inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #126 of 150: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Sun 7 Jun 09 08:09
    
Still, for a New York band that's prominent (if underperforming record
saleswise) not to play a standard gig in the city they live for three
solid years is pretty willful. They might not be the best examples
because both of these bands were much more theatrical, but two of the
most radical/underground other groups of the time, the Mothers of
Invention and the Fugs, did a lot of New York gigs in the 1960s (the
Mothers doing a multi-month residency at the Garrick Theater). And
apparently the Velvets could have played at the Fillmore East if they'd
wanted to, but didn't, possibly because of their animosity for Bill
Graham, dating back to their May 1966 gigs at the Fillmore in San
Francisco where they didn't get along.

It does seem to me like an impulsive passionate decision/vow that
might have gotten a little out of hand, Sesnick or Reed getting more
determined to stick to their guns as time went on rather than lose a
little face by taking two or three bookings a year.
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #127 of 150: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Sun 7 Jun 09 08:23
    
One myth about the VU that hardly anyone pays attention now, but is
fairly amusing, is that Doug Yule and Lou Reed are brothers. Reed took
to introducing Doug as his brother onstage, and famously can be heard
referring to him as "my brother Doug" at one point on "1969 Velvet
Underground Live." They did look enough alike that they could get away
with it. There's one poster in particular (for the Woodrose in
Springfield, Mass. on January 9, 1970) where they look *very* much
alike (reproduced on page 269 in the book). Those head shots were also
used in the poster for their residency at Max's later that year. 

When I first got the "1969 Velvet Underground Live" album at the age
of 17, I just assumed this was true, and that maybe Lou Reed's real
name was Lou Yule. It only took a few months to find out definitively
that this was not the case, but that's how hard it was to find basic
information about the band in 1979. Doug Yule explained to me, "There
was a time when he would like to screw around with the audience’s head
by switching me for him in various ways. Sometimes he’d get on and
introduce me as his brother, or stuff like that.”
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #128 of 150: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Mon 8 Jun 09 09:16
    
One thread that runs through some of these VU myths, but also through
much of their fascinating career, is their uncompromising stances in
regards to both their art and their commercial decisions. I think this
refusal to bend just a little for commercial considerations definitely
cost them success-wise. On the other hand, it's just that kind of
uncompromising nature that fueled their music -- if they'd been more
conventional entertainers, the music might well not have been as
special.

That acknowledged, what *could* they have done to achieve greater
sales and recognition without changing their music? They probably
wouldn't have listened to such advice if someone had been around to
make these suggestions, but a few worth considering in hindsight:

Make sure to get the band captured on film, playing real songs, in
good sound and image quality. As noted a while ago, the absence of
decent VU film footage is probably the biggest loss to their legacy. In
the Warhol-Nico era (early 1966-mid-1967), I have to think that Warhol
could have easily said to a public television station or two that he'd
offer to host a special show, as long as he could have his group play
a few songs. Probably at least one or two such TV stations would have
gone for it, just to get Warhol on, even if they didn't know anything
about the Velvets. Then all Warhol probably would have had to do (or
been willing to do) was appear on screen for a few months introducing
the band, who then could have played for 20 or 30 minutes, with the
resulting footage hopefully carefully preserved. Big Brother & the
Holding Company with Janis Joplin, as an example, got to  play and be
filmed in good quality for a half-hour program on San Francisco's
public station (KQED) in April 1967, two months before they started to
get a national reputation with their Monterey Pop Festival appearance.

Instead Warhol used one of his chances for TV exposure to have Nico
appear as the "hostess" of an eight-week series of films, "Pop Art
Theater," on WNAC-TV in Boston in mid-1966. That included such camp
non-classics as "King Kong," "Tarzan the Ape Man," "White Savage,"
Batmen of Africa," and 'Dick Tracy Meets Cue Ball." A script of one of
Nico's pieces of patter survives: "“Hi luvs. I’m Nico. It’s just
super-marvelous being Miss Pop Art of 1966. It’s something I’ve always
dreamed of, but never thought would happen to little me. Imagine! Andy
Warhol, the famous pop artist, Campbell Soup Cans, underground movies,
the Plastic Inevitable, picking me! But, I’m not here to talk about
little me, I mean, what I’m here to talk about is so super-fabulous,
these movies that Channel 7 is going to show for the next eight weeks,
they are REALLY what’s happening” – whereupon she is supposed
to launch into a multi-paragraph recap of the plot of "Dick Tracy And
Gruesome."

Though the Velvets did appear at least once or twice on the Cleveland
music show "Upbeat" (details are sketchy and no footage has surfaced),
it seems they should have appeared on television more often. That was a
vital means of exposure in those days, and plenty of pretty hip groups
(and groups with even less of a commercial profile than the VU)
appeared on prominent TV shows, even square ones. Sterling Morrison has
said that he couldn't imagine appearing on such shows and
participating in the corny sketches that went along with them. But it
seems management could have arranged, at least once or twice, for them
to do a song or two without having to do sketches. If that meant not
singing "Heroin" or "Sister Ray" or something else from their
repertoire that would have scared off TV outlets, well, I think they
should have consented to that at least once. Then take a stand the next
time they had an opportunity, but make sure you're on at least once.

They should also have probably gritted their teeth and played the
Fillmore East once or twice, as the interest from fans was apparently
there. And/or, played New York at least occasionally for that
three-year gap between spring 1967 and summer 1970. Even if New York
radio was supposedly ignoring them, they *did* have fans in New York,
and did get some good coverage in New York press at the time, with some
prominent New York critics being among their biggest fans.

And as noted earlier, if Lou Reed had been willing to stick it out for
at least a few more months and stay in the band for just one tour
after Loaded was released, I think that would have helped give that
album greater exposure than any of their previous releases, and made
Atlantic Records much more willing to promote it.

Amazingly, despite all the commercial failure, I don't think the
quality or quantity of the music they produced was affected (though a
good deal of it wasn't issued officially until after they broke up).
That's the most important part of their legacy, and thankfully that
*is* preserved.
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #129 of 150: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Mon 8 Jun 09 19:35
    
A search for "Velvet Underground" on YouTube produces quite a few
hits. Here's something interesting, in light of your last post:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cWzxJvgWc8
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #130 of 150: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Mon 8 Jun 09 22:16
    
Yes, I know about that footage at that YouTube link. It's a two-minute
silent film from 1966 titled "Sunday Morning," by Rosalind Stevenson.
That clip is taken from a British TV show about the VU, and they looped
it or something so that it lasts longer, putting the studio recording
of "Sunday Morning" on the soundtrack.

Rosalind Stevenson was a classmate of Lou Reed at Syracuse University.
The film shows Lou Reed, John Cale, and Sterling Morrison rehearsing
in her apartment. I interviewed Stevenson for the book, and she told me
that it's "strange that I don’t have a lot of footage of them, because
we were close friends at that time. I knew Lou from college, and we
continued being friends when we were both in the city right after
college. They used to come to my apartment a lot, often in the wee
hours of the morning after [playing at] the Dom [in New York]. They
would play music, and I was a filmmaker, so one night, I just decided
to turn the camera on them."

The film's called "Sunday Morning," she told me, because she's fairly
certain the sequence shows the group actually composing the song
"Sunday Morning.": “It may have been something they had been already
in the process of creating, and it was being worked out. She said
might have an audio reel-to-reel tape of the song being composed, but I
haven't heard it.

Stevenson also directed the feature-length underground film "Deux
Voix," which starred Elektrah Lobel, who briefly played in a band with
Reed and Cale called the Falling Spikes around the time the VU were
forming. She told me "All Tomorrow's Parties" was originally conceived
by Reed for possible use on that film's soundtrack, though it wasn't
used in the movie in any form.
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #131 of 150: What is going to amuse our bouches now? (bumbaugh) Tue 9 Jun 09 06:09
    
It's a shame, agreed, that we don't have footage of the band to study and
enjoy.

The reputation for being "uncompromising" that you mentioned: that must have
something to do (besides the extraordinary power of their music) with the
band's achieving such legendary status. To what extent did the members
themselves cultivate that image, or to what extent was it cultivated upon
them, as it were?
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #132 of 150: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Tue 9 Jun 09 08:09
    
It worked both ways, I think. Not a whole lot was known about the band
while they were active (and for quite some years after they
disbanded), which itself contributed to their mystique as being so
mysterious and menacing. Some of the tales and myths about the group
have no doubt been embellished at least a little in retrospect,
sometimes by the band themselves in interviews, though generally the
stories they told seem pretty accurate.

One big aspect of their image that contributes to that mystique, at
least in their early years, is how they dressed in black and wore
wraparound sunglasses. (When Nico was with the band, she tended to
dress in white without shades, which was an effective contrast.) I
think there was some deliberate cultivation going on here. The band
have sometimes said the black colors were just the way they dressed,
and that they wore those glasses to shield their eyes from the lights
and strobes of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia show as they
were performing. If so, though, it's curious that they were sometimes
photographed offstage -- and sometimes indoors -- with those same
shades on. There wouldn't be much need to shield your eyes from those
elements then. Reed, Cale, and Morrison can be seen wearing those
shades, with their usual grim non-smiles, on the photo of the Nico
lineup on the cover of the book.

Wearing the black clothes, incidentally, contributed to a memorable
aspect of their stage show. You could often barely see the musicians in
the Exploding Plastic Inevitable environment, unless the movies that
were part of the show were actually projected on the band members.
Here's how one audience member described it to me: "It was totally
pitch black. The band,you could barely see.Thenevery so often this
incredible white light would hit you in the face. They were showing
some really early cut, supposedly, of "Chelsea Girls" [the Warhol-Paul
Morrissey film  in which Nico appeared] on the screen behind the band.
So you could only see the band from the movie on them!"

As far as what people assumed about their lifestyle, many probably
just figured that anyone associated closely with the Warhol crowd was
into hard drugs and general decadence, amplified by their most blatant
drug-oriented songs ("Heroin," "I'm Waiting for the Man," "Sister
Ray"). For Reed and Cale, we know that they did do their share of drugs
(as did Nico, though probably not so heavily until after leaving the
band), though their drug use probably wasn't as severe as many guessed;
Morrison probably didn't do much in the way of hard drugs, and Tucker,
who was quite clean-living, didn't do any. In his infrequent
interviews of the time, Reed doesn't come off as a junkie or drug
advocate, though occasionally he did say something outrageous and by
the era's standards shocking -- asked about drugs by a Cleveland
underground paper in August 1967, he said, "I'm in favor of any of
them. They should be given to people immediately." That was probably a
general reaction to the interviewer's inane line of questioning, though
-- even back then, he had little tolerance for journalists he thought
were foolish, though generally he was pretty friendly and cooperative,
in contrast to the general tone of his media interactions in his solo
years.

Overall, in their onstage demeanor and what media coverage they got at
the time, the VU did seem to at least partially project an image of a
band that just weren't interested in the usual pop star games. They
didn't smile much, some of Reed's song intros were very droll and
sardonic, and of course they sometimes did things that they knew
weren't going to be popular. This goes all the way back to the two-week
residency at the Cafe Bizarre in the Village where Warhol first saw
them at the end of 1965. As they've told it numerous times, the owner
told them that if they played "The Black Angel's Death Song" one more
time, they'd be fired. So, as Morrison once said, "We led off the next
set with it. A really good version, too."

Several people around the band I interviewed, however, emphasized that
they weren't really that much like the evil and foreboding images that
were often projected in their songs, their concert appearances, and
their album covers. When approached by individual fans, Reed himself
was usually very gracious and friendly, much more so of course than he
would be in his solo years. Steve Nelson, who worked with them often as
a club owner/manager in Massachusetts, designed a poster for one of
their Boston Tea Party shows that showed them as child-like, smiling
stick figures. He told me that he "had gotten to know them enough that
I understood they were just being four people having fun playing
in a band. I showed that poster to Lou, and he made some comment
about, ‘Well, how’d you know that’s who we really are?’ ’Cause that
just depicts them as four kids having fun playing in a band. They were
not these evil people – all that druggy imagery, and all that stuff
that was associated with them. When you got to know them, they were
really nice. In a lot of ways they were the kids on that Tea
Party poster."
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #133 of 150: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Tue 9 Jun 09 09:30
    
By the way, I'm being interviewed about my new book "White Light/White
Heat: The Velvet Underground Day-By-Day " for the next two hours
(noon-2pm Eastern time) on WMBR (88.1 FM) in Boston, interspersed with
some rare music. Listen in at http://www.wmbr.org.
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #134 of 150: outside the law and honest (tbessoir) Tue 9 Jun 09 11:26
    
It's too bad they never appeared on the Dick Cavett show. His show seemed 
hipper than most variety shows.

I think their decadent, drug-user image hindered their getting television 
exposure.
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #135 of 150: outside the law and honest (tbessoir) Tue 9 Jun 09 12:00
    
WMBR broadcasts are archived and available on the net in case you missed 
it.

http://www.wmbr.org/cgi-bin/arch

Scroll down to "Lost_and_Found" and click on "Tue Jun 09 12:00 pm" link.
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #136 of 150: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Tue 9 Jun 09 12:32
    
Thanks for posting the link. By the way, one of the callers on that
show said he first became aware of the Velvets when he saw them on a TV
talk program on Boston with Andy Warhol and conservative cartoonist Al
Capp. He didn't mention them playing any music. But still, if this
happened, wouldn't *that* be great footage to find!
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #137 of 150: Mark McDonough (mcdee) Tue 9 Jun 09 13:56
    
That would have been a real meeting of the minds!
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #138 of 150: What is going to amuse our bouches now? (bumbaugh) Tue 9 Jun 09 14:02
    
Thanks for the WMBR link, tbessoir!

Richie, and everyone else for that matter, is there a particular song that
stands out for you, with which you connect, from the Velvets oeuvre?

There are several for me, but one is on my favorite theme: the redemptive
power of music itself. When Lou sings, in "Rock and Roll," about how it
was, listening to that "New York station" on the radio, about how "her life
was saved by rock and roll," I think back to connecting with music like that
as a kid, to staying up in the dark, with the radio turned down low. And I
think about how the Net can serve a role like that, too.

What about everybody else?
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #139 of 150: Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 9 Jun 09 14:06
    

Richie, I don't have a question for you, I just wanted to comment that I
am always blown away by the breadth and depth of your knowledge, your
extraordinary access to stars and those in the know, and the amazing
amount of footage you have acquired.
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #140 of 150: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Tue 9 Jun 09 15:01
    
Thanks, Linda. There are many Velvet Underground songs that have
connected deeply with me, so it's hard to single out just one. As I've
mentioned, my favorite recording of theirs is the "1969 Velvet
Underground Live" version of "White Light/White Heat." It's just such a
furious and tense performance from start to finish, going into some
wild guitar soloing and dueling that teeters close to chaos but never
loses taut control. And Lou's vocal on that is amazingly cocksure.

I want to let anyone else following this discussion have their say on
this question, so I'll just briefly note some of my other special
favorites and why I like them so much:

"Sunday Morning": The first VU song I heard, or at least heard where I
knew it was them. A beautiful song, but also I remember the shock of
putting it on when I brought the banana album unheard and put the
needle (it was vinyl-only in those days) on the LP. I was expecting
something wild and noisy, and this pretty ballad came on, and I
thought, "hey, wait a minute...this is kind of *nice*!"

"Femme Fatale": Great melody and enigmatic Nico vocals.

"All Tomorrow's Parties": One of the greatest gloom-doom songs in all
of rock, with another great Nico vocal.

"Venus in Furs": Simultaneously creepy and seductive.

"I'll Be Your Mirror": A great love song that says much about what we
want and value most in relationships.

"Candy Says": I think this is maybe their most underrated song, and
just as powerful in its unearthly muted restraint as their all-out
assaults. Also I remember the shock in putting this on the turntable; I
knew the third album was supposed to be the "quiet" one, but this
track, the first on the LP, was *unbelievably* quiet, especially in the
context of the VU's prior career.

"Lisa Says": The "1969 Velvet Underground Live" version. I can't
believe the group never put it on an LP when they were active. Another
great romantic Reed ballad.

"What Goes On": The "1969 Velvet Underground Live" version, which has
some of the greatest rhythm guitar and organ on a rock recording.

"Sweet Jane": I prefer the "1969 Velvet Underground Live" version,
which was more tender and deliberate than the more famous
harder-rocking studio one on "Loaded."

"Sweet Bonnie Brown"/"It's Just Too Much": Kind of a throwaway
lyrically, from "1969 Velvet Underground Live," but rocks incredibly
hard and gracefully.

"Rock and Roll": The one song of theirs I think should have been a Top
Ten single; if I'd been working at Atlantic Records then, I would have
risked my job on lobbying the label to put it on a 45 (which they
didn't). I think it's as close as Reed ever got (including his solo
career) to laying down a manifesto; rock'n'roll *did* save his life,
and if it didn't *save* all of ours, it made it incredibly richer. This
is one of rock'n'roll's greatest anthems to itself.

As Reed told David Fricke for the liner notes to the "Peel Slowly and
See" box set, “‘Rock & Roll’ is about me. If I hadn’t heard rock’n’roll
on the radio, I would have had no idea there was life on this planet.
You know what I’m saying? Which would have been devastating – to think
that everything everywhere was like it was where I came from. That
would have been profoundly discouraging.
Movies didn’t do it for me. TV didn’t do it for me. It was the radio
that did it."
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #141 of 150: (dana) Wed 10 Jun 09 09:10
    
Neil Ingles writes:

Richie,

From your "White Light/White Heat" thread on The Inkwell:

      But Martha Morrison told me, "I know that he was often not
      happy with what he played. He was very hard on himself.
      He'd come back to the table after a set and he'd say, 'Was
      that awful?'"


I'm pretty sure it's Morrison who can be heard asking this exact
question at the end of "Temptation Inside Your Heart" on VU,
presumably referring to the backing vocal track they had just
finished, or maybe the whole song.  I think it's also he who mutters,
near the end of the guitar solo, "It's not a bad solo."

There's one nagging question I've always had regarding the 1969 Live
albums, which are among my very favorite concert recordings ~WI rate
'em up there with Ellington At Newport or John Coltrane Quartet's Live
At The Village Vanguard~W and it's this: does anyone know precisely
which songs were recorded at The Matrix in San Francisco, and which
were recorded at The End Of Cole Avenue in Dallas?  Obviously,
"Waiting For My Man" comes from the Dallas shows, as a Cowboys/Eagles
game is mentioned by Lou Reed in his opening banter, but other than
that little detail, I don't know which tunes are from which venue. 
There doesn't seem to be a consistent enough difference in the ambient
sound to tip one off immediately, at least not to my untrained ears. 
(It occurs to me this may be addressed in your forthcoming book, which
I haven't seen yet.)

Also, I got to this thread via a link at Salon.  The headline reads:
"Is the Velvet Underground's music still relevant?"
Um, yes.  I got on board with the V.U. when I was fifteen, via an
Italian import compilation, about two years before VU and the
remastered LPs were issued by Verve/MGM, and they immediately knocked
then-current favorites the Beatles and R.E.M. to #2 and #3.  The
Velvets have been on top ever since.

Thanks for helping keep the interest alive.  I look forward to reading
the new book; Unknown Legends is already a personal favorite, and I
love the CD that came with it.
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #142 of 150: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Wed 10 Jun 09 09:26
    
Thanks, Neil. Yes, the "Velvet Underground 1969 Live" recordings are
addressed in detail in the book. Basically, everything was recorded at
the Matrix in San Francisco in November 1969 *except* "I'm Waiting for
the Man," "Pale Blue Eyes," "I'll Be Your Mirror," and "Femme Fatale,"
which were all recorded on October 19 at the End of Cole Ave club in
Dallas. There aren't exact dates for the Matrix recordings, other than
having been done in the second half of November 1969.

The whole October 19, 1969 show, or close to it, has been bootlegged.
Also a few more songs from that show appear on other release, mostly
obscure imports. "It's Just Too Much" is on the "Peel Slowly and See"
box; "One of These Days" and "I'm Sticking with You" on a bonus EP
included with some copies of the 1990 French boxed set "The Velvet
Underground, and then on the Australian boxed set "What Goes On"; and
"After Hours" on the Australian box "What Goes On" as well.

There are at least four more hours of recordings from their November
1969 shows at the Matrix. Fragments of ten songs (faded prematurely
about halfway through; they were probably made as an example of how the
tape sounded, to solicit possible record company interest) have
circulated, and the sound quality is really good -- a little better,
actually, than the November 1969 material on "1969 Velvet Underground
Live." Those four hours to me are the holy grail of known unreleased VU
material, especially as they include versions of quite a few songs not
on the "1969 Velvet Underground Live" album.

Discography details aside, the most important thing about tapes from
this era is that I think they capture when the Velvets reached their
peak as a live band -- indeed, a peak rarely reached by any other band 
live. They were becoming extremely adept at not only changing/beefing
up/improvising upon the studio versions of the songs in interesting
ways, but also in varying these versions and arrangements in
interesting ways from performance to performance -- one of many
underrated/overlooked skills of the band.

By the way, an excerpt from the book covering the November 1969 Matrix
recordings can be read on my website, at
http://www.richieunterberger.com/vuexc10.html.
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #143 of 150: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Wed 10 Jun 09 10:58
    
I know we're coming to the end of my featured slot on inkwell.vue, so
thanks to everyone for all the questions about my Velvet Underground
book. A few other items of possible interest to readers:

There's plenty of other information about the book and the Velvet
Underground, including excerpts from the book, on my website, at
www.richieunterberger.com/vu.html. Readers can continue to ask me
questions in this topic, or by contacting me directly through my
website, www.richieunterberger.com.

I'll be interviewed about the book tonight on KPFA in Berkeley (94.1
FM, www.kpfa.org) by David Gans from 9:15-10pm.

I'm doing plenty of events for the book this summer in which I'll play
and show some rare audiovisual material. There are details on my
website at www.richieunterberger.com/whatsnew.html. Since many WELL
users are on the West Coast, a few might be of special interest:

On Wednesday, June 17 from 7pm-9pm, at the Park Branch of the San
Francisco Public Library at 1833 Page Street;

On Tuesday, June 16 from 7:30pm-9pm at Pegasus Books at 2349 Shattuck
Avenue in Berkeley;

On Wednesday, June 24 from 6:30pm-8pm, at the Central Library in
downtown Seattle, at 1000 Fourth Avenue. Doug Yule will also be
appearing at the event;

On Thursday, June 25 from 7:30pm-9pm at Powell's bookstore at 3723 SE
Hawthorne Blvd. in Portland, Oregon;

On Saturday, June 27 from 1pm-3pm, as part of the Writers Talking
series at the Central Library at 801 SW 10th Avenue in downtown
Portland, Oregon.
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #144 of 150: (dana) Wed 10 Jun 09 11:39
    
Thanks for joining us here in the Inkwell, Richie. While we are indeed
beginning a new discussion today, you're welcome to stay on as long as
you like -- it's been a great discussion.
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #145 of 150: What is going to amuse our bouches now? (bumbaugh) Wed 10 Jun 09 14:34
    
Richie, it's been great having you with us. I learned so much from reading
your book and visiting with you here. THanks for an enjoyable conversation
(and, as Dana notes, everyone is welcome to continue hanging out here,
curiously adjacent to the newly started discussion about the Grateful Dead
and growing up on tour).
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #146 of 150: Gary Burnett (jera) Wed 10 Jun 09 14:44
    
My thanks as well.  I haven't participated at all here, but I've
enjoyed every word, and learned a huge amount.  I'll be seeking the
book out!
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #147 of 150: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Wed 10 Jun 09 14:52
    
There are some unlikely Velvet Underground-Grateful Dead connections,
by the way. Hetty MacLise, wife of original Velvet Underground drummer
Angus MacLise, was briefly a girlfriend of the Grateful Dead's Pigpen,
and, in an interview with the fanzine Bananafish, remembered playing
tanpura on the Dead's version of "Dark Star" that was released as a 45
in 1968. The Dead and the Velvets also shared the same bill not just
once, but twice, in 1969. Coincidentally, both groups also used the
name "the Warlocks" before settling on different ones.

It was be reported that when they shared a bill on April 25, 1969 in
Chicago, the Velvets played for so long that the Dead only got to play
one set, and the Dead returned the favor the following night, playing a
set of such length that the VU had to shorten theirs. In the fanzine
"The Velvet Underground," though, Doug Yule listed the events in
reverse order: “That show the Dead opened for us, we opened for them
the next night so that no one could say they were the openers. As you
know, The Grateful Dead play very long sets and they were supposed to
only play for an hour. We were up in the dressing room and they’re
playing for an hour and a half, [then] an hour and 45 minutes. So the
next day when we were opening for them, Lou says, ‘Huh, watch this.’
And we proceeded to play a very long set. We did ‘Sister Ray’ for like
an hour and then a whole other show."
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #148 of 150: Barry Warren Polley (barryp) Wed 10 Jun 09 16:04
    
More thanks for sharing your work here. I am going to take a day off
soon to revisit the music, and definitely need to check out your book
too.
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #149 of 150: Brian Dear (brian) Wed 10 Jun 09 16:41
    <scribbled by brian Wed 20 Mar 13 18:16>
  
inkwell.vue.354 : Richie Unterberger, White Light / White Heat
permalink #150 of 150: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Wed 10 Jun 09 16:51
    
The book was printed by Colorprint Offset Ltd. in Hong Kong. The
publisher did the design, so I don't know what tools are used.

I wasn't involved in the cost/production decisions, so I'm sorry, I
can't answer the questions about how they got the book out for under
$35. The Beatles book was actually designed and produced not by Jawbone
or Backbeat UK (of which it's an imprint), but by Backbeat's US
office, which is no longer in business, as Backbeat's US branch was
sold to Hal Leonard (the publisher) in late 2006.
  



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