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Roland 808 BMX bike goes to auction

The auction goes live today, 808 Day 2023

Roland 808 BMX bike goes to auction

Roland is auctioning a one-of-a-kind 808 BMX Bike.

To celebrate 808 Day 2023 - 8th August - the leading electronic music instrument brand has teamed up with Roland Lifestyle and 1500 Sound Academy to auction off the unique item.

Celebrating the impact of the Roland TR-808 drum machine on music over the four-plus decades, all proceeds from the auction will help fund a scholarship for an artist to attend the on-campus Music & Industry Fundamentals Program at 1500 Sound Academy in Inglewood, California.

In a statement, Roland Lifestyle founder and creative director Nathan Chandra said: “I believe music is a ladder for the soul to reach the highest realms and to participate in an initiative to help a student gain access to one of the best music schools in the world is an honor.”

He added: “It is exciting to work with the 1500 Sound Academy and Roland to help fund the dream of music for the next generation.”

The retro, one-of-one Roland 808 BMX Bike was commissioned from established graffiti artist and custom vintage BMX designer, DUROTHETHIRD, and is made from all original vintage parts including a 1993 Dyno Compe frame and custom wheel hubs.

The auction for the bike goes live via Roland Lifestyle this 808 Day - Tuesday, August 8th - at 12:00 AM PDT and ends August 16th at 11:59 PM PDT.

Speaking about the 1500 Sound Academy, the scholarship for which is raised via the auction, Sound Academy co-founder and Grammy-winning producer Larrance ‘Rance’ Dopson said: “1500 Sound Academy was founded with the goal to give back to our community. It is an honor to be a part of Roland’s iconic 808 global celebration where art, music, and culture help young artists fulfill their dreams.”

After Roland created the TR-808 Rhythm Composer in 1980, its 12,000 units became a cultural phenomenon and went on to create countless foundational sounds for hip-hop and electronic music. While it went out of production in 1983, it has inspired two generations of music and countless spin-offs including Roland’s TR-8 in 2014.

Revisit DJ Mag’s feature on some of the best free 808 samples.