A Crate Digger Cautionary Tale: LOS PENTAGONOS Amor Hippie
Los Pentagonos Amor Hippie (Musart Mexico 1968)
Today’s blog is a cautionary tale that all collectors of records encounter from time to time, the inevitable encounter with a dealer who has no idea what they are doing. It’s apt that record collectors have to use a dealer, in the same way, you might have to buy drugs* off people you wouldn’t do business with in any other circumstance, (my postman is a collector too, he refers to vinyl as ‘Black Crack’) you also have to hold your nose and buy records off people who are only interested in the money also.
Today’s disc is a Mexican oddball organ-driven instrumental of the 1968 vintage. Somewhere between Mod and Garage, played by a Mexican dance band who had a bit of National success later in their career playing Mexican folk tunes for Mexican Grandparents to gently Rhumba to.
There is no reliable biography on the internet as far as I can tell. I have no idea who they are/were at this point. All I can say is that I’ve wanted this record for a long time. It’s not really expensive but it’s rare and not many copies have found their way outside of Mexico itself. I’ve never seen one in the wild and very few have been sold on the internet. So when I saw a fairly reasonably priced VG++ copy appear on Discogs I snapped it up.
Now this said VG+** copy was in Mexico (no surprise) the shipping was expensive and the wait for the disc would inevitably be lengthy (no surprise either). But I was prepared for this. Little did I know a world of idiocy was awaiting me.
Firstly. Notification of a customs charge, no duty had been paid on the item. Discogs apply duty to your purchases so I immediately knew the dealer had not filled out the customs paperwork correctly for duty-paid items. I was wrong however, they had filled in no paperwork at all. No bother, thought I, at least I will have the record as I start the lengthy process of getting the overpaid duty back from the government.
I was disappointed to find that the supposed VG+ copy was nearer P in grading, being scratched all over and warped. This was a big disappointment. Oh well, thought I, I will just message the dealer and explain, over grading is common, although not usually by this many grades. But I was confident they would refund me. Wrong again, the dealer claimed the record was near mint, accused me of trying to steal the record, winding themselves up further and further in a string of messages that made less and less sense, finally culminating in hunting me down on social media and peppering me with more accusations. When I blocked them, they resorted to doing the same to members of my family also!
So this is a warning to all you young and naive collectors, remember dealers are not your friends, they are there to get you addicted, and keep you coming back for more. They are not always nice and they don’t play fair. Be careful it’s a jungle out there.
*I have no experience of this. Honestly.
**Grading as per Goldmine standards
LOS PENTAGONAS Amor Hippie
Cover vinyl photo courtesy of Marc Griffiths // Album cove artwork via Discogs
Written by Ezequiel Rincón Frias
“Crate Digger Confidential…A Lifelong obsession with plastic discs laid bare. Don’t expect just reviews of records, it’s much more important to me than that.“