Saturday, November 16, 2019


Velvet Underground: Contrived and ill equipped for playing music, hyped by Warhol and exotically dirty etc. All maybe true but they certainly sounded as if they'd just arrived from another planet in a junkyard flying saucer that had crash landed in a New York dive. Some members are dead, some are alive (I think). I've lost track of the living in today's world of zombie and hologram music.

Most of the time they sounded pretty terrible, I say that on reflection and from a safe distance, perhaps I thought it at the time but didn't dare admit it. I doubt that I could sit down and listen to the 17 minutes of "Sister Ray" easily now, the tones produced tend to be rather harsh. Maybe a few of the quieter songs would work, those sombre, fragile, dark blue songs, smothered by Nico's growl, that escaped the feedback and dysfunction. Of course the harshness and the actual weird noises they generated made them essential listening for any angry teenager 50 years ago. It was dressed up angry art, the best kind, punk before punk. They were never going to appear as a surprise guest on BBC's Billy Cotton Band Show any Saturday evening.

Definitely music to piss off your parents and that was really what counted, it doesn't age well either but it was all good (clean?) fun at the time, back when there was proper danger and pretend revolution. These pictures are as distorted as their sound.

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