Friday, January 15, 2016

Beginning: Velvet Underground


The summer of 69, my rather small LP collection would be enhanced with a copy of Blind Faith (there's really only one LP), because I had seen them live in July 69. And some Doors (by then,both the first and second albums, both of which I memorized the entire lyrics to).

I wish I could recall just from where the Velvet Underground came into my peripheral vision. I was starting to become somewhat eclectic at the end of the 60s - moving on from Top of the Pops and into music that various folks were introducing me to.

There was this guy (we are talking 13 years old) who was a friend of my younger brother's who was pretty well musically informed. He's the one who brought Are You Experienced our way and likely changed my musical perspective forever.

I guess it must have been his infuence that led to our purchase of the Velvet Underground and Janis Ian - a long cry from the Motown that made up a majority of my LP collection.

I confess: I was never really wild about VU: Yes, I recognize the "genius". Yes, I listened again and again ... but it always hit me as a little too hypnotic, too mesmerizing for true enjoyment. Maybe not enough joy. Kind of like what I imagine heroin might be like, and that's a path I never wanted to trod. David Bowie ... maybe ... Velvet Underground arm's length.

That said, 40 years down the road, I guess that is part of what drew me to Talking Heads. There is a lot of similarity in the repetitive style. And I still - at a distance - appreciate the Velvet Underground (and Bowie and John Cale and Lou Reed). Within limits.

The live version above slightly more up tempo than the original on the eponymous album from '69, below.

blog comments powered by Disqus