A rare opportunity to snag an impressive trophy is in the offing for a lucky Throbbing Gristle fan with some spare cash to burn. A copy of the 1980 cassette box set 24 Hours is up for auction on eBay. The set was limited to 200 copies, each personalized to its buyer—this one was originally inscribed to a “Kevin Combs,” and the seller is located in Greece. 24 Hours consisted of 26 cassettes packaged in a customized attache case, and also included prints signed by the band. All but three of the tapes in the set currently available are live recordings, but the contents could vary from set to set:
Each set is personalized to the buyer and dated. Each copy is unique with hand-made collages on each of the primary (signed) information card. The sleeves for IRC A and IRC B (which were only available in this box set) were also hand made. Each set also came with three color-copied inserts (color copies were very expensive and rare in 1980 when these were made). One featured an informal shot of the band while another was a collage by G P-O of the proposed “Industrial Records HQ”. Copies also contained 2 full-sized b&w original photos: one a classic press shot and the other an informal image of the band being interviewed (by a small radio station in US).
Box sets often varied in contents between each other as they were supposed to contain the “most recent twenty four tapes” (quoted from the mail-order catalog). Thus early buyers (low numbered copies) would get tapes IRC2 to IRC25 while later buyers would get later tapes. The 1980/81 Industrial Records catalog stated that buyers would get IRC5 to IRC26 + IRC29/30/33 (note that IRC31 was by Clock DVA and and IRC32 was by Chris Carter hence not included in this set).
Note that IRC1, “Best Of ... Volume II”, was a collection of live and studio recordings, note there never was a Best Of ... Volume I until much later, which was (initially) a bootleg as IRC00.
Initially offered for £77 for the UK, £80 for Europe and £82 for the rest of the world. By the time of the 1980/81 mail order catalog, each set retailed for 88 UK pounds (for UK and Europe) or 99 UK pounds rest of the world (postage paid).
The last time a copy of this set changed hands through discogs.com, the price was US $2,200. As of this posting, with four days left until closing, the price sits at under US $1,000. Best of luck. Should you get shut out, a CD version called TG24 was released in the early oughts, and it’s going for much more manageable resale prices.
I tried to find motion footage of any of the concerts contained in this particular version of the set, but had no luck. However, to my delight, I did turn up the 1980 Oundle School performance, itself once a VHS rarity, wherein TG played for an audience of schoolboys ranging in age from 8 to 16 who keep yelling “Show us your legs!” at Cosey!
Tip of the hat to Jack Smiley for bringing this to our attention