Noisey Blog

$250,000 Of Waxy, Floppy Vinyl Found On Some Old US Air Force Base


Behind this door lies $250,000 of waxy, floppy vinyl.

Buying vinyl is a stupid, expensive habit. Unless you’re playing your Creedence discs on some state-of-the-art hi-fi stereo set up, complete with a dynamic noise filter, a transient noise eliminator, an infrasonic barrier, and a 3-band dynamic range expander, its going to sound about as good as listening to a CD. And if you buy all the junk you need to make vinyl worth it, you might as well play CDs or MP3s through it. They’ll sound really great too.

That said, we’re all hopelessly addicted to these stupid, floppy, waxy things, because we’re suckers. So naturally we’re happy to hear when some lucky cleaning crew off the coast of Japan hits the mother load.

Last week, during a renovation of the Wake Island Air Force Base, a reserve of more than 9,000 vinyl records was found, all dating from before the 1970s. According to the US Airforce, “no digging was required to access this treasure, as the records were catalogued and neatly organized on shelves in a small room on the second floor of the base operations building. The door was conspicuously stenciled with the name of a radio station, KEAD, and a ‘restricted area warning’ sign, which kept most people out.” The station shut down about 30 years ago.

The records are all carefully sorted and catalogued. The collection is valued somewhere between $90,000 and $250,000. So now the Air Force is shipping all the records over to the American Forces Radio and Television Service Museum in Virginia. That whole process will cost about $10,000. The Air Force won't come clean about what records are in there, but some nerdy ham radio enthusiasts seem to think there’s a bunch of top-40 stuff on there, and comedy albums used to get soldiers pumped up and ready to kill.

We do know one record that's contained in the cache: a classic record from Seminole Texas' own Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers Band! You can see this big bald sprog warping it with his gummy man-hands:

And here's a classic cut from those country-rock icons:

None of the records are being sold to the public, but we’re commissioning any young roustabouts that want to pull a heist. Good morning Vietnam!