Thousands of dollars worth of collected vinyl, including rare first edition records by Nick Cave and his late guitarist Rowland S. Howard, have reportedly been raided from Howard’s girlfriend’s home in Melbourne.
As Fairfax reports, about 200 records were stolen from the St Kilda home of Genevieve McGuckin, Howard’s girlfriend of 32 years.
Among the thieves’ haul included first edition records from Nick Cave-fronted bands such as The Bad Seeds and The Birthday Party (in which Howard played guitar), as well as first editions from These Immortal Souls and Shotgun Wedding. One-off test pressings from Howard’s solo projects were also snatched.
McGuckin, who founded These Immortal Souls, has issued a plea for fans to help her find the stolen collectors’ items which, despite fetching as much as $1,500 per record on the open market, have a whole lot more than just commercial value.
In an interview with Fairfax, she’s described the discs as priceless, standing as a timeline that traced her and Howard’s decade-spanning relationship and history, prior to his tragic death from liver cancer in 2009.
“I would feel better if I had lost my leg, they’re part of my identity, every record had a story of where you bought it or who you played it with,” McGuckin said. “They were just our lives, they were threaded into our bones.”
To make matters worse, it appears as if the burglary was a planned, personal attack, orchestrated over time by someone McGuckin knew and trusted.
“I’m shattered. It was systematic planned and devious. The loss disguised it for long enough by leaving the records at the very front and sides [and] replacing the gold with throw-away vinyls of vileness,” she posted on Facebook.
According to McGuckin, the thieves had been systematically replacing the discs with cheaper vinyl, including 1970s “hippie” records and “cheap Elvis”.
“I can’t believe people could do this knowing what they meant to me. Please spread the word. On eBay Gumtree Discography etc. Send me links. I am stricken. They were the bones of my life. I must get them back for me and Rowland S Howard.”
McGuckin has reported the theft to police. Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.
Watch: The Birthday Party – Release The Bats