Number 4 of only 10 ever pressed!
One of the gems of my collection is this test pressing of the Nirvana/The Jesus Lizard split 7" single that was released on Insipid Vinyl* in Australia in 1993 (IV-23). I saw it on eBay and managed to call in every financial favour in order to fund it. I purchased this from an Australian guy, who was selling on behalf of the owner of Insipid in April 2004 for a cool £362. Don't tell the girlfriend.
The Australian release of this 7" was actually a picture disc. So why a black vinyl test pressing you ask? Well, quite simply, there wasn't a pressing plant in Australia that was capable of pressing picture discs. This, plus the expense of setting the machine that sandwiches the images between three pieces of clear vinyl meant that both these test pressings and the retail copies were pressed in Los Angeles. Why press a picture disc test pressing when the audio quality of the stampers can be tested on much cheaper black vinyl? The 'L' codes on the matrix tells us that the plates were made by Lee Plating** and were probably pressed by Erika Records.
Accompanying this test pressing is a letter of authenticty from the owner of Insipid Vinyl. According to the letter, the first set of film wasn't set at the appropriate DPI and had to be redone "(hence them done as black vinyl singles, time was tight)". People who requested a test pressing got one. Once they were approved, corrected film was supplied in the interim to print the paper parts and the picture discs were manufactured.
The retail picture discs were then stickered with the band names (half were red stickers with white print, the other half black stickers with white print) and airfreighted back to Australia.
I've been offered over £1200 for this record. There's no chance I'll ever sell it (or any of my other Nirvana items for that matter). It was my first big ticket record and remains a gem to this day. It's like an old friend that I visit every now and again. I look longingly at it (I've never played it) and remember the good times. And, as this is number 4, it's entirely possible that this has been in the hands of Kurt Cobain himself.
Let me dream.
- The Jesus Lizard – Puss
- Nirvana – Oh, The Guilt
- J L-41012
- N L-41012-X
* Insipid Vinyl were based in New South Wales. Their last release was in 1996.
** James G. Lee Plating, DBA Lee Processing, DBD Greg Lee Processing went out of business around 2000