Lydia Lunch Is For Sale

The most important figure in the transgressive underground is selling the rights to everything that she has ever done.

Would you like to own Lydia Lunch? Well, not Lydia herself – there are probably all sorts of rules against that, and rightly so. But everything that Lydia has done – her entire life’s work – is up for grabs, with the copyright and intellectual property of her writing, recordings, photography, artwork now on sale.

This means some four hundred compositions, sixty-one published works and her interest in 326 master recordings, and so this is probably not something that the casual buyer will be able to pick up. It’s also something that The Reprobate is rather priced out of, sadly – nothing would please us more than to engage on a thorough reissue of all this material, but that isn’t going to happen.

Lydia, famously, has been a ferociously independent artist, through her Widowspeak label and other outlets, since the start of the 1980s – a genuine maverick who has been involved in much of the underground and transgressive art since that time, and her work – either as a solo artist or in her numerous collaborations with Richard Kern, Jim Thirwell, Exene Cervenka and countless others – is amongst the most important of the late 20th century. More to the point, it’s also still some of the most dangerous – her collision of politics, sexual provocation and experimentation feel, if anything, even more challenging in these prissy and miserablist times. It also makes Lydia someone who is still something of a difficult figure for much of the art establishment. She’s not a paper rebel, she’s the real thing – and that is something that an art world given to empty virtue signalling while maintaining its elitism will always struggle with.

Much of Lydia’s non-commercial archives are now in the safe-keeping of New York University, but her commercial rights are obviously a more unusual proposition – this is not museum material, but works that need to be managed and licenced – work that needs to remain available, frankly. We’ve all seen what can happen when an artist’s work ends up in the hands of terrible people who either ruthlessly exploit it (though I can’t imagine many of her recordings ever ending up on the soundtrack of TV commercials to be fair) or weirdly bury it.

So what we need is someone with a decent chunk of cash who can buy this material (there is no set asking price), understands its cultural worth and knows how to continually manage its availability through new editions, new formats and more. If that’s you, then you can contact Lydia through her management:

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