As I lifted my “Eagles – Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975” off the record player to flip to side 2, I noticed in the inner part of the record, where the exit groove is, extra writing. I have been trying to notice anything unusual in this area of my records since seeing the Edwin Rosavio etching on the “Jimi Hendrix – Axis Bold As Love” album. I have always been curious about the numbers in there and what they meant. Seeing words there was really interesting indeed.
This one was even longer than just a name. I took it over by the window to get some light on it.
To my surprise, it said: “Happy New Year Glyn” on Side A
And on Side B it said “With Love From Bill”
Cool! So this record was inscribed as a gift! I thought this was awesome. Bill bought and inscribed an Eagles album to Glyn. This was sweet and touching and old school to boot.
Now I had 2 of these engraved albums. It got me thinking. Was this more common than I knew? I mean I had never done it with albums I had owned in the past, or knew anyone that did it. You’d think I would have at least heard of it with all the album lovers I have known in the days. This was sort of like a book plate for your vinyl. It was done so small and with very neat tidy letters.
I decided to do some research on it.
So… Joke was on me.
First of all, I learned some new words for the exit groove area of a record via Wikipedia.
“This is the non-grooved area between the end of the final band on a record’s side and the label, also known as the run-off groove area, end-groove area, matrix area, or “dead wax”.”
So, my exit-groove nickname was pretty close. Among other uses, it also helps determine which side the labels go on.
For those interested in the Matrix numbers in the dead wax area, this article is excellent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrix_numbers
Make sure to read all the way down to the section entitled: Hidden Message. Yeah, that’s right. So it seems that the recording engineers like to have a little fun.
A little more research turned this up.
No way! My touching inscription was actually a mass produced message! So the dead wax area can be a playground for messages. There are 2 Eagles albums with messages in the matrix area. I scanned the list for other albums I had. I dug out my “Iron Maiden – Powerslave” that I got from Dalton. Sure enough. The message noted in this list was there in the dead wax.
I had to laugh to myself. You got me recording engineers… you got me.
Then I immediately thought of Edwin Rosavio. I got the album out and looked at it. It seemed far more homemade than the message on the Eagles album. Definitely looked hand scratched. There were no Hendrix albums on the list of matrix messages either. Although this is likely not THE definitive list of all time.
When I told this story to Josh, he messaged his father to find out for sure if he had known an Edwin Rosavio. He confirmed that he had purchased the album used. He didn’t know the former owner. So THAT find of a matrix message seems to still be legit.
Wonder what tool he used to do it.
I am going to have to try and inscribe a record.
Maybe I’ll inscribe my name or my WordPress site name.
Of course, now I will never part with my albums, so no one will ever see the inscription. Foiled again.
There are a few hundred of my vinyl albums out there in the world from the days when I sold them all off to used record stores. Sigh. I bet there are some good stories surrounding some as they went from owner to owner.
Whoever ended up with my “Clash – Sandinista” triple album… I want it back!