Wouldn’t you like to own an original handwritten Patti Smith setlist? Who wouldn’t want to have a REM setlist from 1989’s Wembley Arena show, complete with Peter Buck’s handwritten remark, “I don’t believe I made a mistake this night”? What about a set list from Janelle Monáe’s upcoming Coachella performance?
Introducing Setlists For Young Voices, where on April 7 about 100 setlists will be auctioned off to benefit programs for young writers. Artists include The Who, Rush, Maxwell, Toro y Moi, The Pretenders, Aimee Mann, Bhi Bhiman, Wilco, Josh Ritter, Def Leppard, Andrew Bird, The Coup, Jim James, Death Cab for Cutie, Thao Nguyen, the Dixie Chicks, Sigur Ros, Allison Moorer and Shelby Lynne, Steely Dan, Nine Inch Nails, and more.
This was all the brainchild of novelist, screenwriter, and music lover Nick Hornby, co-founder of Ministry of Stories, a youth writing center in London. “One of my friends used to stand at the front of the show so he could read the set list and call out the name of the next song. It really used to annoy the band,” Hornby says. “So this is a way to satisfy your music-geek side without aggravating your favorite musicians.”
Hornby called on novelist Dave Eggers, co-founder of 826 Valencia, a youth writing center in San Francisco. And soon, with the help of novelist Michael Chabon, Setlists for Young Voices was born. They put out the word, and setlists flooded in.
Proceeds will go to the Ministry of Stories, as well as The International Congress of Youth Voices, a new event created to connect extraordinary young writers from around the world.
This year’s event takes place in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in early August, and will feature 140 of the world’s boldest teen writers and activists.
“We’re hoping to raise about $50,000,” says Eggers. “That will go a long way at the Ministry of Stories, and will help fly all our International Congress delegates to Puerto Rico.” Proceeds will also help Jim James, the singer-songwriter behind My Morning Jacket, start a center like 826 Valencia in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The Young Authors Greenhouse has been operating for three years now, and is building a home base for its programs.
Starting on April 22, bidders will have 10 days to try to snag these treasures and more:
• Three setlists from Rush’s 2013 Clockwork Angels tour (the band’s penultimate tour) and one from the Sweden Rock Festival in 2013, the first festival Rush had played in years.
• Two from REM’s 1989 tour, signed by all four original band members (!).
• Five – that’s right, five – recent setlists handwritten (beautifully!) by Patti Smith (and always on unusual stationery).
• One from Toro y Moi this year at SXSW, which he typed up as a note on his iPhone and then printed out on a 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper and wrote on.
• A Pete Townshend-signed Who setlist from a 2016 show at the Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City.
• Not to mention setlists from Film School, Matt Nathanson, Beirut, The Lumineers, and dozens more!
To see a preview of the auction go to youthwriting.org/bid. Bidding begins April 7.
For more information about the youth writing centers, visit:
- The Ministry of Stories (www.ministryofstories.org)
- International Congress of Youth Voices (www.internationalcongressofyouthvoices.com)
- The International Alliance of Youth Writing Centers (www.youthwriting.org)