Old Ramon is the final Red House Painters album, released in 2001 after being delayed from its originally-planned 1998 release date. The album, known for its more light-hearted feel compared to other Red House Painters albums, went through a troubled production that resulted in the band getting dropped from Island Records. This album in and of itself almost ended up becoming a piece of lost media when Island held onto the master tapes.
For over four years Kozelek struggled to find a record company willing to put down the money to buy it from Island, who wanted more than the album was worth to have it released. The band got trapped in limbo along with many other alternative and indie bands from the '90s who also have missing material (such as Whiskeytown's Pnuemonia, which reportedly has around 100 missing tracks). What is remarkable about Old Ramon is that absolutely none of the missing tracks ended up getting bootlegged. This is considered something of a miracle in the music industry, as anything that goes unreleased from the late '90s onward is easily subject to bootlegging. SubPop Records finally offered a huge sum of money to buy the album in 2001 and get it released.
Fans were pleased with the album until a 2001 interview with Mark Kozelek confirmed that Old Ramon was intended to be a double album. Among the album's still missing material is a longer, 18-minute version of "Michigan" and a 20-minute-long dark song called "The Mission". It is not known if Island, SubPop, or Kozelek himself holds the master tapes, or if the tapes even still exist. Fans have searched far and wide for these missing recordings and as of yet nothing has surfaced.
- ↑ 2001 interview with Mark Kozelek, courtesy of thebadpennyblog.com. Retrieved 28 May '13.