Lou Reed, the iconic singer/songwriter who was the driving force behind the influential 1960s band The Velvet Underground, passed away in late 2013. In the hopes that his influence on the trajectory of American music will be cataloged and preserved, his estate is organizing an auction of his gear to fund the development of the Lou Reed Archive. The auction will include a number of preamps, keyboards and footswitches that were used by Reed during his long and productive career. The gear represents the musician's ongoing experimentation in music production that started with The Velvet Underground and continued through the artist's solo career, which lasted up until his death. This auction is a rare opportunity for collectors to own a piece of music history.
Lou Reed and the creation of punk
By many accounts, the work Lou Reed did with The Velvet Underground set the stage for the genesis of punk music. Reed was born in 1942 on Long Island. He would grow up to become as much a part of the New York landscape as the Empire State building or Statue of Liberty. Between 1966 and 1970, The Velvet Underground released four albums exploring rough, dark themes such as sexual politics and drug abuse. From there Reed launched into a solo career that was marked by unpredictability and personal reinvention. Never one to shy away from a new sound or technique, Reed represented the artistic expansion of what rock music could be.
Unfortunately, the lots being auctioned off for the development of the Lou Reed Archives do not include any of the musician's priceless guitars and amps. The lots instead will include two Kurzweil keyboards, a distortion rack mount, a Pendulum Stereo Preamp for acoustic instruments and three preamp modules. The organization funding the auction has indicated that more lots will continue to be added in the coming days.
The Lou Reed Archive
Sister Ray Enterprises, Reed's touring company, is maintaining an archive of many of the artist's personal effects. As the touring company, Sister Ray Enterprises maintained all of the equipment that Reed amassed over his 30-year career. The archive will be comprised of items from this collection that represent the most significant periods of the artist's life.
Be sure to browse iCollector often for your opportunity to cast absentee bids for music history memorabilia and collectibles auctions happening around the country.