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How in the world were they making that sound?
June 10, 2009 2:40 PM   Subscribe

In a fascinating, still-ongoing conference on The inkWell, Richie Unterberger talks about the process of researching and writing about the Velvet Underground, for his recently published day by day chronicle of the group. (book excerpts here)
posted by anazgnos (10 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
One Velvet Underground=Good. 15,000 Velvet Undergrounds=Not so good.
posted by Faze at 3:41 PM on June 10, 2009


Faze I disagree, though that's not what this thread is about. It's not like VU originated their sound out of the ether, and 15,000 kids trying to be the VU is just as likely to produce great music as 15,000 kids trying to play Hang On Sloopy like Lou was in 1965.

Anyway, lots of incredible info in that thread, thanks!

(Speaking of which:

It's not too widely known that Morrison and Tucker continued playing
in the VU for a while after Reed left, with Doug Yule and other
musicians.


I did know that because some studio recordings of this version of the band were going around blogs last year and I snagged em. They're actually pretty awesome.)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:27 PM on June 10, 2009


I highly recommended checking out the Velvet Underground section of Unterberger's web site. It's got some really bizarre revelations. Lou Reed recorded the first version of "Heroin" at Pickwick Records? Nico hung out with Country Joe of Country Joe & the Fish and wanted to join the psychedelic band, the United States of America? The Velvet Underground played Beverly Hills High School? Yup, yup, and yup.
posted by jonp72 at 4:30 PM on June 10, 2009


and of course there's an entire internet devoted to those later recordings, released and derided as Squeeze.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:34 PM on June 10, 2009


Fantastic discussion there, many thanks.
I ordered the book a couple of days ago after reading the excerpts on Unterberger's site and am looking forward to it arriving - for a band with their weight & mystique, the Velvets have always seemed under-represented on paper, and I'm glad this isn't the dry day-to-day chronicle I assumed it would be upon first hearing about it.
posted by anagrama at 4:53 PM on June 10, 2009


day by day chronicle of the group

DAY 1167

LOU REED : shot up. passed out. .......... huh?

DAY 1168

LOU REED : shot up. passed out. warhol came by today. what is he on about? nico getting on my nerves again.

DAY 1169

LOU REED : shot up. passed out ...........
posted by Sloop John B at 6:52 PM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow. Reading the "22 Myths & Legends" page, it seems like the author is just making shit up so he can then "clarify" it with his vast knowledge. Example:

Myth: The Velvet Underground were wholly out-of-step with the trends of their time, not listening to or admiring much or any of the work in their peers, even dismissing it as irrelevant.


..except in pretty much every interview I've ever read with members of the Velvets where they're asked what they were listening to at the time they mention groups like the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys.
posted by item at 9:14 PM on June 10, 2009


Not that many people posted in this thread, but every one of them went on to post FPPs of their own.
posted by anazgnos at 11:36 PM on June 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


jonp72: "I highly recommended checking out the Velvet Underground section of Unterberger's web site. It's got some really bizarre revelations."

He recorded a novelty dance single called "Do The Ostrich".
posted by Joe Beese at 8:30 AM on June 11, 2009


He recorded a novelty dance single called "Do The Ostrich".

I knew about the Primitives and Lou Reed's recording of "Do the Ostrich." What I didn't know, until I did some Googling a while back, was that "Do the Ostrich" got some airplay in Cincinnati, Ohio in January 1965 on WCPO's Magnificent Seven Hit List.
posted by jonp72 at 12:01 PM on June 11, 2009


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