Remember that ridiculously rare Velvet Underground record that sold for $25,200 in 2006? Well it’s going back on eBay this July, thanks to a partnership between its anonymous New York owner and the Chicago shop Shuga Records.
“I’m a big Velvet Underground fan, but to be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of this album,” the former told Rolling Stone, referring to the acetate recording of rough Velvet Underground & Nico takes. “But the significance of the record for music is unmistakable. It’s obviously a piece of musical history, but I wouldn’t have purchased it then if I didn’t see its potential as a financial investment.
He continued, “It wasn’t worth it to me to even handle the record, let alone drag a needle across it. This is not a conventional record that can be played thousands and thousands of times. It’s an acetate; it’s the equivalent of a CD you’d burn 10 years ago.”
If that doesn’t make you want to pony up some serious dough — let’s be honest; dude should work on his salesmanship techniques — maybe the fact that this is one of just two copies (drummer Moe Tucker owns the other) will? Well two original copies; Polydor pressed 5,000 proper 12-inches as part of Record Store Day 2012 and the hullabaloo around the 45th anniversary of The Velvet Underground & Nico. As for the significance of the “Scepter Studios” sessions as an artifact, they were swiftly recorded by engineer Norman Dolph, whose payment was a painting from the band’s manager, Andy Warhol. According to Rolling Stone, Warhol had the album cut to keep potential record labels from interfering with the group’s creative process. (Columbia, Atlantic and Elektra ended up passing on the LP; Verve did not.)
“This record represents a different take on the music industry,” a Shuga rep said, “in which the labels were kept out of the mix to avoid artistic compromise, and the completed recording was pitched as-is. This is the Velvets as the Velvets and Andy Warhol saw them, unencumbered by label A&Rs worrying about how this lyric might affect album sales, or the music being hard to digest.”