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Keep Houston Press Free
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Cutout Bin: Jeff "Crazy Heart" Bridges Also Collects Awful Album Covers

Tuesday afternoon, Cutout Bin received a breathless phone call from a friend: "Are you watching Ellen??"

Um, no... Some people work for a living. Not me, but some people.

So it turns out Jeff Bridges is on Ellen, and wouldn't you know it, he has his "bad album cover collection." Uh oh. If this is anything like nearly every other bad album cover collection shown in print or on television, it will consist primarily of scans from Cutout Bin's website, BizarreRecords.com.

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First up: Joyce. The first, and as yet unsurpassed, gem of my collection. The record that finally caused me to take a stand at an Austin thrift store a decade and a half ago.... "I will NOT pass up another horrible record just because the other collector nerds don't care about them. I will buy JOYCE." A tag showed that the record was unsold at 50 cents at some garage sale. My first joke when I posted it (via 28.8 baud modem) on my Web site: "This record has doubled in value. It cost me a dollar." Fifteen years later, and there's Jeff Bridges... "the Dude" himself... riffing on the same damn price tag on the same damn record.

Next up: a record called Swing That Gospel Axe. Huh, that one's not mine. Putting it on the BizarreRecords Wanted List.

Then another old favorite, Let Me Touch Him by the Ministers Four. The audience cracks up. I'm not sure why, the quality of my ancient scan is so bad, you can barely read the picture. Ellen seemed to like it, though. Last up is Cody Matherson, another commonly seen album cover not from my website. It's also not an album cover - it's a Photoshop! I suppose it could theoretically be a CD cover, but I'm afraid they didn't have the "outer glow" lettering effect in the vinyl days... So that was it, four examples of Jeff Bridges' record collection. Half mine, and a quarter fake. But Cutout Bin doesn't hold grudges. The Cutout Bin abides. I sent off an email to Jeffbridges.com, and the webmaster actually responded and said he'd send my message on to the Dude. Maybe I'll just send him one of my books. I also sent an email to Ellen, offering to come on the show with actual covers people can see. No response yet.

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