Wishingwell Records

WW-1  Unity – “You Are One” 7″

Unity… the pre-cursor to one of my favorite hardcore bands of all time, Uniform Choice.  Everyone always said the Unity 7″ on blue was out of 70 or 80 copies, but that doesn’t make much sense. First of all, they seem a bit more common than that. Secondly, why would there be 70 or 80 copies?  It’s almost always done in increments of 100’s, unless there’s an over-run/under-run, which does happen sometimes. Either way, it’s a cool record and can be hard to run down sometimes. The first pressing came on blue and black vinyl, and had basic black and white labels.  The later pressing(s) had these cool pink and green labels, using that oh-so-sweet Wishingwell circle design that was used on all of their label art from the UC LP onwards.  My roommate, Aaron Menesez, found one of these pink/green label copies without a cover (vinyl only) in a bin at Streetlight Records in Santa Cruz for $.25 one time.  Not a hugely valuable score or anything, but c’mon – an original Unity 7″ on Wishingwell for a quarter is always a cool thing!  The red vinyl copy was an official repress done by Indecision Records in the 90’s.

Close-up showing the early black & white labels vs. the later pink and green labels with classic Wishingwell “circle” design.

Front and back of the sleeve and insert.  Since I have more than one, I can show it all in one photo.  The back cover is so cool and weird.  The guys in Unity/Uniform Choice were always all about “nature” and “beach” photo type shit.  I dig it! haha.

WW-2  Bl’ast – “The Power Of Expression” LP

The Bl’ast LP is cool, but it doesn’t exactly fit the other releases or aesthetic of the label.  But some people swear by Bl’ast, so I mean, I’m not gonna argue. 

Yo, why does the Bl’ast LP on Wishingwell have completely different label art design than anything else on the label?  Well, I think it’s because it was run through Greenworld Distribution (thus the GWD90530 catalog number), who eventually went out of business.  Maybe it was even run by the Wishingwell guys, I don’t know?  I imagine this was a similar arrangement that Wishingwell eventually had with Giant Records/Distribution, or that Schism had with Caroline on the Youth Of Today “Can’t Close My Eyes” LP release.  This sort of thing was happening a lot in the mid to late 80’s. 

Even weirder, what is up with this little “W” Wishingwell logo at the top of the labels that I don’t think was used ever used anywhere else… Was it? Maybe I’m being retarded and it’s on the other LP’s somewhere, but prior to taking this close-up photo, I had never noticed this as a Wishingwell logo.  I’m just so used to the “guy next to the well” logo.

The insert.

WW-3  Uniform Choice – “Screaming For Change” LP

Here it is… One of my favorite hardcore LP’s of all time, both musically, visually, as well as from a collectability perspective.  UC is like the west coast Minor Threat.  But big difference – UC is soooo California.   Anyone that has lived here, or has listened to UC a bit has to know exactly what I’m talking about.  I love that about them.  I’m a sucker for a UC LP on colored vinyl, and I’d just continue buying variations of the purple/pink/grey forever if I could. Maybe I will, haha. I don’t know why. I just love the hand-drawn cover art of this album, the classy Wishingwell label art, the huge fold out poster that comes with some of the 1st pressing copies, and the way the colored vinyl looks with the 2nd pressing copies. I also love the subtleties of this LP, like how the hand-drawn artwork is a different drawing on the 1st vs. 2nd pressing!  A bunch of you may be saying “well, duhhh” – but so many people have never noticed this!  It’s a totally different drawing of the same photo!  Example: look at the X drawn on Dubar’s hand. It’s a significantly different shaped X on 1st vs. 2nd pressing.  I’m not totally sure why this occurred.  I remember my buddy Sebastian D’Hertoge from Belgium telling me that he owned the original art drawing for the UC LP cover… He had flown to California and bought all of Pat Dubar’s (singer of Uniform Choice, who also ran Wishingwell) remaining Wishingwell items – artwork, masters, reels, plates, test pressings, everything.  Maybe Seb could tell us why the drawing changed from 1st to 2nd pressing?  Also – we need to get him to take some photos of everything he owns some day!  If you’re reading this man… Do it!  Anyway, on to my vinyl… In the photo you can see the 1st pressing copies are denoted by yellow lettering on the cover. Some came with the huge poster, some didn’t (or maybe got lost over the years). I have a copy with and without poster. Then came the 2nd pressing(s), with green lettering on the cover and a slightly different drawing. No one seems to know concrete information about the vinyl colors. It appears that green and red vinyl were pressed first.  Some say 500 on green, unknown on red.  Then supposedly 100 copies of “mixed/marbled/swirl” vinyl were pressed for a show.  But there’s also folks who think the grey pressing was a completely different pressing.  Seb claims grey and purple are separate pressings. It’s unclear whether there’s an infinite number of mixed colors produced by the pressing plant just dumping every color in and pressing 100 copies, with some coming out pink, purple, and/or grey.  Or, was there a purple marble pressing and a grey marble pressing, with my “pepto pink” color in the middle being some kind of transition or anomaly?  I also think that the grey copies pop up far less often than purple copies, so that makes me think the grey is just a pressing variation of one total “mixed” pressing.  I remember when I first showed Seb my photos, he was shocked, because he said in all his years he’s only seen 1 other truly pink copy, which he owns. He says Dubar confirmed there was a separate purple and grey pressing, so the pink is a weird transition variation.  But man, I dunno.  He was surprised to see I had a pink one, since many had claimed to have one over the years, but then he gets pictures and they always turned out very purple.  Who knows… All I do know is that the purple, pink, and/or grey copies appear to be much more limited than the green and red copies, so I love picking up any marbled copy I find!  What’s funny is that I got that rare “pepto pink” copy for super cheap.  In 1999 I bought that on eBay for $36… Somehow I distinctly remember that number. I remember thinking it was weird that Wishingwell vinyl on color would be ~$30, but then I figured maybe it was some wack 2nd+ pressing that no one cared about. Fast forward all these years, and I’ve learned more and more about it, and I realize what a cool steal I got.  Man, eBay was crazy back then. It’s not like 1999 was the “old days” or anything, but seriously, I got some crazy shit on eBay for $30-$50 from 1997-2000 (see: Insted “Bonds” LP test pressing below). I just don’t think hardcore was as big as it is now, and I really do think it took a while for the punk world to get up to speed on the whole “internet generation” thing (which is a good thing!).  Anyway, now that you’ve heard all of this, happy hunting for your own custom copies of the purple/pink/grey variation!

Just a little image I use for my signatures on messageboards!

Nice photo just showing purple, pink, and grey swirl copies together.

Comparing the swirl/marble colors actually laying on top of each other.

Here’s the huge poster that comes with some of the 1st pressing copies.  The sticker came with my copy as well, but I mostly included it here to establish the scale and size of this poster!

As discussed above, not only do the 1st vs. 2nd pressing covers differ with yellow vs. green lettering, but the actual drawings are different!  Look closely and you can see slight differences.  Not sure why on earth they would re-draw it!  The inserts are also different.  More close-ups below.

The 1st pressing insert does not have any photos, and a catalog with other releases for sale is printed on the insert itself.  The 2nd pressing has band logo, photos, and the classic wishingwell logo added, but the catalog has been removed.

Printed on the actual 1st pressing insert is this catalog listing items available via mailorder. So far it’s just the first 3 Wishingwell releases and a bunch of cool classic shirts. But like pretty much all mail order back then, it’s just L and XL only! haha.  $6 postage paid for an LP, not bad!  It looks like money was sent sent directly to Pat Dubar in Fountain Valley, CA.

WW-4  Youth Of Today – “Break Down The Walls” LP

Break Down The Walls was originally pressed in 1987 on Wishingwell Records.  Wishingwell was run by Pat Dubar, singer of Uniform Choice.  They had just released one of the best hardcore LP’s of all time – U.C. “Screaming For Change”, and followed it up with YOT BDTW. Not bad. On the top row, you’ll find an original Wishingwell test pressing, which is probably the rarest record that I own.  I believe there were only 8 of these, and I’ve only heard of one other ever becoming available. I remember some online posts in the early 2000’s regarding one mailed out by Tim McMahon of Mouthpiece in a record trade… It got broken in the mail, with pictures to prove it.  Talk about heart breaking on both sides.  So now, I guess there’s probably only 7 of these.

Another view from a different angle…

This is nice little photo that I use as my signature on messageboards!

Accompanying the test are the elusive red and blue pressings of this LP.

I absolutely love the ice blue color on the blue vinyl copies – yet another weird shade that’s never really been duplicated very often.  Wishingwell pressed 150 of each color, but while the band was in NYC for a show at CBGB’s, their van was broken into and everything was stolen. A few copies had made it out of the van for sale already, and the label had sold some in SoCal and hung onto some others, but it’s estimated that there couldn’t be more than 50 on each color really available.  Of course, those copies that were stolen could have made it into circulation, but with the rarity of these things seemingly impossible to get, we all really doubt it. They probably just ended up in a dumpster somewhere… 

Blue vinyl!

Red vinyl!

You’ll also notice a copy of the weird “2nd pressing” on Wishingwell with the black and yellow cover.  If you can believe it, I found this copy 100% still sealed for $8 at Cheap Thrills in San Luis Obispo in 1999 when I was in my 2nd year of college.  It had been sitting there since 1988, for 11 years, untouched.  Even at the time, that record was worth $60-$90, so it’s not like it had just been “passed on” by a bunch of people.  For some reason, it had just never been stumbled upon by a collector before!  That same day I picked up a Bad Brains – Black Dots LP on white vinyl, still sealed.  You can honestly say that could never happen today. 

The yellow/black label colors were also changed along with the jacket and insert.

The pressing for Break Down The Walls was taken over by Revelation in 1987 and re-pressed a billion times over the years, so I had to show a photo of them all together.  This photo actually shows my favorite record I own – the rejected green vinyl test pressing of BDTW on Revelation!  Refer to the Revelation Records post for close-ups of all the Revelation pressings and detailed descriptions of everything shown in this photo, including the green vinyl test.

WW-5  Insted – “Bonds Of Friendship” LP (Giant Records GRI-6019-1)

The first thing you might notice is the Insted “Bonds Of Friendship” LP test pressing, with some hand writing on the front cover.  It says “To Dan For An Answer. Thanx for the help & support – Kevinsted”.   See below for close-up photos.  Also shown in this photo is the colored pressing of this album on red vinyl, a nice clean black copy, and the white vinyl “tour” version with no labels at all.  The white vinyl copies all seem to have a cut corner on the LP jacket (not pictured), usually used to denote promo covers.  I think they must have pressed a limited amount of these last minute on white vinyl with no labels, and threw the vinyl inside some promo jackets they had laying around with cut corners.  The white vinyl copies didn’t have the cool over-sized color printed insert. They just had a photo copied lyric sheet.  Shown on the bottom right of the photo is a flier/catalog thrown into my red copy that lists all the stuff you could mail order from Wishingwell back in the day!  There’s a close-up photo of the catalog below.

Original “Bonds Of Friendship” test pressing on Wishingwell!

For those unfamiliar with these dudes, this was a gift from Kevin, vocalist of Insted, to Dan O’Mahoney, vocalist of No For Answer.  Pretty cool!  What’s even cooler is I got this record on eBay in 1999 for $45.  Yet another sweet late 90′s score on eBay.  I actually owned 2 of this test pressing, because I bought another copy on the cheap from an old Orange County scenester guy who was dumping his whole collection.  Since I didn’t really need 2 copies of this record, I traded the 2nd copy to Geoff Greene from NJ for a load of Floorpunch records in 2001 or so.  As for this “Dan For An Answer” copy that I still own? Well, not for much longer!  I’m passing it on to my main man Matt McCall (“Skones” for you hardcore types. He was roadie extraordinaire for Allegiance, he sang in Some Still Believe and Right On, and now Secret People. Get on it!).  Matt lives across town from me here in Oakland and has been a close friend of mine since we were just graduating from high school.  I think his favorite hardcore band of all time is Insted (if not, it’s gotta be 7 Seconds).  In fact, Skones’ has a vinyl blog of his own – check it out: http://recentpickups.wordpress.com/!    This thing is definitely going to its rightful owner.

Close-up of the test pressing labels. I love the “Bonds ‘O’ Friendship”, haha.

Red vinyl copy with sweet poster insert!

Close-up of red vinyl and insert.

I had never noticed the difference in label colors until I was taking this photo!! Weird!  The black vinyl has the classic Wishingwell label design in blue, whereas the red vinyl has just black and white printing only.  That is so strange that I have never noticed this before.  Even when I look up the pressing info on the Flex discography, it doesn’t mention multiple pressings or a difference in label art.  It says red vinyl was out of 500, white vinyl tour pressing was out of 200, and the rest on black vinyl.  The white vinyl didn’t have labels at all, so that pressing doesn’t come into play here.  But the different labels on red vs. black vinyl suggest different/multiple pressings.  Anyone know?

This is a flier/catalog that was included in my red vinyl copy.  The top 6 lines are the releases available at the time, and then the rest of the sheet is Merchandise!!  It’s no wonder that there’s so many hardcore dudes out there that are fanatics about collecting old 4-sided Wishingwell shirts!  There was just so much cool shit!!  I wish I had more of these cool old WW shirts.  I guess I’ll have to live vicariously through my homies like Skones and the TFS dudes.

GRI-6031-1 (Giant Records)   Uniform Choice -“Staring Into The Sun” LP

I know I know, UC turned into stoner rocker types.  Obviously compared to one of my favorite albums of all time “Screaming For Change”, this thing is beyond disappointing.  But I do kinda like listening to this album. I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as people say it is. On the right you see an original test pressing on “Giant Records” (Wishingwell must have signed a distribution deal with Giant).  It’s got the track listings pasted to the jackets, and was probably sent out as a promo to radio stations, etc.  Sebastian D’Hertoge traded me this back in 2007 or so.  He and I used to talk on instant messenger all the time to help me pass the work day.  We would sometimes work out record trades, and he was really generous to me, hooking me up with some old records he had doubles of for some of my  modern Rivalry stuff.  That was really nice of him to take an interest in what I was doing with Rivalry, and for being willing to trade his old valuable doubles for my modern stuff.  I’m thankful to him for that, most people wouldn’t have done that kind of thing. I’ve always loved record collecting and the comraderie that can come about because of it.  Also pictured is a red vinyl and black copy of the original gatefold release.  I think the artwork is really cool. Why on earth they repressed it later with that weird eyeball looking image (middle row) is beyond me.  The bottom row is a 7″ single type release for songs on this album.

The outside of the original gatefold jacket. I think the cover art is cool.

The inside of the original gatefold layout, depicting this sweet photo of them on the cliffs in Orange County, hair blowing in the wind.  I crack up everytime I see this photo, just picturing them posing there having this photo taken.

UC – “Staring Into The Sun” test pressing on Wishingwell/Giant.

“Uniform Choice has evolved into one of the best accessible hardcore bands in the country”. haha, uh oh… That’s never a good sentence to utter about a hardcore band.  In fact, this entire promo write-up is fucking hilarious.  Saying “This new record ‘Staring Into The Sun’ is amazing” about your own band is awesome, since I imagine Dubar was still involved in writing the promos for his own label (and band), hahaha.  And then “Instead of rambling on and giving you the same old bullshit other labels do, let me just say this, ‘Listen to this record! Solicit it to your accounts. I’m sure you will sell tons'”.  Hey, you gotta respect the confidence, huh?

GRI-6021-1 (Giant Records)  76% Uncertain –  “Hunka Hunka Burnin Log” LP

This is a test pressing of the 76% Uncertain “Hunka Hunka Burnin Log”  LP.  Haha, I really have no idea what in the hell the name of that album is all about.  Nor really sure what the hell is up with this band, to be honest.  I just got this because I was buying a whole load of records from Dave Mandel of Indecision Records back in 2006, and he had a couple random test pressings like this that I went ahead and picked up for fairly cheap.

Close-up of the 76% Uncertain test pressing labels.  Interesting that despite having Giant catalog numbers, it still shows here as Wishingwell #8.

WW-X  Freewill – “Sun Return” LP

This one is way cooler.  It is a test pressing of the Freewill – Sun Return LP on Wishingwell / Giant.  The thing is, this album never came out.  So, only test pressings exist of this release, meaning there are very few copies of this recording on vinyl in existance.  I also got this from Seb in Belgium.  He had a whole stack of these from when he bought everything from Dubar / Wishingwell.  I was stoked to get this thing, it’s good stuff!  You should check it out if you get a chance. I think Lost and Found Records in Europe released this recording on some version of a CD release at some point… I think.  I know it’s out there somehow in some form, so pick it up if you find it.

Close-up of the Freewill promo jacket.  Here’s another gem of a write-up.  “Wishingwell Records has been referred to as ‘that new trendy label’.  Releases like this one prove that statement correct.”  hahaha!  Also note that this release did get an official Giant Records catalog number – GRI6036-1, but was just never released.

Uniform Choice – “Demo”

None of this was on Wishingwell but adding here for UC completeness.  In the photo you can see an original Uniform Choice demo tape, with the classic x’d up skinhead.  The insert is all hand written in tiny lettering, the way all the old demos were in the 80’s.  The demo was later repressed on a double 7″.  There’s also a test pressing of this release pictured, which I think I bought off Igby on eBay somewhat recently.  “Igby on eBay” sounds like a weird children’s book or something, haha.

Close-up of the UC demo casette. The casette is labeled “Side O”, and “Side C”, haha.  The demo cover was pretty clever – they made real stickers, and then cut them out and affixed them to the construction paper, giving a look of full color printing. Pretty good idea, much cheaper, and the stickers can serve multiple functions.  The “Uniform Choice” on the spine appears to be written in white-out!  That must have taken some talent to write it so clearly with a fucking white-out brush! haha.  The lyric sheet has a bunch of cool hand drawn hardcore skins running around.

My Wishingwell collection, at its peak:

  • —————————————–
  • WW-1 Unity – You Are One (BLUE, Wishingwell Records #1, out of 70, MINT condition!)
  • WW-1 Unity – You Are One (BLACK, black and white labels, Wishingwell Records #1)
  • WW-1 Unity – You Are One (BLACK, pink and green labels, Wishingwell Records #1)
  • WW-2 Bl’ast – The Power Of Expression (BLACK, Wishingwell Records #2)
  • WW-3 Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (1st pressing, yellow letters on cover – WITH POSTER AND STICKER)
  • WW-3 Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (1st pressing, yellow letters on cover – WITHOUT POSTER)
  • WW-3 Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (2nd pressing, LIGHT PINK SWIRL, The rarest color variation, for sure. I’ve heard different stories about this. It’s either out of 100 “swirl” copies OR even more limited to about 10 of a special variant LIGHT PINK color that happened as a result of the transition between SEPARATE grey vinyl and purple vinyl pressings. You be the judge)
  • WW-3 Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (2nd pressing, PURPLE/PINK SWIRL, The rarest color variation, for sure. I’ve heard different stories about this. See above.)
  • WW-3 Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (2nd pressing, GREY, absolutely no pink or purple in it at all – only white/grey/black, The rarest color variation, for sure. I’ve heard different stories about this. See above.)
  • WW-3 Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (2nd pressing, GREEN, green letters on cover)
  • WW-3 Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (2nd pressing, RED, green letters on cover)
  • WW-3 Uniform Choice – Screaming For Change (2nd pressing, BLACK, green letters on cover)
  • WW-4 Youth Of Today – Break Down The Walls (TEST PRESS, Wishingwell Records #4, yes finally – this is 1 of the 7 tests in existance. I don’t see myself ever moving this.)
  • WW-4 Youth Of Today – Break Down The Walls (RED, Wishingwell, there’s probably only about 50 of these that weren’t destroyed)
  • WW-4 Youth Of Today – Break Down The Walls (BLUE, Wishingwell, there’s probably only about 50 of these that weren’t destroyed)
  • WW-4 Youth Of Today – Break Down The Walls (BLACK, Wishingwell, RED/BLUE cover)
  • WW-4 Youth Of Today – Break Down The Walls (BLACK, Wishingwell, BLACK/YELLOW COVER, DEAD MINT condition, I opened the sealed copy myself)
  • GRI-6019-1 Insted – Bonds Of Friendship (TEST PRESS, “To Dan For An Answer. Thanx for the help & support. – Kevinsted” written on cover)
  • GRI-6019-1 Insted – Bonds Of Friendship (BLACK, no insert)
  • GRI-6019-1 Insted – Bonds Of Friendship (RED, out of 500, original large insert + Wishingwell mail order catalog sheet)
  • GRI-6019-1 Insted – Bonds Of Friendship (WHITE, out of 200, tour press, no labels, smaller insert)
  • GRI-6021-1 76% Uncertain – Hunka Hunka Burnin Log (TEST PRESS, Wishingwell / Giant Records)
  • GRI-6031-1 Uniform Choice – Staring Into The Sun (TEST PRESS)
  • GRI-6031-1 Uniform Choice – Staring Into The Sun (RED, Giant Records)
  • GRI-6031-1 Uniform Choice – Staring Into The Sun (BLACK, Giant Records)
  • WW-X Freewill – Sun Return (TEST PRESS, Wishingwell Records. Actual record never came out, only test pressings exist)

5 Responses to Wishingwell Records

  1. Jeremy Lux says:

    For some reason I thought that Blast Power of Expression came out on SST first.

  2. JD says:

    No Shades Apart record?!

  3. Regan says:

    I was just searching on eBay and saw an Insted LP that looks like it has the labels withe the black writing. So I would say there was at least 2 presses on black.


  4. matthew knopp says:

    I also used to own a bdtw test. Bought in Chicago in 96 sold to a kid in DC for a mint in 98.

  5. great collection! the W logo you mention not noticing is present on all the releases you have pictured from wishingwell records. check the UNITY You Are One back cover lower left corner & then check out the wishingwell logo w all know & love. the W logo is on the well. it would be AWESOME if you could post all the back covers to these records. there are big differences in the UC 1st & 2nd covers. also, i have the SST pressing of B’last POE & would love to see the back of the WW pressing for comparison.


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