On April 1st, Jack White decided to pull another one of his entertaining vinyl-release gimmicks. Instead of merely putting out another new take on the colored vinyl format, he attached “flexi disc” vinyls of his new, unreleased track Freedom At 21 to helium balloons, and launched them into the air. And they’re finally starting to pop up.
Mr White and his people at Third Man Records were careful enough to set up a system to track down the people who found the vinyls. This already resulted in priceless pictures of elderly citizens who seemed to think the whole thing was a hassle, and a family that found around a dozen records on their backyard. Surely, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to actually take advantage of the item’s rarity.
This eBay auction for a flexi disc was posted on April 7th, for a starting price of $150.00. In a matter of just three days, it’s already climbed up to $1,258.00 (at the time of posting). The bidding will continue for another six days, so any hopes of having someone buy the record and immediately leak it will have to wait a little longer. Although, as the TMR website states, “statistics for similar balloon launches show a recovery rate of approximately 10% so it’s quite possible that less than 100 of the 1000 records launched will ever be discovered,” so there might be a few more showing up on eBay soon enough. Of course, we’re not advising you to spend so much on a vinyl that was supposed to be free in the first place.
Jack White’s debut LP Blunderbuss drops (not via helium balloon) on April 23. Until then, watch that wonderful Sixteen Saltines video a few more times.