Thursday, December 14, 2006
unreleased acetate of Velvet Underground's first record (bought for 75cents in a Chelsea thrift store)
purchased in 2002 at a Chelsea yard sale for: 75 cents
final ebay auction price: US $155,401.00
latest news update - the buyer backed out due to some foul computer hacking on ebay.. it's been re-lisited! (?) - this may be a rumor
ok, IT WAS TRUE!! they relisted the record and it sold (the second time) for US $25,200.00.
from the ebay description :
"This acetate, which is possibly the only surviving copy, represents the first Velvet Underground album as Andy Warhol intended it to be released."
"Norman Dolph [the name on the record label "att:N Dolph"] was a perennial in the New York art & music scene of the 1960's. He worked as a sales representative at Columbia Records through 1967, and was deeply involved with different facets of the independent music world on the side. Andy Warhol, who was managing the Velvets at the time, contacted Dolph & offered him a painting in exchange for services as
"ghost" (uncredited) producer for the Velvet's first recording session. Warhol wanted to record a Velvets album before they had a record company behind them as this would tend to minimize meddling label executives' mobility in compromising the musical arrangement's distraught primal force, not to mention the unprecedented taboo lyrics which openly address sex, drugs, and depravity. Warhol's plan was to have Dolph record it and then shop it around to labels (first & foremost Columbia) as a finished recording.
...and so Dolph rented out Scepter studios, and with an engineer named John Licata by his side, they recorded the Velvets for four days. At the time Scepter studios was between reconstruction and demolition with walls falling over and holes in the floor. Velvets' bass & viola player John Cale would later recall the environment as "Post-Apocalyptic".
Dolph took the master tapes made during this session to the Columbia building, which still had an in-house pressing plant, and cut the acetate "after hours" with people he knew on the inside. Dolph then sent the acetate to Columbia to see if they were interested in releasing it. It was returned promptly with a note that said something akin to "do you think we're out of our f**king minds?" Dolph then gave the acetate to Andy Warhol or John Cale, he cannot remember which... ...As to the most interesting mystery brought up by the appearance of this item - how did such an important artifact disappear for 37 years & end up at a Chelsea New York yard sale priced at 75 cents? ...We have no answer."
Lou Reed & Velvet Underground - Venus in Furs (just a clip)
Velvet Underground Psichiatrists Convention Jan. 14. 1966 Super 8