O'Jays 'Message in the Music' Q8 on eBay - Beware

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Staff member
Since 2002/2003
Apr 21, 2002
Toronto, ON
Browsing around eBay today, I came across this auction:

The seller is someone who bought this tape from the Gerbino collection when it was being auctioned a few years back - I remember when this occurred, and looking at this tape (along with several other late-period tapes like Chicago VIII) and they looked fishy, so I didn't bid on them, and with the better photos in this new auction I'm even more sure.

Firstly, the case is period incorrect for when this release came out. The Q8 of Message in the Music came out in late 1976, but the tape in this auction is in a Q8 shell that Columbia only used from 1972 through mid-1974. From then until the end of 1975 the label used another shell that had two visible tabs/latches at the back, and then starting around January 1976 (I think Garfunkel's Breakaway may have been the first new release to use this new shell) Columbia switched to their final shell design, the one with the very square end. Q8's of Message in the Music should only be in this final 'square-end' shell design, as seen in the Discogs link below.

Secondly, text on the back and spine of the tape looks fuzzy and/or out of focus, like it was printed off from a scan or copy of the original artwork.

Compare this stuff to the discogs entry for the Q8, which has photos of my actual tape (which I can obviously verify is the real deal):

Now, I suppose the possibility exists that the actual tape inside the cartridge is original and somehow the original shell became so damaged that it had to be replaced, but that seems highly unlikely to me - in every other eventuality this is basically a Q8 to Q8 dub purporting to be an original tape. If the seller is a QQ member, I apologise for souring your chances of making any money (and I'm not accusing you of any kind of deception) but I think with a $100 starting price buyers should be forewarned about the possibility of this one being a sub-par sounding fake.


1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Since 2002/2003
Mar 3, 2002
I met the fellow (Gerbino) when visiting Nick P in Reading PA years ago.(90s). He gave me a couple hard to find tapes he had made in the same manner. Photo copy and dub. Nice fellow but seemed to be a hobby to make tapes.


2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Sep 30, 2003
Castlegar, BC, Canada
I chuckled when I saw that auction. I think I was the one to coin the phrase "The Gerbino Collection" so, to see other people using that term made me laugh.
But yes, several of the tapes I bought from the estate were copies. Very good copies of VERY rare tapes, but copies none the less. The worst offender was B.B. King's "In London".
Kind of a hissy dub and a very discolored label. But, it was a blue cartridge/blue label version and I can't say I've ever seen another one like it in the wild.