RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#426: The History of the Holy Grail
I don’t know when I started referring to this list as my “Holy Grail” items, but the idea is simple. I wanted to create a wishlist of musical items that would be my ultimate, most sought after records and CDs. For example, there is a rare Iron Maiden EP called Live!! +one. It was released in Japan in 1980, and featured two exclusive recordings still unavailable anywhere else: “Sanctuary” and “Drifter” from the Marquee show. In 2014, I found a copy in Mississauga. Should I have bought it? It was $100. It was not in the budget that time. Will I ever see it again?
Those are the kinds of things I’m referring to as Holy Grails. The kinds of things that you see only ever one or twice in your time as a fan. When you find a Holy Grail item, how much are you willing to pay? I paid $300 for a copy of the rare live album marillionrochester on eBay. I don’t think I’ll ever do that again though. That was a once in a lifetime buy. (Only 2000 copies of it were ever made, which were sent directly to fans who donated to their 1997 American tour fund. It will never be reissued.)
In the digital age, curating a Holy Grail list has never been easier. My solution today is simple. I have entrusted my Holy Grail list to Aaron over at the KeepsMeAlive site. There, he has created (and continues to update) several bloggers’ personal lists as the Master Grail Search List. Using this list from our smartphones, we have hunted for items for others, too. The increased range provided by the Master Grail Search List has resulted in a couple scores.
While searching one of my hard drives, I discovered what is probably the very first Grail list I ever made, and it is over 10 years old now. Apparently I wasn’t calling it a Grail list yet (like I said, I don’t know when we started using that term), but below is my 2005 “Ultimate All-Time Want List”. I have since found a number of these…but have also added many more to my list! Check out the list, with added notes from today in [red].
ULTIMATE ALL-TIME WANT LIST
To be modified and added to periodically.
In no particular order:
- KISS – Chikara (CD or LP)
[I should have bought this when I had the chance in ’96 at Dr. Disc in Hamilton! I blew it.]
- marillion – Web Christmas 1998 CD
- marillion – Web Christmas 1999 CD
[Still missing these two. I’ve downloaded them from their official site, which is nice, but not as nice as an original CD.]
- Metallica – The 5 1/2 Year Anniversary Box Set LP
[Saw this one at Flying Monkey Music in Waterloo in 1997, priced around $120. I should have bought it. Scott, our Heavy Metal Overlord has a copy, but he is also apparently immune to my Jedi mind tricks.]
- Tommy Shaw – Girls With Guns CD
[Hahaha, what!? I don’t remember wanting this!]
[I mean, sure, I’ll take it, I like that one song…it’s a great music video too, all one continuous shot with no edits…but the CD is certainly not a Holy Grail item anymore!]
KISS – Alive III (Japanese CD)
[No longer needed, since the release of Kiss’ comprehensive Alive! 1975-2000 box set!]
Iron Maiden – “Wasting Love” (CD single) Iron Maiden – “Hallowed Be Thy Name” (CD single) Motley Crue – Generation Swine (limited edition Japanese with bonus track “Song To Slit Your Wrist By”) Black Sabbath – “The Shining” (12″ single)
[No longer needed, due to the excellent Sabbath deluxe edition of Eternal Idol.]
The Sultans Of Ping F.C. – Casual Sex in the Cineplex CD
[FOUND by Aaron in 2012! Holy Grail lists work!]
ZZ Top – Chrome Smoke & BBQ (limited edition CD box set)
[FOUND, quite easily, and very soon after I made this original list. I just went down to Best Buy and bought it. Hey, sometimes it’s the simple way.]
- KISS – Instant Live CDs (ALL of them)
[Three have been FOUND! I would still love “all” of them, but I’m not made of money!]
I’m actually surprised to see so many items crossed off this decade-old list! Surprised, and pleased. I know how much I wanted some of these items, such as those Iron Maiden CD singles. That Motley Crue import also dogged me for years.
The internet helped me gain access to many of these. It has also broadened my realization of what lay in the nooks and crannies of a band’s discography. When I made this list 10 years ago, I didn’t even know about Maiden’s Live!! +one EP. I didn’t know that the same band’s Best of the Beast 6 LP box set had one exclusive bonus track (“Revelations” live) that was tucked away unnoticed. As I have crossed items off my list, two more sprang forth in their place!
Thanks to Aaron’s Master Grail Search List, the never ending quest continues!