Reed on Sgt Pepper

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Glenn Chadwick

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Apr 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/28/99
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I just read this on the Byrds newsgroup, and thought it'd be good to
repost it here:

LOU REED ON *SERGEANT PEPPER*: "Let me tell you, it didn't have any
effect
on me. I don't even own it. I thought it had some of the worst songs
I've
ever heard in my life on it. *Mr. Kite*---absolutely unbearable. I
didn't
like it then, and I don't like it now. I don't see how people can even
think of it seriously when you compare it to, like, The Velvet
Underground's first album. No comparison. I think that, perhaps, if
people
listen to it in retrospect now, they might find it a little more
ridiculous, the way I did then. It was like gooey pap. It was like
completely dispensable from beginning to end. It just had nothing,
*nothing*. On top of that it was *cute*, you know?"

Gee...

The 13th Floor

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Apr 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/28/99
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I agree with him. I rate "Sgt. Pepper" as possibly the worst Beatles
album.

rew

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Apr 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/28/99
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I don't know how anyone can say Sgt Pepper is an awful album. It may not be
the Beatles greatest album, but it has some great songs on it. All of John's
for a start. Lou, as ever, had his reasons for saying what he did. He always
does. But he said Lennon's Jealous Guy was always one of his favourites, and
no-one can deny that Lennon's writing was pretty consistent between '64 and
'74. ie Jealous Guy is not a million miles away from anything he contributed
to Sgt Pepper. I mean c'mon guys.
Lucy in the Skies, Day in the Life, Mr Kite.

If you don't recognize genius, why are you listening to Lou?

Organon

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Apr 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/29/99
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You're right - Revolver and the White Album were better.
BTW, Lou appears to paraphrase the middle section of 'I Am the Walrus' on
Legendary Hearts' Rooftop Garden i.e., Lyrically, 'sitting in an English
garden waiting for the sun' becomes 'sitting in a rooftop garden looking
down below'; in fact musically the whole of Rooftop Garden appears to be a
more laidback NY version of Walrus's middle eight.
Has anyone heard Lou's version of Lennon's 'Mother' at the Lennon festival
in UK a few years ago?

PC

The 13th Floor <flo...@bayarea.net> wrote in message
news:37285449...@news.bayarea.net...

The 13th Floor

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Apr 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/29/99
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I'll agree on "A Day in the Life," which ranks as one of the finest
Beatles recordings. "Mr. Kite," on the other hand, I have never liked
at all.

Glenn Chadwick

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Apr 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/29/99
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The 13th Floor wrote:

> I'll agree on "A Day in the Life," which ranks as one of the finest
> Beatles recordings. "Mr. Kite," on the other hand, I have never liked
> at all.
>
> On Wed, 28 Apr 1999 23:02:35 +0100, "rew"
> <r...@de-la-mare.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >I don't know how anyone can say Sgt Pepper is an awful album. It may not be
> >the Beatles greatest album, but it has some great songs on it. All of John's
> >for a start. Lou, as ever, had his reasons for saying what he did. He always
> >does.
> >

> >If you don't recognize genius, why are you listening to Lou?
> >

Didn't Lennon himself say that he didn't really like 'Pepper' - he much preferred
the White Album.

But like Lou, John could always seem to contradict himself

Glenn


W. Geffe

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Apr 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/29/99
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While I don't HATE Sgt. Pepper's, I have to say I always kind of
regarded it as the beginning of the end for the Beatles...its a goopy,
squishy, vague & somewhat self-indulgent exercise, that just doesn't
measure up to the standard of Revolver or Rubber Soul (my personal Beatles
faves)...and as an exercise in psychedelia, it was already light years
behind bands like the Pink Floyd or the Open Mind...and what's all of this
White Album worship...my God! There's an album that's a complete
mess...too long, too serious, too arty by half: BO-RING
Now from the standpoint of early Lou Reed & the Velvet
Underground, I think its probably more profitable (and interesting) to
look at some American bands...the Byrds, for one, the West Coast
Experimental Pop Art group is another. I'd mention the Thirteenth Floor
Elevators and the maybe even the Jefferson Airplane...not that I know what
Lou Reed thought of these groups, they just strike me as being a bit more
kindred in spirit...


The 13th Floor

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Apr 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/29/99
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Lou specifically mentioned loving Roger McGuinn's guitar playing.
Sterling was also a Byrds fan.

JOHN B LEROY

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Apr 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/29/99
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Mr. Kite of course was penned by Paul. Anything that sounds like it could
be converted into calliope music usually was a McCartney ditty.

The 13th Floor wrote in message <3727a60...@news.bayarea.net>...


>I'll agree on "A Day in the Life," which ranks as one of the finest
>Beatles recordings. "Mr. Kite," on the other hand, I have never liked
>at all.
>
>On Wed, 28 Apr 1999 23:02:35 +0100, "rew"
><r...@de-la-mare.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>
>>I don't know how anyone can say Sgt Pepper is an awful album. It may not
be
>>the Beatles greatest album, but it has some great songs on it. All of
John's
>>for a start. Lou, as ever, had his reasons for saying what he did. He
always

>>does. But he said Lennon's Jealous Guy was always one of his favourites,
and
>>no-one can deny that Lennon's writing was pretty consistent between '64
and
>>'74. ie Jealous Guy is not a million miles away from anything he
contributed
>>to Sgt Pepper. I mean c'mon guys.
>>Lucy in the Skies, Day in the Life, Mr Kite.
>>

eddiemayer

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Apr 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/30/99
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rew <r...@de-la-mare.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:7g80l6$84a$1...@news8.svr.pol.co.uk...

>I don't know how anyone can say Sgt Pepper is an awful album. It may not be
>the Beatles greatest album, but it has some great songs on it. All of
John's
>for a start. Lou, as ever, had his reasons for saying what he did. He
always
>does. But he said Lennon's Jealous Guy was always one of his favourites,
and
>no-one can deny that Lennon's writing was pretty consistent between '64 and
>'74. ie Jealous Guy is not a million miles away from anything he
contributed
>to Sgt Pepper. I mean c'mon guys.
>Lucy in the Skies, Day in the Life, Mr Kite.
>
>If you don't recognize genius, why are you listening to Lou?

I think that album tried to be too many things to too many people. They
wanted to make a statement for the flowerchildren while keeping the hits
coming, and make an even broader appeal to the older generation with "Penny
Lane" and "When I'm Sixty-four." Those two songs I particulary dispised
because they made their way to my grade school music text book. I promptly
decided that ain't rock and roll.

But I did like "Lucy in the Sky," "A Day In The Life," and I'm even sticking
up for "Mr. Kite" on this one, which kind of produces a merry-go-round
effect. But Lou was way ahead of them with stereo seperation techniques on
"The Gift," "Lady Godiva's Operation," and "The Murder Mystery."

>
>

The 13th Floor

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Apr 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/30/99
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You may be right, but I seem to recall reading that it was, in fact,
Lennon's.

On Thu, 29 Apr 1999 22:07:01 -0400, "JOHN B LEROY"
<JLE...@prodigy.net> wrote:

>Mr. Kite of course was penned by Paul. Anything that sounds like it could
>be converted into calliope music usually was a McCartney ditty.
>
>The 13th Floor wrote in message <3727a60...@news.bayarea.net>...
>>I'll agree on "A Day in the Life," which ranks as one of the finest
>>Beatles recordings. "Mr. Kite," on the other hand, I have never liked
>>at all.
>>
>>On Wed, 28 Apr 1999 23:02:35 +0100, "rew"
>><r...@de-la-mare.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>>

rew

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Apr 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/30/99
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It's well documented that John wrote Mr. Kite and yes, although Paul has a
tendency for nursery rhymes, he did write "Helter Skelter" "Why Don't We Do
it in the Road" and, from Sgt Pepper "Lovely Rita" "Getting Better" and the
title track. These are hardly 'ditties.'

----------
In article <7gb361$g9c$1...@newssvr04-int.news.prodigy.com>, "JOHN B LEROY"

John Howells

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Apr 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/30/99
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"JOHN B LEROY" <JLE...@prodigy.net> writes:

<Mr. Kite of course was penned by Paul. Anything that sounds like it could
<be converted into calliope music usually was a McCartney ditty.

Completely wrong. It's Lennon all the way.

--

John Howells
how...@bigfoot.com
http://www.punkhart.com

W. Geffe

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Apr 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/30/99
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On Sat, 1 May 1999, Glenn Chadwick wrote:

> > On Thu, 29 Apr 1999 09:44:00 -0700, "W. Geffe"
> > <wge...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
> >
> > > Now from the standpoint of early Lou Reed & the Velvet
>

> Hmmm... yeah. I remember reading the liner notes to the 13th Floor Elevators
> "best of", and it said something like "the elevators went to the same dark
> places as the early Velvets, only the Elevators didn't have a map. :-)"
> Even if the Velvets were aware of other US bands like the Elevators, I'm pretty
> sure they didn't realise that just as they were playing their last concerts
> with Cale, the 'Kraut-rock' scene was starting to form, with bands like Can
> that were VERY close to the early Velvets style.
>
> Has anyone here heard "Delay 1968" by Can? - it's a disc of recordings from
> 1968 that were rejected by the label at the time, but released in the 80s once
> they got a cult following.
> The tracks just follow the path of the White Light/White Heat" album

While your probably right about VU not hearing CAN at the time, I'm pretty
sure that CAN had heard the Velvet Underground...especially the first
(Malcolm Mooney) incarnation, they were just too savvy, too dead-on not to
have heard the Velvets, who were available on a major label, after all.
They wander impressively into Stooges country as well, with "Yoo Doo
Right" successfully extending drone out into an extended raga-style thing
like "We will fall" was intended (but failed) to be.
> > > The 13th Floor
wrote:


> > > Lou specifically mentioned loving Roger McGuinn's guitar playing.
> > Sterling was also a Byrds fan.
>

Where would I find him talking about west-coast groups? I know that they
were out in LA in 1966 ---I'm sure they must have cought the tail end of
that whole "Hey Joe" folkrock & fuzztones scene...a lot of good records
out of LA shopw up in '65 and '66 ...the Byrds Fifth Dimension, all of
the first 3 Love albums, the Music Machine, the Seeds, all of it totally,
light-centuries away from what the Velvet Underground were doing, but if
you listen to live tracks like "Booker T" or "What Goes On", the Velvets
actually seem to feel alot of the same urges and influences as alot of
other early psychedelic bands.

> The guitar solos of the Byrds c1966 are amazingly unpredictable. Shame that
> they never seemed to record much over 3 minutes long..
>
> I wonder what the Velvets would've thought of Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd? Stuff
> like "Interstellar Overdrive"...
>
I think they probably did hear Pink Floyd early on; the Pink Floyd was a
huge deal from the get go; they played at the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream
at London's Alexandria palace. An event that resembles "The Exploding
Plastic Inevitable" enough for us to realize that the whole Warhol project
resembled nothing so much as New York attempt at throwing a full-blown
"hippy" psychedelic "event" like they were doing in San Francisco. There
was plenty of communication back and forth between New York and London;
John Cale returned to England repeatedly, and would have been aware of
what was shaking...can I point to any direct influence? No. But I think
in the post-alternative music world we tend to too radically seperate VU
from their surroundings. As distinct in tone as they were, in terms of
structure and overall content, the VU were very much a 60's psychedelic
era rock'n'roll band.
CAN definitely shows a strong Pink-Floyd fingerprint, as does
early Amon Duul II...yikes I'm off the deep end. sorry.

> Glenn
>
>
>
>
>


Mark Rowan

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Apr 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/30/99
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W. Geffe (wge...@u.washington.edu) wrote:
: look at some American bands...the Byrds, for one, the West Coast

: Experimental Pop Art group is another. I'd mention the Thirteenth Floor
: Elevators and the maybe even the Jefferson Airplane...not that I know what
: Lou Reed thought of these groups, they just strike me as being a bit more
: kindred in spirit...
:

Lou claims to have hated Jefferson Airplane.

Nico, however, felt a bit differently about Sgt. Pepper. There's a rare
flexidisc recorded at Warhol's Factory where she spontaneously breaks into
the chorus of "Good Morning Good Morning".

And, for the record, I've always much preferred Abbey Road...

Mark
--
###################################################################
# Mark "Polarity Boy" Rowan mro...@arches.uga.edu #
# #
# A cynic is just a disappointed idealist covered by a #
# hard candy shell. #
###################################################################

Glenn Chadwick

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May 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/1/99
to
> On Thu, 29 Apr 1999 09:44:00 -0700, "W. Geffe"
> <wge...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
>
> > Now from the standpoint of early Lou Reed & the Velvet
> >Underground, I think its probably more profitable (and interesting) to
> >look at some American bands...the Byrds, for one, the West Coast
> >Experimental Pop Art group is another. I'd mention the Thirteenth Floor
> >Elevators and the maybe even the Jefferson Airplane...not that I know what
> >Lou Reed thought of these groups, they just strike me as being a bit more
> >kindred in spirit...

Hmmm... yeah. I remember reading the liner notes to the 13th Floor Elevators


"best of", and it said something like "the elevators went to the same dark
places as the early Velvets, only the Elevators didn't have a map. :-)"
Even if the Velvets were aware of other US bands like the Elevators, I'm pretty
sure they didn't realise that just as they were playing their last concerts
with Cale, the 'Kraut-rock' scene was starting to form, with bands like Can
that were VERY close to the early Velvets style.

Has anyone here heard "Delay 1968" by Can? - it's a disc of recordings from
1968 that were rejected by the label at the time, but released in the 80s once
they got a cult following.
The tracks just follow the path of the White Light/White Heat" album


The 13th Floor wrote:

> Lou specifically mentioned loving Roger McGuinn's guitar playing.
> Sterling was also a Byrds fan.

The guitar solos of the Byrds c1966 are amazingly unpredictable. Shame that


they never seemed to record much over 3 minutes long..

I wonder what the Velvets would've thought of Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd? Stuff
like "Interstellar Overdrive"...

Glenn


Glenn Chadwick

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May 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/2/99
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"W. Geffe" wrote:

> On Sat, 1 May 1999, Glenn Chadwick wrote:
>

> > Even if the Velvets were aware of other US bands like the Elevators, I'm pretty
> > sure they didn't realise that just as they were playing their last concerts
> > with Cale, the 'Kraut-rock' scene was starting to form, with bands like Can
> > that were VERY close to the early Velvets style.
> >
> > Has anyone here heard "Delay 1968" by Can? - it's a disc of recordings from
> > 1968 that were rejected by the label at the time, but released in the 80s once
> > they got a cult following.
> > The tracks just follow the path of the White Light/White Heat" album
>

> While your probably right about VU not hearing CAN at the time, I'm pretty
> sure that CAN had heard the Velvet Underground...especially the first
> (Malcolm Mooney) incarnation, they were just too savvy, too dead-on not to
> have heard the Velvets, who were available on a major label, after all.
> They wander impressively into Stooges country as well, with "Yoo Doo
> Right" successfully extending drone out into an extended raga-style thing
> like "We will fall" was intended (but failed) to be.

Yeah, I ESPECIALLY like the drumming of Jaki Liebezeit in those early tracks - no
frills, just straight foreward BEAT.
(Maureen Tucker to a tee)
Then, when they got into a funkier style, he used 'tribal' type beats PLUS repetition
to really hammer down the rhythm.

>
> > > > The 13th Floor
> wrote:
> > > > Lou specifically mentioned loving Roger McGuinn's guitar playing.
> > > Sterling was also a Byrds fan.
> >

> Where would I find him talking about west-coast groups? I know that they
> were out in LA in 1966 ---I'm sure they must have cought the tail end of
> that whole "Hey Joe" folkrock & fuzztones scene...a lot of good records
> out of LA shopw up in '65 and '66 ...the Byrds Fifth Dimension, all of
> the first 3 Love albums, the Music Machine, the Seeds, all of it totally,
> light-centuries away from what the Velvet Underground were doing, but if
> you listen to live tracks like "Booker T" or "What Goes On", the Velvets
> actually seem to feel alot of the same urges and influences as alot of
> other early psychedelic bands.

Straight out rock, just driven thru a few tight bends..

>
> > I wonder what the Velvets would've thought of Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd? Stuff
> > like "Interstellar Overdrive"...
>

> I think they probably did hear Pink Floyd early on; the Pink Floyd was a
> huge deal from the get go; they played at the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream
> at London's Alexandria palace. An event that resembles "The Exploding
> Plastic Inevitable" enough for us to realize that the whole Warhol project
> resembled nothing so much as New York attempt at throwing a full-blown
> "hippy" psychedelic "event" like they were doing in San Francisco.

Well, things are a product of their environment - Think New York, and you have cold,
gritty, urban living - think West coast, and you have sun, sea and surf - think
England, and you have history, and medieval traditions
All of those settings were delivered thru Psychedelic music


> There
> was plenty of communication back and forth between New York and London;
> John Cale returned to England repeatedly, and would have been aware of
> what was shaking...can I point to any direct influence? No.

Because New York wasn't really the place to sing about Gnomes, just as San Francisco
in 1967 wasn't the place to sing about Heroin.

> But I think
> in the post-alternative music world we tend to too radically seperate VU
> from their surroundings. As distinct in tone as they were, in terms of
> structure and overall content, the VU were very much a 60's psychedelic
> era rock'n'roll band.

Sure, now I think about it there are examples of repetition, drones and
back-to-basics rock from '67 in the West Coast and English scenes - it's just the
differences in themes.

> CAN definitely shows a strong Pink-Floyd fingerprint, as does
> early Amon Duul II...yikes I'm off the deep end. sorry.

No, it's OK... good to be discussing SOMETHING in this newsgroup.
I see what you mean about the influences of PF on CAN ('Outside my door" has a
similar opening riff to 'interstellar overdrive'... and one of the tracks on Duul's
"Yeti" album sounds a hell of a lot like the early concert versions of 'on the run')

Glenn

W. Geffe

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May 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/3/99
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On Sat, 1 May 1999, andrew russ wrote:

>
> >
> > someone else wrote:
>
>
> avant-garde music, and had studied some under Karlheinz Stockhausen. Give this kind
> of background, it's very likely that Czukay knew about LaMonte Young and the new
> york art scene with Andy Warhol, and might have followed the Velvet Underground
> pretty much since their inception.
> Also, a lot of LaMonte Young's music circa 1963-1965 was kind of in the vein of
> ragas (not structured the same way, necessarily -- this was before Young's extensive
> studies under Pandit Pran Nath), with a heavy drone base that was played by Tony
> Conrad and John Cale. BTW, the Young pieces from 1963 sound like extended
> instrumental versions of "Black Angel's Death Song", at least on a superficial level.
>
Is any of that Dream Syndicate stuff available right now?

> Anyway, this background was one of the things that John Cale brought with him when
> he produced the first Stooges album, and it is probably no accident that "We Will
> Fall" may have a raga-like feel.

Definitely, but I also think there was a certain attempt at being like the
Doors
on that track, on the part of the Stooges themselves, which I suppose can
be forgiven in retrospect.

>
> > > > > The 13th Floor wrote:
> > > > > Lou specifically mentioned loving Roger McGuinn's guitar playing.
> > > > Sterling was also a Byrds fan.
> > >
> >

> yes and no. In _uptight: The Velvet Underground Story_ Sterling discusses the
> band's extended stay in California while recording the first album and their likes
> and
> dislikes in the California scene. At that time, there was animosity between the
> Velvets
> and the Mothers of Invention (Frank Zappa disparaged the VU onstage when they played
> a
> concert together). So the VU seemed to have a general hostility towards the San
> Francisco scene, and also towards Bill Graham specifically. In the same interview,
>
I've got to differentiate here between the LA scene and the San Francisco
scene; in LA in 1966 they had bands like Frank Zappa & the Mothers,
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, the Byrds, Love, Doors, the West Coast
Experimental Pop Art Group , as well as acts the Music Machine, the
Standells and the Seeds. In San Francisco you had the whole
proto-early-psychedellic scene growing out of folkrock & then the Fillmore
psychedelic scene (so starting with bands like the Charlatans, Great
Society, Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead & then bands like Moby
Grape, Quicksilver Messenger Service later on)...Bill Graham pretty much
hated everything worth a damn, as far as can tell & was basically a
glorified thug & petty dictator...So the sunshine up yer ass scene is
pretty much a northern California thing; the LA bands tended to be
glam-ier/perhaps a bit more thoughtful in certain ways, a little punk-er
(in the 60s sense, and in terms of embracing decadence openly/as oppossed
to hippy moral posturing).
I don't see much connection between the VU and the San Francisco
scene...I DO however see certain affinities with alot of different LA
groups, which incidentally also tended to grow out of (or play through)
the early 60s folk-rock boom, which also infatuated New York so
thoroughly. Arthur Lee, while never as openly amoral in his lyrics as
Reed, also wrote songs about addiction, nasty interpersonal relations,
etc. Both Zappa (who apparently the VU disliked) and Capt. Beefheart had
some similar avante-rock leanings...the Doors and the Music Machine had
similar schticks to the VU in certain ways as well.


Sterling (i think it is), claims that the VU crew (including Warhol and the like)
> actually
> built the light show at the Fillmore. That may be excessive, but anyway. Then there
> was
I know Ken Kesey & the merry pranksters worked with lightshows and film in
the early 60s (pre-Filmore), as did the Family Dog (is Chet Helms the name
of their head honcho dude?)... by 1966 the whole psychedelic light show
was already de-rigeur in the SF underground, though honestly I don't think
Graham had a whole lot to do with the technical end of things, so its
actually credible
to me that they might have done some work (asked for or not) on the
Filmore lights...

> some dispute between Graham and the VU the result of which was that Graham refused
> the book the VU or otherwise help them. Thus the Velvet Underground never played
> either Fillmore. This was late 66 and the San Francisco scene exploded around that
> time, certainly in 67. The VU formed a bit earlier, and the first EPI shows were in
> early

Yeah, but the whole Ken Kesey acid scene & their art experiments started
when he was in grad school & writting One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest...so
circa 1961-1962...when that book became a hit he had the bucks to bankroll
all kinds of crazy toys and gimmicks as early as 1963, when the Merry
Pranksters began their reign of stupidity...I think the family Dog started
putting on shows in 65/66. The real question I guess, is when did Warhol
start doing public shows with lights, was the EPI even the first in New
York...might have been, I sure couldn't tell...

> 1966, if not late 65 (when was the original "uptight" show?), so it's morelikely that
> the
> San Francisco people picked up stuff from the VU, not the other way around, and also
> added their own touches and ideas that made it their own.
> In the same part of _uptight_, Members of the VU profess to really like the Doors
>
> (and of course Nico literally loved Jim Morrison), so they didn't hate everything on
> the
> west coast. And more recently Lou has become enough of a Zappa fan to introduce him
> into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- very likely because regardless of how the
> Mothers
> and the VU thought of each other, they were both important symbols of freedom in
> places like Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring in 1968, and Lou has become
> friends
> with Vaclav Havel. (and remember above that it was not Lou speaking in _uptight_,
> anyway).
You've heard the term "Velvet revolution" I assume; that's what Vaclav
Havel dubbed the post-Prague Spring artistic/intellectual resistance that
emerged; they were all huge fans of the Velvet Underground & avant-rock in
the early 70's when they began to coalesce around Havel's plays &
performances by outfits like the Plastic People of the Universe. And
that's actually another thing to keep in mind; this was a heavy, nasty
period with major repression and violence worldwide; the student massacre
in Mexico City, the Prague Spring, the Paris uprising, the long hot summer
or riots in Watts, Detroit, etc. The free speech movement and the seizing
of buildings on capuses nationwide.
I think the "1960's" are hugely misrememberred; rather than being
a peace-love happiness hippyland that has been marketed back at us for the
last 30 years, it was a time of conflict and massive disaffection. The
underground culture of the day, when you actually look at it was, cynical,
nasty, often bitter---funny, simultaneously anti-intellectual and
super-pretentiously intellectual. The VU were not alone in their dark
perspective; I mean, think of contemporary films like the Man with the
Golden Arm or the Blow Up (which, incidentally, was originally supposed
to have the VU in it instead of the Yardbirds). The flower children
existed, but they didn't completely overwhelm the counter-culture the way
we assume they did...besides which, when we look at LA, 1967's "flower
children" were the exact same kids who were rioting on the sunset strip in
1966...


> Huh? Pink Floyd started in 1966 and developed through that year and 1967.
> They were, if anything, a bit later than the VU, so again i think it's likely that
> ideas from the EPI were incorporated into the swinging London scene, as opposed
> to the other way around (though both are possible, certainly).
> I wonder how many artists were involved in the London scene. A lot of bands
> were formed by art/archtecture school dropouts/grads (e.g. Pink Floyd). Anyway,
> the inspiration may well have come through art publications that would have kept
> tabs on whatever Warhol was doing, and which in turn woul be read by the likes
> of David Hockney, who at least appears in the film _Tonight Let's All Make Love In
> London_, but i really don't know what sort of role he played in the scene.
>
> So i don't think that the Exploding Plastic Inevitable was a copy of anybody
> else's
> psychedelic event. More liekly it grew out of the art scene in New York that had
> already seen "happenings" by Allen Kaprow and Claes Oldenberg, and various
> events from the fluxxus movement, some of which LaMonte Young and Yoko
> Ono were involved with.

Aha! I've heard a bit about these, but I don't know how early they
started ... & these are people I really would suspect academics on the
west coast of being at least aware of (they'd know about Warhol too, of
course, but in this case I think he's probably not the first on the scene)


(I don't know to what extent Yoko visited London in
> the mid 60s -- i think she met John Lennon in 1967, but it is possible that she
> was exchanging these ideas. At any rate, she actually brought Lennon a bit into
> the art world (he made a mask that was included in a big exhibit of fluxxus art
> that i saw in 1995). )
>
Well, I know she had an exhibit at the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream in
London in the spring of 1967, which John Lennon attended. Her show had
these people with amplified scissors snipping away at a models cloths...
the bands playing included the Soft Machine (who had been forced out of
France for their involvement with the Paris uprising and the whole
western-marxist/symbolist/post moderne crowd) ,John's Children (a loud
mod-ish band featuring a younger Marc Bolan), Arthur Brown ("Fire"),
Tomorrow, The Social Deviants (Mick Farren & company; very Zappa-esque
English underground band who were friends/fans/helpers to the MC5 when
they came to the UK and who have a couple killer LPs recently re-released
on Get Back!), the Move (also recently re-issued; great stuff) and, of
course...Pink Floyd headlining at dawn...


Besides, Lou Reed's "Rock And Roll" was already being extensively
covered on both sides of the Atlantic by 1971...Mitch Ryder actually has a
good version with his later band, Detroit. Mott the Hoople were persuaded
by Bowie to cover it...so in arty circles at least, people in both the UK
and the US actually knew about the Velvet Underground...by 1975/1976 all
kinds of prog-rock and proto-punk acts in and around London had Lou Reed
stuff on their play lists; the Pink Fairies, Slaughter & the Dogs, etc.
etc. etc.


andrew russ

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May 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/4/99
to
Hey! Nice reply -- filling in a lot of facts that i didn't know well.

I'll add commentary below.

andrew

"W. Geffe" wrote:

> On Sat, 1 May 1999, andrew russ wrote:
> > > someone else wrote:
> > Also, a lot of LaMonte Young's music circa 1963-1965 was kind of in the vein of
> > ragas (not structured the same way, necessarily -- this was before Young's extensive
> > studies under Pandit Pran Nath), with a heavy drone base that was played by Tony
> > Conrad and John Cale. BTW, the Young pieces from 1963 sound like extended
> > instrumental versions of "Black Angel's Death Song", at least on a superficial level.
> >
> Is any of that Dream Syndicate stuff available right now?

No. Young has been holding the tapes since the mid 60s, and Tony Conrad is
very upset that he can't even listen to them. Apparently there are some authorship/
ownership of copyright issues that aren't resolved (Young says he is the composer,
Conrad argues they were joint compositions improvisations. People who talk to
one of these seem to end up convinced of that party's viewpoint.) .
Some pieces have been played on the radio at various events, usually in the context
of a major retrospectve broadcast of Young's work, and some of that material has
been recorded off the radio and is what is circulating among tape collectors (e.g. the
VUAS).
Otherwise, there is Tony Conrad's _Early Minimalism_, where he has been trying
to recreate (and further extend) the sound of the Dream Syndicate of 1965. Very much
worth the listen, but it's a 4CD set.

> > Anyway, this background was one of the things that John Cale brought with him when
> > he produced the first Stooges album, and it is probably no accident that "We Will
> > Fall" may have a raga-like feel.
>
> Definitely, but I also think there was a certain attempt at being like the Doors
> on that track, on the part of the Stooges themselves, which I suppose can
> be forgiven in retrospect.

Iggy does have a voice for it -- maybe not as a Jim Morrison imitator, but as
a Morrison emulator.

> > yes and no. In _uptight: The Velvet Underground Story_ Sterling discusses the
> > band's extended stay in California while recording the first album and their likes
> > and dislikes in the California scene. At that time, there was animosity between the
> > Velvets and the Mothers of Invention (Frank Zappa disparaged the VU onstage

> >when they played a concert together). So the VU seemed to have a general hostility

> > towards the San Francisco scene, and also towards Bill Graham specifically.

> I've got to differentiate here between the LA scene and the San Francisco

good point. Though that wasn't done in _up-tight: The Velvet Underground Story_.

> scene; in LA in 1966 they had bands like Frank Zappa & the Mothers,
> Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, the Byrds, Love, Doors, the West Coast
> Experimental Pop Art Group , as well as acts the Music Machine, the
> Standells and the Seeds. In San Francisco you had the whole
> proto-early-psychedellic scene growing out of folkrock & then the Fillmore
> psychedelic scene (so starting with bands like the Charlatans, Great
> Society, Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead & then bands like Moby
> Grape, Quicksilver Messenger Service later on)...Bill Graham pretty much
> hated everything worth a damn, as far as can tell & was basically a
> glorified thug & petty dictator...So the sunshine up yer ass scene is
> pretty much a northern California thing; the LA bands tended to be
> glam-ier/perhaps a bit more thoughtful in certain ways, a little punk-er
> (in the 60s sense, and in terms of embracing decadence openly/as oppossed
> to hippy moral posturing).
> I don't see much connection between the VU and the San Francisco
> scene...I DO however see certain affinities with alot of different LA
> groups, which incidentally also tended to grow out of (or play through)
> the early 60s folk-rock boom, which also infatuated New York so
> thoroughly. Arthur Lee, while never as openly amoral in his lyrics as
> Reed, also wrote songs about addiction, nasty interpersonal relations,
> etc. Both Zappa (who apparently the VU disliked) and Capt. Beefheart had
> some similar avante-rock leanings...the Doors and the Music Machine had
> similar schticks to the VU in certain ways as well.

And the VU were staying in LA recording their album, not SF.
Zappa got his avant-garde side from his classical music ambitions and
from listening to stuff like Edgard Varese, serialists, Stockhausen, John
Cage, etc.; The VU got it more from the experience and interests of
John Cale, who certainly passed some of it on to the other band
members. As far as i can tell, Beefheart was more interested in
pursuing his own vision, and has always disowned the kind of
context that Zappa had in some of his works, as far as i know
in my limited experience.
The Doors and the VU were connected to the underground
film scenes in each of their cities, which would point to similar
interests, if not to an inevitable meeting. No doubt Warhol's
films had gotten some attention in UCLA film school.
But except for the Doors, i don't think that there was
direct exchange between the VU and LA bands -- i could
be very wrong, though.

> >Sterling (i think it is), claims that the VU crew (including Warhol and the like)
> > actually built the light show at the Fillmore. That may be excessive, but anyway.

> I know Ken Kesey & the merry pranksters worked with lightshows and film in


> the early 60s (pre-Filmore), as did the Family Dog (is Chet Helms the name
> of their head honcho dude?)... by 1966 the whole psychedelic light show

This is the kind of info i was lacking (and maybe the VU didn't know. They
did play the Family Dog in 1969, but not in 66, i don't think).

> was already de-rigeur in the SF underground, though honestly I don't think
> Graham had a whole lot to do with the technical end of things, so its actually credible
> to me that they might have done some work (asked for or not) on the Filmore lights...

And the EPI people would have that knowledge. Would Graham have been looking
to compete with the Family Dog? Maybe the VU presented a way to do that.

> > some dispute between Graham and the VU the result of which was that Graham refused
> > the book the VU or otherwise help them. Thus the Velvet Underground never played
> > either Fillmore. This was late 66 and the San Francisco scene exploded around that
> > time, certainly in 67. The VU formed a bit earlier, and the first EPI shows were in
>

> Yeah, but the whole Ken Kesey acid scene & their art experiments started
> when he was in grad school & writting One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest...so
> circa 1961-1962...when that book became a hit he had the bucks to bankroll
> all kinds of crazy toys and gimmicks as early as 1963, when the Merry
> Pranksters began their reign of stupidity...I think the family Dog started
> putting on shows in 65/66. The real question I guess, is when did Warhol
> start doing public shows with lights, was the EPI even the first in New
> York...might have been, I sure couldn't tell...

The money Warhol got with his paintings bankrolled the Factory and its
hangers-on, and the films, too.
Was the EPI first in New York? I don't know either. I kind of think so,
as the type of rock music the VU was doing was new in intent (not teenage
oriented). Though the underground film scene was bubbling up multimedia
throughout the early 60s (e.g. Nam June Paik, the "happenings" mentioned
before (below), and fluxxus concerts that took music beyond sound
(more later)).

> > In the same part of _uptight_, Members of the VU profess to really like the Doors
> > (and of course Nico literally loved Jim Morrison), so they didn't hate everything on
> > the west coast. And more recently Lou has become enough of a Zappa fan to introduce
> him
> > into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- very likely because regardless of how the
> > Mothers and the VU thought of each other, they were both important symbols of

> >freedom in places like Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring in 1968, and Lou

> >has become friends with Vaclav Havel. (and remember above that it was not Lou

> >speaking in _uptight_, anyway).

> You've heard the term "Velvet revolution" I assume; that's what Vaclav

I thought the Velvet Revolution referred to the downfall of the communist state
in the mid to late 1980s, not to the whole struggle since 1968. I'm sure if there's
someone reading from Prague, they can clarify.

> Havel dubbed the post-Prague Spring artistic/intellectual resistance that
> emerged; they were all huge fans of the Velvet Underground & avant-rock in
> the early 70's when they began to coalesce around Havel's plays &
> performances by outfits like the Plastic People of the Universe. And

In fact, i think it was Havel who brought the VU and Mothers albums
back from a period of studying in the USA to Czechoslovakia.
Incidentally, i once say a usenet post arguing that the Plastic People
of the Universe had to qualify as the "most historically significant rock band
ever" because they played such a central role in Czech resistance in the
late 60s and 70s and the 80s. I mean how many dictators did _Sergeant
Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band_ overthrow?

> that's actually another thing to keep in mind; this was a heavy, nasty
> period with major repression and violence worldwide; the student massacre
> in Mexico City, the Prague Spring, the Paris uprising, the long hot summer
> or riots in Watts, Detroit, etc. The free speech movement and the seizing
> of buildings on capuses nationwide.

Two big assassinations in the US, too.

> I think the "1960's" are hugely misrememberred; rather than being
> a peace-love happiness hippyland that has been marketed back at us for the
> last 30 years, it was a time of conflict and massive disaffection. The

Definitely. All nostalgia is distorted like this.
And i bet that if K-Tel was to try to recapture the era (in this stock
viewpoint), we wouldn't see a single track by the VU or Zappa, and the
Doors song would have been written by Robbie Krieger. It's important to
remember we're discussing underground culture, or counterculture, here,
rather than what the majority of people were buying and listening to.
(Nixon may even have been right about "the silent majority", at least
to the extent that weren't listening to this music.) (Hey, shouldn't the
election of Nixon be added to the oppressive events of 1968?)

> underground culture of the day, when you actually look at it was, cynical,
> nasty, often bitter---funny, simultaneously anti-intellectual and
> super-pretentiously intellectual. The VU were not alone in their dark
> perspective; I mean, think of contemporary films like the Man with the
> Golden Arm or the Blow Up (which, incidentally, was originally supposed
> to have the VU in it instead of the Yardbirds). The flower children
> existed, but they didn't completely overwhelm the counter-culture the way
> we assume they did...besides which, when we look at LA, 1967's "flower
> children" were the exact same kids who were rioting on the sunset strip in
> 1966...

I'm not sure how _Blow Up_ fits with all this. part of that is because i see
the film as an adaptation of Julio Cortazar's long short story of the same title
(from _"Blow Up" and Other Stories_). I think that was written more like
1963.

> > Huh? Pink Floyd started in 1966 and developed through that year and 1967.
> > They were, if anything, a bit later than the VU, so again i think it's likely that
> > ideas from the EPI were incorporated into the swinging London scene, as opposed
> > to the other way around (though both are possible, certainly).
> > I wonder how many artists were involved in the London scene. A lot of bands
> > were formed by art/archtecture school dropouts/grads (e.g. Pink Floyd). Anyway,
> > the inspiration may well have come through art publications that would have kept
> > tabs on whatever Warhol was doing, and which in turn woul be read by the likes
> > of David Hockney, who at least appears in the film _Tonight Let's All Make Love In
> > London_, but i really don't know what sort of role he played in the scene.
> >
> > So i don't think that the Exploding Plastic Inevitable was a copy of anybody
> > else's psychedelic event. More liekly it grew out of the art scene in New York that

> >had already seen "happenings" by Allen Kaprow and Claes Oldenberg, and various
> > events from the fluxxus movement, some of which LaMonte Young and Yoko
> > Ono were involved with.
>
> Aha! I've heard a bit about these, but I don't know how early they
> started ... & these are people I really would suspect academics on the
> west coast of being at least aware of (they'd know about Warhol too, of
> course, but in this case I think he's probably not the first on the scene)

Again, there'd also be communication through the underground film network.
And i'd say film was central to the development of the EPI, at least. Look in
books like _Expanded Media_ for a contemporary look at what was happening.

The Fluxxus art and music scene started before 1960. laMonte Young's
conceptual compositions date from 1960 and 1961 (e.g. "Draw a straight
line, then follow it"), and the notorious Weisbaden concert was in 1963
(e.g. Nam June Paik rendered Young's score above by laying out sheets of
paper, dipping his hair (on his head) in ink and then drawing a line with his
head and crawling down the paper.) So we are starting to see here that
music can get redefined almost to something beyond sound (besides, what
are you going to do after John Cage writes a silent score ("4'33"") and
another composer writes the following score: "Listen") and into a kind
of event. So mixed media was almost a logical next step.
And there were surely pointers in this direction in the other arts -- ive
already mentioned film. There was also theatre (which the Doors, or at
least Jim Morrison, were knowledgable in), and writing (e.g. concrete poetry
that turned writing from the transcription of spoken word and pushed it
towards and into the visual arts.)
I'm certain that if it didn't happen in, say, New York, first, it would have
happened in LA,or London, or Paris, or San Francisco, or Toronto, or
someplace. And indeed to some extent it was happening everywhere at
once. I still see the New York version as being the first fully realized
version of this even, but that also likely reflects my lack of knowledge of
the Kesey crowd.

> > (I don't know to what extent Yoko visited London in
> > the mid 60s -- i think she met John Lennon in 1967, but it is possible that she
> > was exchanging these ideas. At any rate, she actually brought Lennon a bit into
> > the art world (he made a mask that was included in a big exhibit of fluxxus art
> > that i saw in 1995). )
> >
> Well, I know she had an exhibit at the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream in
> London in the spring of 1967, which John Lennon attended. Her show had
> these people with amplified scissors snipping away at a models cloths...

Oh yeah, now i remember hearing about that. She was involved in some fluxxus events in
the earlier 60s -- a lot of events occured in her loft in the early 60s.

andrew russ

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May 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/4/99
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>

> OK, i accidentally posted my reply before finishing it , so here's the rest, with context
> for

this part.

W. Geffe said
>I said.

> (I don't know to what extent Yoko visited London in
> > the mid 60s -- i think she met John Lennon in 1967, but it is possible that she
> > was exchanging these ideas. At any rate, she actually brought Lennon a bit into
> > the art world (he made a mask that was included in a big exhibit of fluxxus art
> > that i saw in 1995). )
> >
> Well, I know she had an exhibit at the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream in
> London in the spring of 1967, which John Lennon attended. Her show had
> these people with amplified scissors snipping away at a models cloths...
>

(already replied to, sort of. i could add that this sounds a bit like it could
be a Haters show today.)

> the bands playing included the Soft Machine (who had been forced out of
> France for their involvement with the Paris uprising and the whole
> western-marxist/symbolist/post moderne crowd)

BTW, compare the first Soft machine LP to the 1966 demos (released on
various albums, e.g. _Jet-Propelled Photograph_ or as the Giorgo Gomelsky
demos), to the 1965 pop music of The Wylde Flowers (i may have it spelled
wrong). And by 1968 they were doing heavy tape manipulation, c.f. _Spaced_
Also, it's worth adding that Terry Riley, Young's friend and colaborator from
UC Berkeley in the late 50s, was influencing the Soft Machine and also doing some
performances in the UK and Sweden (_Olson III_) and elsewhere.

> John's Children (a loud
> mod-ish band featuring a younger Marc Bolan), Arthur Brown ("Fire"),
> Tomorrow, The Social Deviants (Mick Farren & company; very Zappa-esque
> English underground band who were friends/fans/helpers to the MC5 when
> they came to the UK and who have a couple killer LPs recently re-released
> on Get Back!), the Move (also recently re-issued; great stuff) and, of
> course...Pink Floyd headlining at dawn...

Beside Pink Floyd (and maybe the Move -- i have only _Looking On_),
i should check out more of these bands, if i can. Actually i did hear a bit
of te _Tomorrow_ LP and was impressed (btw -- Steve Howe before
Yes).

> Besides, Lou Reed's "Rock And Roll" was already being extensively
> covered on both sides of the Atlantic by 1971...Mitch Ryder actually has a
> good version with his later band, Detroit. Mott the Hoople were persuaded
> by Bowie to cover it...so in arty circles at least, people in both the UK
> and the US actually knew about the Velvet Underground...

I doubt that you had to listen to Mitch Ryder or Mott the Hoople to find
out about the VU in art circles then. I could be wrong. In the USA, the
Velvets could fill large clubs -- their big problem was the fans couldn't find
the albums in stores.

> by 1975/1976 all kinds of prog-rock and proto-punk acts in and around

> London had Lou Reed stuff on their play lists; the Pink Fairies, Slaughter

> & the Dogs, etc. etc. etc.

And not just London! It was also in New York and Cleveland --
Patti Smith, Mirrors (one member taped most of the VU shows in
Cleveland in the 60s), Rocket from the Tombs (esp. Peter Laughner),
I'm sure i'm missing several, especially from New York.
Inthe UK, Cabaret Voltaire put "Here She Comes Now" on a
demo tape. Throbbing Gristle were big Velvet Underground (and Pink
Floyd) fans.
Memphis TN's Big Star (another cult band) recorded "Femme Fatale"
for their third album.
Brian Eno was probably right when he said that anyone who heard the VU
started a band.

andrew


FluGravy

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May 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/4/99
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It seems to me that almost all rock bands of the late sixties were polarized by
their take on the drug culture:

In the first camp, you had the Beatles and everyone else who saw it as a
Technicolor Dream Train to explore their perceived inner awakenings. This group
included almost all of the American West Coast bands....with one notable
exception...

In the second camp, you had the bands that didn't even address or recognize the
drug culture (at least in any ways that would be considered obvious). CCR
definitely is the prime example. Dylan was always ambiguous about these matters
and would be best put here.

And, lastly, you had the Velvet Underground. They were eons ahead of the first
camp in recognizing drugs as dark seduction. There was nothing technicolor in
these dreams...They were gritty, real and the scenes came on like gritty 8mm
through the mind...

So, imagine the man who wrote "Heroin" or "Waiting For My Man" hearing "Lucy in
the Sky" or "Mr. Kite" for the first time. He musta been wanting to puke. So I
can see how Lou woulda had such a distaste for such songs. His drug trip was
marked by a dark need and craving...it eased pain within...The Beatles and
their ilk came on like they wanted the world to change into a carousel ride
through rainbows and glitter.

Oh, and then there also must've been that thing that REALLY burned him up...
Writing songs of superior (at least equal) quality and only selling 1/50th the
albums of their rivals... That's enough to stir up resentment in all but the
most saintly...

>I just read this on the Byrds newsgroup, and thought it'd be good to
>repost it here:
>
>LOU REED ON *SERGEANT PEPPER*: "Let me tell you, it didn't have any
>effect
>on me. I don't even own it. I thought it had some of the worst songs
>I've
>ever heard in my life on it. *Mr. Kite*---absolutely unbearable. I
>didn't
>like it then, and I don't like it now. I don't see how people can even
>think of it seriously when you compare it to, like, The Velvet
>Underground's first album. No comparison. I think that, perhaps, if
>people
>listen to it in retrospect now, they might find it a little more
>ridiculous, the way I did then. It was like gooey pap. It was like
>completely dispensable from beginning to end. It just had nothing,
>*nothing*. On top of that it was *cute*, you know?"
>
>Gee...

-----
Freedom's just another word for you just made bail.

W. Geffe

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May 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/4/99
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Well, the list of people who saw/heard loved the Velvets is
Amazing; but I'm most dazzled by your mention of the whole Cleveland/Ohio
scene (Akron spawned Devo at the same time); I've basically made it my
purpose to own every stupid scrap I can dig up; amazing period...both punk
and new wave energe from primitive, throbbing heavy metal.
It is so counter-logical that a place like Cleveland could be so
far ahead of the world culturally, ever...but in 74/75, the place really
was ahead of the world, rock'n'roll wise.
It's also a great example of how influences travel. Cleveland,
gray, flat, industrial Cleveland, was just plain strategically located
between Detroit and its Stooges/MC5/Alice Cooper/Suzi Quatro/Ted
Nugent/Bob Seger High Energy/primitive Heavy Metal scene and New York with
it wonderful Velvets...I'd start any history of the Cleveland scene with a
disc of VU at La Cave in Cleveland Oct. 2/3 1968. A great and famous
show, the tape for which was supposedly made by Peter Laughner, later of
Rocket From The Tombs fame...then just look at the Mirrors 73/74 and the
Electric Eels 73-75 and ending with the first Pere Ubu album and the
Hearthen singles and the Dead Boys/Frankenstein demos; you can literally
hear the influences being presented, absorbed, experimented with and
regurgitated in novel and surprising ways.
And then you lift your sights a bit and you notice that in every
little enclave of enlightened culture across the map (and some other
surprising places) has somebody whose working in this dark, jaded
vein...Toronto had Simply Saucer, combing Syd-Floyd elements and Velvet
influences, New York had Suicide, the NY Dolls, Dictators, Patti Smith and
the Max's Kansas City - Mercer Arts Center - CBGBs evolution of
scenes...Memphis had Alex Chilton (hey did you notice that" That 70's
Show" on fox uses Big Star's "In The Street" for their theme?)...Detroit
was Detroit (it just can't help its badass self)...LA had bands like the
Dogs and the Runaways, Boston had Jonathan Richman. And in almost every
case, the "scenes" in question were ridiculously small collections of
weirdos and obsessives, and nowhere did they really catch on & set the
tone for the mainstream, but there they were, everywhere, working away on
"Rock'n'Roll" and "Sweet Jane", and playing extremely loud, noisy, droning
guitars.
And all of these scenes are small enought that you can literally
connect all the individuals to each other within a very short span of time
(Peter Laughner rapped backstage with Lou Reed at the La Cave shows, and
wound up friends with Lester Bangs and Tom Verlain and Television...the
mass exodus of early Cleveland scensters to New York (The Dead Boys, the
Cramps, Chryssy Hynd (sp?) to London, members of DMZ/The Lyres to
Boston...), and the process repeats itself...Iggy saw a performance of the
EPI when he was still in high school.

It'd really be nice to be able to construct the same sort of
history of personalities and musical evolution for the proto avant-garde
of rock from the early 50's (pre rock jazz crowd? or r&b maniacs? mixed
together how...) up through the mid 60's. It's a way more complicated
scenario though, with really numerous interactions between "High"
culture and "popular culture"...in terms of personality types my
impression of alot of the New York art-types is closer to contemporary
classical academics than it is to moron teenage energy...but at some point
in the late 60's the aesthetic influences of all sort of weird things gets
balled together by a group of people straddling the academic classical
world Cale knew, the New York folk/beatnik scene (Dylan, Fugs, Godz; later
the Insect Trust & Pearls Before Swine) and the downtown Warhol
art/crowd...really, it could probably be reduced to a few hundred people
all together; the wild variety of fields/arts makes it really difficult to
nail down (at least for me). It strikes me that much better histories
could be written about the VU than currently exist, maybe by just stepping
back away from the Velvets themselves and trying to take a look at whole
all would have been in the Loft with them at a particular series of shows,
and looking on where those folks came from and where they went on to...the
VU/New York scene really seems to have a different take on alot of the
same things that their contemporaries were obsessed with; I mean, I can
see a lot of the same ideas in both the vocabulary of the Velvet
Underground and say the Doors or Love; but they put the same sylables
together so differently that its hard to recognize that their even
speaking related tongues...


CYBERFLOYD

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May 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/27/99
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<< LOU REED ON *SERGEANT PEPPER*: "Let me tell you, it didn't have any
effect
on me. I don't even own it. I thought it had some of the worst songs
I've
ever heard in my life on it. *Mr. Kite*---absolutely unbearable. I
didn't
like it then, and I don't like it now. I don't see how people can even
think of it seriously when you compare it to, like, The Velvet
Underground's first album. No comparison. I think that, perhaps, if
people
listen to it in retrospect now, they might find it a little more
ridiculous, the way I did then. It was like gooey pap. It was like
completely dispensable from beginning to end. It just had nothing,
*nothing*. On top of that it was *cute*, you know?"
>>


Lou Reed only says things like that because he's a miserable old wretch. Sunday
Morning would love to be half as cute as Sgt. Pepper but it isn't. It's much
more gooey and ridiculous though.

BHoover247

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May 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/27/99
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>Lou Reed only says things like that because he's a miserable old wretch.
>Sunday
>Morning would love to be half as cute as Sgt. Pepper but it isn't. It's much
>more gooey and ridiculous though.

"Sunday Morning" is as good as "She's Leaving Home". It leaves off the
orchestra and the sentimentality.

DPTMc

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May 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/28/99
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>
>Lou Reed only says things like that because he's a miserable old wretch.
>Sunday
>Morning would love to be half as cute as Sgt. Pepper but it isn't. It's much
>more gooey and ridiculous though.
>

Lou Reed is a brilliant, educated man with a great sense of humor.I can
honestly say that, having met him several times. He said that about Sgt. Pepper
for one reason- it's true. I, too, am a Beatles fan.....or at least a Lennon
Fan. AND Lennon didn't like Pepper either. The album was a great idea that
ended up an overblown, parody of itself. The VU was breaking new artistic
ground. The Beatles were selling albums. And please don't forget- EVERYTHING
the Beatles said, recorded or even thought was broadcast on the radio all over
the world. The VU couldn't get radio airplay. They were way too controversial,
something the Beatles were not. Lennon, a fan of the VU and especially Lou,
only became controversial after the divorce....
One last thought- The VU had 4 irreplaceble members. The Beatles had 1. Right
until the end, it was still Johnny and the Moondogs.

CYBERFLOYD

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May 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/28/99
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<< From: dp...@aol.com (DPTMc)
Date: Fri, May 28, 1999 4:57 AM >>


<< Lou Reed is a brilliant, educated man with a great sense of humor. >>

Thanks for the testimonial, Lou.


<< He said that about Sgt. Pepper
for one reason- it's true. >>

He said it because he's a miserable old wretch with a serious jealous streak.
He envied Bob Dylan as well and made life hell for most of his significant
collaborators because of his rampant paranoia and insecurities>


<< The album was a great idea that
ended up an overblown, parody of itself. >>

There's been plenty written for decades about the pros and cons of Sgt. Pepper
and there's no point in rehashing it here. You're certainly entitled not to
like it but an album can't become a parody of itself. That's kind of like the
banana on the banana album becoming a parody of itself because it looks too
much like a banana.


<< The VU was breaking new artistic
ground. The Beatles were selling albums. >>

The notion that the VU were breaking new artistic ground while the Beatles were
merely selling albums is patiently absurd.

<< . And please don't forget- EVERYTHING
the Beatles said, recorded or even thought was broadcast on the radio all over
the world. The VU couldn't get radio airplay. >>

There's a reason for that. Their music had more appeal to vast numbers of
people. Lou wasn't really trying that hard to play for the masses until about
1970.

<< They were way too controversial,
something the Beatles were not. >>

Even if that were true, it's not very relevant. Controversy isn't the measure
of great art, or even necessarily and important factor. Other virtues come into
play.
McCartney hasn't shown a dark side on record very much, but then why sould
he? He was a good looking well adjusted guy and a great singer and musician who
could write instantly classic songs as easily as breathing.
Lou on the other hand looks like Boris Karloff and sings like an otter with
it's balls caught in a steel trap. His guitar style evolved out of his basic
inability. Sure out of his limitations he created transcendant street poetry
and primal rock and roll, ect,ect.

<< One last thought- The VU had 4 irreplaceble members. The Beatles had 1 >>

That's completely incorrect. Everyone except Sterling Morrison ended up not
playing in the Velvets at one point or another. They really weren't much more
than a very talented group of backup players who came and went.
The Beatles on the other hand were virtually two bands, one with Lennon at
the forefront and one with McCartney.

<< Right
until the end, it was still Johnny and the Moondogs.

McCartney pretty much prodded a lethargic Lennon through the bands final years,
it is well known, and many of their records best innovations and most well
remembered songs are Paul's. He also had a big hand in much of Lennon's best
material.

<< Lennon, a fan of the VU and especially Lou,
only became controversial after the divorce.... >>

Lou would have liked people to give a shit if he thought he was more poplular
than Jesus in 1966. People probably would have only burned Velvets' records
because they thought Nico couldn't sing. I doubt deny Lennon could have been a
fan of Lou, but I've never seen seen or heard a public quote on that....




Pupkin 81

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May 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/28/99
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>Lou Reed only says things like that because he's a miserable old wretch.
>Sunday
>Morning would love to be half as cute as Sgt. Pepper but it isn't. It's much
>more gooey and ridiculous though.
>
>

It's good to see Lou and I share the same view of that album. The Beatles were
the biggest joke in music. How they sold any albums, at all, is astounding.
Rupert

KllRckStrz

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May 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/28/99
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>It's good to see Lou and I share the same view of that album. The Beatles
>were
>the biggest joke in music. How they sold any albums, at all, is astounding.
>
>Rupert

I really like both bands but I gotta say beatles were much more diverse and
original and creative, not to mention better musiscians. I dont want to start a
big arguement here but the beatles were the better of the two..oh well now
everyone on this NG will hate me good thing I Dont post much on it
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Jordan D
KllRc...@aol.com
remove 123 from address to send me e-mail

rew

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May 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/28/99
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Don't bother posting anything again. Thanks.


----------
In article <19990528114047...@ng69.aol.com>, pupk...@aol.com

Pupkin 81

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May 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/28/99
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"Rew" from Creedmore posted:

>Don't bother posting anything again. Thanks.
>

Does the truth hurt? With an attitude like yours, you would think this was
1930's Germany. It's called free speech. If I choose to believe the beatles are
complete shit, so be it. Rupert.

JOHN WORDEN

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May 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/29/99
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I also think the Beatles sucked.But to compare the velvets and the fab
four is comparing the heart of rock and roll to the wallet of rock and
roll.To the masses the wallet always wins.


KllRckStrz

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May 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/30/99
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>
>I also think the Beatles sucked.But to compare the velvets and the fab
>four is comparing the heart of rock and roll to the wallet of rock and
>roll.To the masses the wallet always wins.
>
>

actually I listen to very few mainstream music bands, beatles being one of
those few. and I do think they were really a better band. not the earlier pop
rock stuff but once they got to the later years and started experimenting and
were coming up with more original tunes, not just pop stuff, they did some
really great stuff. I dont own any of their stuff from before rubber soul,
which is pretty much when they began to get into the more creative stuff, with
the exception of my copy of their first record that I got for $1 on vinyl.
beatles were just much more diverse. btw this isnt a velvet underground put
down as they are one of my favorite bands, I'm just saying that you shouldnt
think of the beatles just as how they were in the early years. sonic youth is
better than both of them and no one is gonna agree with me there but I dont
really care. think what you want about bands, but think it for the right
reason.

sjoerd....@tip.nl

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Jun 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/1/99