“It’s a little surreal, seeing my best friend’s face blown up so big!” media composer Laurie Anderson, waving in a massive pic of her former father, Lou Reed ‘s, originally of a press journey of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’ gorgeous show on the legend’s song, singer, and Velvet Underground co-founder. It seems to be available to the public — and available for free — starting Thursday (June 9,2008). “We’ve remained working so hard to place this together” she continued, “and I only wanted to mention it’s my fantasy to always have [the records of] the above great poet of New York in the Public Library.” She did not mention this during the tour, originally intended to join James Joyce’s archives, Norman Mailer and Don DeLillo at the University of Texas, Anderson changed her mind after a handgun law allowing people to carry handguns on college campuses was passed in the state; The NYPL acquired much of the archive in 2017. Jem Aswad Anderson, along with curators Don Fleming and Jason Stern and audio expert Raj Patel, a lucky 20 journalists led a tour of the multi-room exhibit, The film opens Thursday and is basically like a dream tour of Reed’s personal archive, and then some: The accompanying dozens of photos, letters, Lyric sheets, and ephemera down to receipts, includes guitars, posters, a large percentage of his record collection — ranging from copies of his solo and Velvet records, including bootlegs, as well as his box of doo-wop 45s and a large number of video interviews and performances, a special room with a sonically precise audio playback of his legendary “Metal Machine Trio” sound installation, as he would have heard them onstage — and a lovingly rendered re-creation of the office of his longtime collaborator and best friend, Hal Willner, it’s like a peek into an eccentric genius’s personal wonderland. Reed’s Fender 12-string electric guitar, featured in many Velvet Underground songs and concerts. Jem Aswad There are many strange moments, several revolving around the Velvets: A picture of the drummer and lifelong friend Maureen Tucker throwing a football to the ground; She sent her postcards to her “Dear Honeybun” (Lou Reed is just about the last person one could imagine being called “Honeybun”). Here’s a 12-string electric Fender that he played on the Velvets’ third album and many other live gigs. And most riveting of all to the curators, a 1965 reel to reel tape recorded with John Cale containing demo versions of future Velvets songs, with several unreleased tracks (that recording, and a few early songs, will be featured on the forthcoming “Words & Music, 1965” album, the first release of Lou Reed’s collection). Reed had mailed the recording to himself as a “stamp” “poor man’s publisher” but never opened it. The curators said they searched and searched for The tape, only to find it hiding in plain sight, the CDs were stored behind Reed’s desk. The package contains Reed’s 1965 demos of several Velvet Underground songs and unreleased tracks, which he mailed to himself as a “poverty man’s publisher.” Courtesy Canal Street Communications. Along with his record collection are personal notes that were found inside some of the albums, including ones from Paul McCartney — noting that Reed was among the few “catchy folks” I got a copy of his album “1997” “Flaming Pie” and Jimmy Page. Letter from Paul McCartney that accompanied an advance pressing of his line “Flaming Pie” album. There are also hours and hours of interviews and live performances, as well as a section devoted to Reed’s “Tai Chi” weapons (later in life he was an avid sport-player). Here’s an autographed book from the former Czech president Vaclav Havel Tázsáv, who has named the name of the country’s state “Velvet Revolution” it was inspired directly by the Velvet Underground. A sampling of Reed’s collection of his own records, including bootlegs. Here’s also an original copy of the poem he wrote that was published in Life magazine, a copy of the magazine containing an edited version of the poem, Reed’s letter complaining about the edit (he was apparently not informed of this fact in advance) and a letter from the editor apologising. Reed (lower right) featured in his college yearbook. Jem Aswad, Along with insightful conversations, some of the videos apparently feature the famously confrontational Reed. “If he didn’t like what the presenter stated, anything stunning could arrive outside of his mouth” Fleming noted. Reed’s collection of doo-wop 45s. Jem Aswad Willner’s wife, Sheila Rogers, he led visitors around the recreation of his office, which must be seen to be believed. From the re-creation of Hal Willner’s studio. Jem Aswad Downstairs, The soundproofed room has a full concert set-up for the symphonic orchestra “Metal Machine Music” recordings, which renders the ambitious works in sterling sonic detail. The main exhibition will be displayed from Thursday through March 4,2023; the Listening Room closes Jan 1.7. Note that this building is located at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in Lincoln Center, not the main branch on Fifth Avenue.