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Lou Reed – Autographed Pre-Velvet Underground 45 “The Ostrich” by The Primitives

A very rare signed copy of Lou Reed’s 1964 single as The Primitives, “The Ostrich/Sneaky Pete,” on the tiny Pickwick City label.  In 1964, Reed moved to New York City and began working as an in-house songwriter for Pickwick City.  “The Ostrich,” a parody of popular dance songs of the time,  included lines such as “put your head on the floor and have somebody step on it.” His employers felt that the song had hit potential, and arranged for a band to be assembled around Reed to promote the recording. The ad hoc group included Welsh musician John Cale, later to co-found the Velvet Underground with Reed, Sterling Morrison and Moe Tucker.  This copy is perhaps the only one in existence to be signed by Reed.  We acquired this from longtime Velvet Underground collector, music journalist and Angry Samoans founder Gregg Turner, who explains “Lou was signing copies of a new poetry release,  I believe it was “Between Thought And Expression” at Book Soup on Sunset.  I saw this as my opportunity to get “Ostrich” signed so I bucked up and waited some 40 minutes in line.  Signs posted everywhere said “Lou will not sign records or posters,”  ie only the book.  I had the Primitives 45 under my coat.  The line of folks waiting for Lou was way out the door of the place,  and snaked thru several rooms to where he was seated and signing.  When it was my turn,  I first let him sign the poetry tome,  then quickly reached under my jacket and pulled out the Pickwick 45. A couple of his (what looked like) bodyguards almost pounced on me (guess you can’t be too sure of your fans back then), but Lou stopped them and seemed quickly transfixed by the vinyl.  I apologized for breaking the rules and the sign-my-record transgression,  but he quickly deflected and muttered something like “this isn’t just a record” !  He looked at me and said that he doesn’t even have a copy and wanted to know if I could be convinced to sell it to him. I shook my head, and he remarked  “I don’t blame you.”  I pointed to the record label (not the sleeve) for the autograph, and he nodded and said “naturally.”  I pranced out of the place,  mission accomplished.  And I’m pretty sure I inadvertently left the book back on the signing table as well.”
The single is in VG+/VG(+) condition and plays beautifully; Reed’s signature is just above the “X” on the A-side label.  Guaranteed authentic without time limit.

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