With the popularity of Canadian rock band Nickelback soaring, so too is the value of a rare EP the four-piece put out long before stardom struck. The group's independent debut, "Hesher", is up for auction on eBay by two different sellers -- and fetching at least 60 times its original cost.
Described as "a must have for any Nickelback fan, old or new", the auction that was scheduled to end Monday (Dec. 17) opened at $9.99 (U.S.). Fifteen bids later, it had climbed to $405 (U.S.). Originating out of Edmonton, the seller, known only as pauliepecker, writes in the item's description that he purchased the seven-song EP at a show in Edmonton back in 1996.
"This is very rare, and extremely hard to find. The playing surface has two slight smudges, but this does not affect the play of the CD. Songs are: Where?, Windowshopper, Fly, Truck, Left, In Front Of Me, and, D.C."
The other seller, who goes by kilozub, started the bidding at $50 (U.S.). "This CD is a must for any true Nickelback fan, and the chance of owning this CD only comes around a few times. I will set a low starting price, with no reserve!!," writes kilozub.
With this auction ending on Saturday (Dec. 22), the price will likely rise into the hundreds, as well. While the seller first calls it "a one of a kind item," he or she then contradicts the statement with some history on the CD.
"Nickelback originally released this CD only in Canada, mostly in Alberta near their hometown of Hanna. Only 1000 copies of this CD were made, and the
chances of finding this CD anywhere are slim to none. You can only find this CD on eBay, and it is a very popular item, when it can be found. This is NOT a burned copy, this is the real thing!!"
In an interview last month with JAM!, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger recalled that "Hesher" was recorded in Vancouver and included the first batch of songs he had ever written for the band.
"We had no expectations and no experience and no idea what to do with these songs," he said.
But Vancouver's CFOX did. The rock radio station started playing the song "Fly", which attracted attention from the local industry.
Nickelback's full-length debut, "Curb", is still available on its web site (www.nickelback.com), but Kroeger said "Hesher" isn't.
"I'm trying to bury that album as fast as I can", he said.
Meanwhile, Nickelback's latest album, "Silver Side Up", is No. 9 on both the U.S. and Canadian SoundScan album charts. It has scanned more than 250,000 copies in this country alone. (More on Nelly Furtado)