Last June, the online vinyl record marketplace Discogs sold its highest-selling record yet: A rare promo copy of Prince’s 1987 Black Album for $15,000. Before that, the site’s biggest purchase had been for David Bowie’s self-titled 1969 album which sold for $6,826.
Well, both of those purchases have now been toppled by a buyer who bought guitarist Billy Yeager’s 1989 album 301 Jackson St. for a whopping $18,000.
While it’s not surprising that someone somewhere was willing to spend that much money on an album, what is surprising is that the price beat out what buyers had paid for both Bowie and Prince albums. Because, in the end, who the fuck is Billy Yeager anyways?
Turns out a lot of people have that same question. Little is known about the Miami musician, who describes himself as a “producer, director, filmmaker” and “humanitarian” on his website. Props for him for at least having a website, because he certainly doesn’t have a Wikipedia page or any music listed on Spotify.
The bulk of the articles I could find about Yeager talk about his art — he’s an artist, too! — which has included everything from oil paintings to underwater Jesus statues to giant purple snails.
Earlier this year, a documentary called Billy Yeager: The Ineffable Enigma was also released, and the trailer shows cameos of a man (presumably Yeager) overlaid with glowing reviews from critics and fellow musicians. Apparently Prince said of Yeager “[He’s] the funkiest guitar player I’ve ever heard,” but whether that’s a real quote or not is up for debate.
The biggest bummer though is that it’s almost impossible to find a stream of 301 Jackson St. Then again, that might be why its mysterious buyer paid so goddamn much for it. They must have really dug those songs.