Velvet Underground Tell Tales About Warhol, Nico at NY Library

December 9th, 2009 by Joshua Penn Leave a reply »

Photo: Michael Ochs Archive/Getty

As the Velvet Underground’s “Heroin” blared through the loudspeakers at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street last night, a spotlight focused on a lone turntable and the band’s Lou Reed, Maureen “Moe” Tucker and Doug Yule took seats alongside Rolling Stone’s David Fricke. The special occasion: a rare discussion of everything from the Velvets’ first paying gig at Summit High School in New Jersey ($80 for the night) to their success with Andy Warhol. “Warhol was one of the greatest people I’ve met in my life,” Reed remarked. “It’s hard to conceive where we would be without him. If he had a gallery opening he took us with him. He fed us.”

The trio addressed questions about how Warhol was actually involved in the goings-on of the group. “He was the guard dog,” recalled Reed. “He produced it. Andy said ‘don’t change anything.’ ” Reed said Warhol’s favorite Velvet Underground song was “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” off of the 1967 album The Velvet Underground & Nico. “What did he like about it?” asked Fricke.
“I never asked him that,” replied Reed.

The discussion went on to topics including Nico, (”The songs were done. I didn’t write them for her,” said Reed as to whether or not he wrote specifically for the German chanteuse), lyrics (”I didn’t grow up on a farm,” said Reed. “I’m from the city!”), and influences (”Ornette [Coleman] changed my way of thinking of how to play guitar,” remembered Reed. “Certain people are such geniuses; in five seconds you know what it is”).

Though Reed’s responses dominated the chat, Tucker spoke up to recall a memorable ear...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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