Owner of Velvet Underground Vinyl Talks eBay Auction
Highest bid up to $124,740.50!!!

Warren Hill is a lucky guy. A very, very lucky guy. Up until last week, the only reason the Montreal resident's name would have appeared on Pitchfork News would have been if something terrible and/or terribly hilarious had happened on a Sunset Rubdown tour, as Hill is that band's roadie and merch guy. (He also runs a record store, Backroom Records & Pastries, where Sunset's Camilla Wynne Ingr sells baked goods.)

But Hill might not need to spend his nights behind the merch table much longer. He's the guy who, as previously reported, is selling the ultra-ultra-ultra-rare Velvet Underground acetate on eBay, now up to the astounding bidding price of $124,740.50. The auction ends on Friday, December 8 around 8:30 p.m. PST.

As reported on Friday, Hill found the original 1966 test-pressing of an early version of The Velvet Underground & Nico at a New York City sidewalk sale in 2002. He paid 75 cents for it.

In an article for the record collector magazine Goldmine, excerpts of which are reprinted on the auction's page, Hill's friend Eric Isaacson of the Portland, Oregon-based Mississippi Records described the vinyl's journey from the sidewalk to the online marketplace. It's a fascinating read that reveals the story behind the recording (it was the band's first session, and contains the album as Andy Warhol intended it to be released).

In an interview with Pitchfork today, Hill said that his ideal buyer would be "somebody that was really passionate about the music, or somebody that was interested in it as a historical document and wanted to do something interesting with it in that way." (In the "question and answer" section on the auction's page, it says "We are confident that the item will go to a responsible party who will care for it as the historic artifact that it is while in their hands.") Hill would be happy if the music on the acetate reached a larger audience through some sort of release.

He added that he had been in touch with lawyers for the Velvet Underground two years ago, but "they had nothing to say. They were not interested."

Hill acknowledged the possibility that the auction could be won by a fraudulent bid, or someone unable to pay. "I would imagine so, with the number of bids out there," he said of the auction, which currently has 170 bids. "I mean, it's just so impossible to find out which ones are [real] and which ones aren't. This is why I'm not getting too excited about the dollar amount going up. We'll see what happens when the auction ends."

While he isn't certain of what he'd do with the money, Hill said that a possibility would be investing some in Backroom Records & Pastries. "I was thinking about making that a little more legit, or maybe getting some better stock or something like that," he said.

Hill said that he has never listened to the actual piece of vinyl all the way through, though he and Isaacson created a digital copy of it and listened to that.

Allegedly, another acetate of the same session, belonging to Moe Tucker and featuring "significantly lesser sound quality" according to Hill, was included on a Japanese bootleg released several years ago. However, the authenticity of the recordings on that bootleg have not be confirmed. As far as Hill knows, the piece of vinyl being auctioned is the only copy in existence.

So get to bidding, folks! What else are you going to buy with $125,000? 3,000 Lou Reed Tai Chi DVDs?

File-icon Wed: 12-06-06: 12:15 PM CST
Of Montreal Share New MP3 Download, New EP Info

File-icon Wed: 12-06-06: 11:15 AM CST
Bonnie "Prince" Billy Does Stand Up Comedy!

File-icon-gray Today's Other Headlines


Horizontal-dotbar News-rss-feed
File-icon-gray Tue: 12-05-06 File-icon-gray Mon: 12-04-06 File-icon-gray Fri: 12-01-06 File-icon-gray Thu: 11-30-06 File-icon-gray Wed: 11-29-06 File-icon-gray Tue: 11-28-06 File-icon-gray Mon: 11-27-06 File-icon-gray Wed: 11-22-06 File-icon-gray Tue: 11-21-06 File-icon-gray Mon: 11-20-06 File-icon-gray Sat: 11-18-06 File-icon-gray Fri: 11-17-06 File-icon-gray Thu: 11-16-06 File-icon-gray Wed: 11-15-06 File-icon-gray Tue: 11-14-06 File-icon-gray Mon: 11-13-06 File-icon-gray Fri: 11-10-06 File-icon-gray Thu: 11-09-06 File-icon-gray Wed: 11-08-06 File-icon-gray Tue: 11-07-06 File-icon-gray Mon: 11-06-06