As promised a few months back, Chicago’s Shuga Records shop has launched an eBay listing for what is arguably the rarest, and most prized, record in the Velvet Underground catalog. Originally sold to a fraudulent eBay buyer for $155,401 in 2006, the Scepter Studios Sessions acetate ended up in the hands of an anonymous New York fan, who bought it for 25,200. He felt it was too fragile to actually listen to, however, so a decision was made earlier this year to re-list it on eBay this summer.
“It wasn’t worth it to me to even handle the record, let alone drag a needle across it,” the test pressing’s current owner told Rolling Stone. “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.”
While that may be true, drummer Moe Tucker reportedly owns the only other original copy of the band’s work with engineer Norman Dolph, which was rejected by Columbia Records, Atlantic and Elektra before eventually morphing into the Andy Warhol-approved The Velvet Underground & Nico LP.
“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.”
Of course, if you can’t meet the store’s unspecified reserve for the record, you could always grab its limited Record Store Day reissue, which is currently going for around $20 on Discogs.