How to turn your musical memories into cash

Find yourself short on holiday cash but somehow still the proud owner of a vintage Partridge Family lunchbox? Then Wayne Johnson of Silver Lake’s Rockaway Records is a person you might want to meet. Johnson, who founded the store 30 years ago with his brother Gary, is the shop’s main buyer of music memorabilia and collectibles. With the economy in bad shape, Johnson had been expecting an increase in people trekking to the counter at the back of the Glendale Boulevard store to find out how much cash they could get for a scratch-free Beatles album or that Partridge Family lunchbox. “There is definitely an increase,” said Johnson of sellers, “but not quite as much as I expected.”

Still, at least 10 people a day bring in collectibles for Johnson and others members of his staff to review. It only takes Johnson a few moments to size up an item and make an offer. Some recent purchases are now available for sale at Rockaway for about twice the price Johnson paid for them. But the mark up and demand for collectibles is constantly changing. Right now, Johnson is not very interested in vintage Rolling Stone and other yellowed music magazines from the 1960s and 1970s. “So many people saved them and are now dumping them. They just have very little value.”

What he does love is odd ball promotional items and hard to find albums. Here are some of the items he purchased this week and what he is trying to sell them for:

Unused ticket and parking pass for a 1978 Kiss concert at Magic Mountain. $175.

“Boxing style” posters from the ’60s and ’70s promoting concerts by the Beach Boys, Vanilla Fudge, Rush, Canned Heat” and other groups. $100 – $200.

A roll of Butthole Surfers toilet paper. $50

A 1964 sealed roll of Beatles wallpaper. $400.

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