realised that it was the wrong record, it was on the same label, Wizz, but it was their second release not the first which On The Waterfront is. Deflated I resorted to admitting that the cruel twists and tangos of farcical fate had conquered me.
A few months later and up it crops on ebay. I even meet the dealer who is selling it at a record fair who assures me that he'd tried to sell it before and nobody was interested. I'm cautiously optimistic though I note that it does have one bid. Come the auction countdown there is suddenly a little more interest. The dealer's words are rotating in my head until they spin themselves into oblivion and the final price is £191.61. This is not my bid. I'm outgunned in the last seconds. I'm more bewildered than fed up, and soon my natural perversity kicks in and I'm amused. I'll laugh and by doing so befriend my foe fate.
Within a month the single reappears on ebay. No doubt the seller has seen an extravagant sum paid for this indie jewel and wants a piece of the pie. I'm expecting rivals but doubting it will zoom up to the giddy heights of the previous auction. Come the day and there has been no interest shown. As the final minutes tiptoe by I man the keyboard with trepidation. Into the final seconds and still no bidding activity. This is bizarre. I glance at the seller's feedback. 100%. Suddenly it's all over and I'm the only bidder. Record won for £1.50. And yes it did arrive in the post, and not in pieces, and it played perfectly.