Please read the shop Blog for a detailed background of this book, an important mid-sixties Warhol item and also a significant Velvet Underground rarity.
Stated First Printing -circa November 1967 : (one printing, OUT-OF-PRINT ever since : softcover and hardback : ) Random House, New York: & Toronto,Canada (simultaneously) printed in Japan: 28 x 22 cm.
Contributions by Andy Warhol, Stephen Shore, Billy Name, Nat Finkelstein and others.
The multi media elements consist of
1) a pop-up castle with Billy Name B&W photos
2) a fold-out page with paper accordion (these made squeaking sound but very few, if any still make a noise. I had a working one that was out away for over ten years – only to be silent!
3) a pop-up bi-plane
4) a spring-mounted disc featuring reviews of Warhol’s film Chelsea Girls
5) a pop out dodecahedron depicting Gerald Malanga. This was supposed to be “sprung loaded” with an elastic band & sealed between two pages, When the pages were unsealed it was supposed to pop into a sphere
6) A flexi-disc depicting Lou Reed that was supposed to be torn out and played at 33rpm. Because it features Nico talking over snippets of I’m Waiting for the Man and Femme Fatale it has become a the ultimate completist (along with Aspen #3) Velvet Underground rarity.
7) a fold-out sheet with nose & rainbow overlays
8) a pop-up Hunt’s Tomato Paste can,
9) 8 tear-out ‘For a big surprise’. The idea was that Warhol’s signature disappeared. I did try this – and it dissolved into “mush”. Clear whatever magic property it possessed over 50 year ago had long dissolved.
10) Balloon. ah, the notorious silver balloon with neon pink “INDEX” printed on it . This is, in 99.9% of copies, fused between the pages creating a brownish stain on the adjacent pages. At best a balloon shape can be seen, if extra specially lucky the word “Index” can be read in the stain. I’ve only come across one copy where the balloon had been removed ! The customer who bought it decided it was actually better it was “missing” than “present”.
Given that in order to fully enjoy your book you were required to destroy several elements, complete copies fetch a premium. Given that the flexi disc is on card and usually curls up to the point of being unplayable, copies with it still attached ( & with the pop-out centre hole unpunched) are preferable to collectors ( the audio has been bootlegged and can now be found online).
The dodecahedron & Chelsea Girls disc can easily become unattached and are often missing. Like the balloon, the dodecahedron is unlikely to work given that the elastic band has also perished.
In addition to the above the book came in a clear plastic bag with purple lettering, presumably to stop people tinkering with the pop-ups. but these are seldom seen, These are seldom seen and not generally regarded as being part of the package. A postcard often gets a mention but I’ve yet to come across one.
Given all the above, and the fragile nature of the sewn binding (a common binding weakness is found by the Superstar Holly Woodlawn photo) . So, finding a “Fine” “Near Mint” copy of this book is nigh on impossible and prices vary according to completeness & condition. Incomplete copies still fetch $200-300++
The softback edition has silver card boards that are often scratched to some degree and although this edition better reflect the “silver Factory”, tits the hardback that is fetching the higher prices.
The Hardback edition has exactly the same interior as the softback but crudely bound in heavy boards, with a pasted on 3M reflective type panel (often listed as a lenticular – it isn’t) mounted on the front and printed with the same high contrast B&W image of Warhol and the Factory crew with the Brillo boxes in the back ground.
Hardback & Softback copies in stock. Also a signed edition – click here : Warhol signed & initialled ( multiple times) Index 1967 Multi media book, Softback edition (Velvet Underground content)
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