In 2002, some guy from Montreal, on vacation in NYC, bought an old record at a flea market in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. On Dec 8 2006 he sells it on Ebay for US$155,401.

What was the record? Well as the auction called it “ARGUABLY THE RAREST & MOST IMPORTANT ROCK ‘N’ ROLL AND POP-ART ARTIFACT IN THE WORLD”.

According to the IHT:

The recording turned out to be an in-studio acetate made during Velvet Underground’s first recording over four days in April 1966 at New York’s Scepter Studios. The record reportedly is only one of two in existence; the other is privately owned, with rumors circulating around the world about who the owner is.

So, I know many of you kids out there may not even know who the Velvets were or why this record is to important to rock history, so let The Cam do his duty and fill you in.

Let me steal from Wikipedia:

The Velvet Underground (sometimes abbreviated as The Velvets or VU) was an American rock band first active from 1965 to 1973. Its best-known alumni are Lou Reed and John Cale.

Although never commercially successful, The Velvet Underground remains one of the most influential bands of all time: a famous remark, often attributed to Brian Eno, is that while only a few thousand people bought a Velvet Underground record upon their initial release, almost every single one of them was inspired to start a band.

The Velvet Underground was one of the first rock music groups to experiment heavily with the form by incorporating avant-garde influences. The group’s often raw, sometimes difficult sound would influence many later punk, noise rock, and alternative music performers, and singer Lou Reed’s lyrics brought new levels of social realism and sleaze to rock. Critics Scott Isler and Ira Robbins argue that “The Velvet Underground marked a turning point in rock history. After the release of The Velvet Underground and Nico, knowing the power of which it was capable, the music could never be as innocent, as unselfconscious as before.

While many of you probably haven’t heard “The Velvet Underground and Nico”, you will definitely know the cover art by Andy Warhol.

Yes, on the original LP (that stands for “Long Playing” which meant the record played at 33 or 33-1/3 rpm…. see we used to have these things called “records” which were an analogue sound recording medium consisting of a flat disc with an inscribed modulated spiral groove starting near the periphery and ending near the center of the disc…. aww forget it…) the banana PEELED. It had “Peel Slowly and See” printed near a perforated tab. Those who did remove the banana skin found a pink, phallic, peeled banana beneath. Gay? Yes. Hello???? Andy Warhol was gay. There I said it. Sue me.

The album was recorded in one or two days in late 1966 and released in March 1967, the year of psychedelic music. In the same year the following albums came out:
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles
The Doors – The Doors
Mellow Yellow – Donovan
Bee Gees 1st – The Bee Gees
Magical Mystery Tour – The Beatles
Axis: Bold as Love – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

You get the idea. Then Lou and his VU crew come out with an album full of songs about doing drugs and S&M with lyrics which read like street poetry. Let’s take a quick tour of the album:

“I’m Waiting For The Man”

I’m waiting for my man
Twenty-six dollars in my hand
Up to Lexington, 125
Feel sick and dirty, more dead than alive
I’m waiting for my man


I don’t know just where I’m going
But I’m gonna try for the kingdom, if I can
cause it makes me feel like I’m a man
When I put a spike into my vein
And I’ll tell ya, things aren’t quite the same
When I’m rushing on my run
And I feel just like jesus son
And I guess that I just don’t know
And I guess that I just don’t know

“Venus In Furs”

Shiny, shiny, shiny boots of leather
Whiplash girlchild in the dark
Clubs and bells, your servant, don’t forsake him
Strike, dear mistress, and cure his heart

I don’t know how much money Lou and the rest of the surviving members of the VU get from album sales these days, but they deserve your money. However, if you want to check out the album, here’s a link to a torrent.