The eBay online auction world and national press is abuzz with talk of "arguably the rarest and most important rock n'roll and pop art artefact in the world." The item in question being a 12" acetate of a VU session that was once believed lost but which has now been found when someone picked it up for 75 cents from a bargain box in New York in September 2002.
Now, a few years have passed since this lucky find and it is pretty obvious that commercially speaking all the main players have passed on this once in a lifetime opportunity. The disc is pretty scratched and battered and anyway everything on it came out years ago in bad quality on a Japanese bootleg... but this is the thing itself. The artefact. The Holy Grail of Heroin chic. Something to treasure, to keep and to call your very own.
What use it actually is to anyone however is anyone's guess. The parties involved in the ownership of whatever material is recorded on the disc are obviously the surviving members of the VU or their estates. Then there are the publishers of the tracks - all of which came out on the first VU album - and no doubt whoever paid for the sessions themselves - probably Andy Warhol. In the case of any commercial exploitation his posthumous foundation will probably seek a slice of the action as well, should there ever be any.
The eBay site anticipated high interest and it has got it. The money at time of writing stands at over $128,400 with two days five hours left to go. The number of bids is 186. Gee, it sounds like it could be a record (sorry...).
The fun starts when you look at just who is bidding. First of all, forty four bids have already been wiped out - not enough feedback response is the excuse - so one would expect the remaining auction hounds to be a pretty select and credible bunch. Let's look at them:
First off is "terjemeisingeth" (with 153 feedback points). Terjemeisingeth's most recent ebay purchase was a "Conception in Your Mind" Japanese CD bought from "bridesofdestruction for $9.99. Before that he bought TNT live in Madrid for GBP #12.40. His eBay feedback is 4**** excellent).
Coming up close behind is "bigmike" whose most recent purchase on the online auction bonanza was a Traxxas Nitro Stampede motorized model truck for #105 US. Before that he bought a Large Corner Parrot bird cage (for $189). "Bigmike" "does great communication and is a pleasure to do business with" so the sellers of the fabled rosetta stone of indie pop music are onto a pretty safe bet here I reckon...he also bid $128400.98 so Mike must be pretty sure of himself too when it comes to the Velvet Underground
The list of bidders goes on and in its own way is probably more fascinating than the precious artefact on offer. However if Lou Reed doesn't want it and neither does the Andy Warhol foundation, it does seem pretty fair to expect John Cale to turn it down too. But it's a dead cert that whoever buys this disc and wants to do more than maybe play it once (its very fragile), will find themselves talking to these gentlemen or their representatives fairly soon.
If you fancy selling your house to buy a record and inherit this nightmare, then follow the link here: eBay
Incidentally... the signed album (pic above) went for $152 in July this year....)
Happy bidding and ...er, Good Luck!