13 02 2010

These days I spend a good deal of time trying to imagine how it feels to be young. It ain’t easy! Dear fellow baby boomers, do you remember how back when we were in our teens the 1920s seemed impossibly distant? Well, that’s how long ago I graduated from college!

Of course, the distancing effect on us then was especially severe because we could only “see” the ’20s in unclear and SILENT black and white movies, which normally moved abnormally fast when projected because of the slower standard film feed speed that prevailed in the ’20s.

An indication that the 1960s are far more present for the young than the ’20s were for us is the continued influence of my fav 1960s band The Velvet Underground, whose famous “banana” album of the same name came out in 1968. Recently I heard someone  on the radio say of the Velvets that their albums only sold a few thousand copies, but everyone who heard them went out and started a band.

Truly, when I first heard them in 1969 they were unique!  They may still be.

Here’s my fav song by them:


And, of course, they also gave us THIS (!):


The Velvets and Bob Dylan — my heros forevever!



25 12 2008


I discovered the Velvet Underground in the late 1960s when I was living in New York, a shy Southern boy hopelessly out of place in the cold North at the time when Southerners were most scorned, due to our protofascistic leaders’ vicious opposition to the civil right movement.

A shy boy, alone and growing increasingly depressed, I was headed for total dysfunction. I was saved by the return to New York of one of my best friends, Jim Ash, to whom I will always be grateful.

This barbaric yawp is the most memorable song on the Velvets’ first and best album The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967), but every song on it is great except one. The tunes are memorable. The lyrics are extreme. The range of moods is amazing.

Try “There She Goes Again”:


Or how about “Run Run Run”?


And, for you fans of beautiful tall blonde girls with hypnotic low voices, how about Nico’s emotional droolfest for the lonely guy:



More can be learned about The Velvet Underground on Wikipedia. They’ve influenced lots of musicians.