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Lou Reed Papers: Salvatore Mercuri Velvet Underground collection

The Hidden Corners of the Lou Reed Papers

Salvatore Mercuri Velvet Underground Collection

Salvatore Mercuri is a collector of materials related to the Velvet Underground and founder of Fierce Pup Productions. He has worked as a producer on a number of Velvet Underground reissues and compilations including Bootleg Series Volume 1: The Quine Tapes (2001), Final V.U. 1971 – 1973 (2001), The Velvet Underground & Nico (2002-2012), White Light/White Heat (2013), The Velvet Underground (2014), The Complete Matrix Tapes (2015), and Loaded (2015). He also produced Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker's I Feel So Far Away: Anthology 1974-1998 in 2012, and collaborated with Doug Yule to self-publish a book of photographs from the Velvet Underground's 1969 tour.

Finding Aid: Salvatore Mercuri Velvet Underground Collection



The Salvatore Mercuri Velvet Underground collection dates from the 1960s to 2017, and contains items collected by Mercuri that are related to the music and history of the Velvet Underground and its band members. Most of the collection is devoted to the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed's solo career after he left the band, but there are also materials from the post-Velvet Underground careers of John Cale, Moe Tucker, Sterling Morrison, Doug Yule, and Nico. The collection holds audio and video recordings; correspondence; memorabilia; photographs; publications; and recording projects files.

Audio and Video Recordings comprise the bulk of the collection, which includes numerous Velvet Underground live recordings from the 1960s at such locations as Andy Warhol's Factory, the Boston Tea Party, La Cave, End of Cole Ave., and the Hilltop Pop Festival. There are also rehearsal recordings of the band playing at Max's Kansas City, in Sterling Morrison's loft, and at the Factory. Additionally, there are many live recordings from the first decade of Lou Reed's solo career, a number of Moe Tucker live performances from the 1990s, and some demo recordings Doug Yule produced in 1997. Audio and video recordings are unavailable pending digitization.

The Correspondence, which dates from 1966 to 2012, details events and publications Mercuri helped produce, and recordings he worked to release. Mercuri corresponded most with Moe Tucker, where the two discussed Velvet Underground bootlegs and Tucker's solo music career. The correspondence files also hold an assortment of greeting cards that Tucker sent to Mercuri, as well as a letter from Doug Yule in which he reminisces about his time as a member of the Velvet Underground.

Flyers, handbills, posters, press clippings, programs, ticket stubs, and t-shirts comprise the Memorabilia files. The materials are grouped together by band or artist, and arranged by format. There is memorabilia present for the Velvet Underground, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Nico, Lou Reed, and Doug Yule. There is also an assortment of Lou Reed, Velvet Underground, John Cale, and Moe Tucker CD booklets present which are autographed.

Dating from the 1960s to 2006, the Photographs mostly depict either the Velvet Underground or Lou Reed, but there are also images present from the post-Velvet Underground careers of John Cale, Nico, Moe Tucker, La Monte Young, and Doug Yule. Many of the photographs portray live performances, which includes the Velvet Underground in the 1960s, Lou Reed from the 1970s to 2006, and Moe Tucker in the 1990s. There are also many candid images of the Velvet Underground from the late 1960s to early 1970s.

The Publication files contain books, exhibition catalogs, and fanzines. This includes three independently produced books, '69 on the Road: Velvet Underground Photographs, which is a collection of photographs Doug Yule took on the 1969 Velvet Underground tour; All the Pretty People, featuring unpublished Lou Reed poetry; and The Velvet Underground and Nico - L.A. 1966, which is a book of photographs by Lisa Law that Mercuri edited.

Among the exhibition catalogs is a silver box from a German Jad Fair exhibition which holds a selection of Jutta Brandt photographs depicting such individuals as Lenny Kaye, Jim Carroll, Alex Chilton, Moe Tucker, Jarvis Cocker, La Monte Young, Jean Smith, Ira Kaplan, and James McNew. The fanzines found in the Publications files are mostly on the topic of the Velvet Underground, and include such titles as Different Times, Feedback, The Velvet Underground, What Goes On, and the John Cale fan club official zine called Open House.

Files from bootleg and reissue recording projects that Mercuri produced are held in the Recording Projects files. These files contain research, album layout notes, drafts of album sleeves, photographs, and tracklists.

The Salvatore Mercuri Velvet Underground collection is arranged in six series:

Using The Collection


Music Division
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023-7498
Third Floor


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Audio and video recordings are unavailable pending digitization.