Roadrunner Records - Slipknot's hard-hitting, aggressive metal anthems are getting…
- Posted on Dec 9th 2009 11:30AM by David Chiu
Reed, drummer Maureen Tucker and bassist Doug Yule reminisced about their Velvets days to a large audience inside the Celeste Bartos Forum of the Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Moderated by Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke, the event coincided with the recently published book, 'The Velvet Underground: New York Art,' which contains Velvets-related archival photos, interviews and articles, and memorabilia.
The discussion touched on aspects of the New York City band's career, such as their beginnings, certain concerts, playing style and musical influences. During the conversation, artist Andy Warhol was mentioned. "Warhol is one of the greatest people I've ever met in my life," Reed said. "Without him, it's kind of inconceivable."
The frontman also recalled Warhol's role in producing the Velvets' first album, 1967's 'The Velvet Underground and Nico.' "[Andy said], 'Don't change anything," Reed said. "'Leave it alone.' That was the unifying principle." Also related to that album was the late Nico, who sang on 'All Tomorrow's Parties,' 'I'll Be Your Mirror' and 'Femme Fatale.' "I wasn't writing for her voice," said Reed. "[The songs] fit her because Andy said we needed a chanteuse. None of us were good looking enough."
One of the stories told was about the 17-minute song 'Sister Ray' for the 'White Light/White Heat' album, which the engineer for the recording wasn't particularly fond of. "'He said, 'I don't have to listen to this s---!'" said Reed. "'I'm going out! When you guys are done f---ing around, let me know!"
Founding guitarist Sterling Morrison, who died in 1995, was remembered during the discussion for his contributions to the band. "He's like my brother," said Tucker. "I really liked his lead guitar playing, but he's a really good rhythm player."
Certainly Reed, in his understated manner, provided the liveliest and humorous moments of the event, from giving a terse response when asked a question to offering a colorful anecdote. When Fricke cited a quote by Reed from a 1968 interview with Third Ear Magazine, which is reprinted in the 'New York Art' book, on the latter's view of the music from San Francisco, the guitarist launched into a comment about being secondhand quotes. He then cited Wikipedia when it came to biographical information about him. "'Lou Reed, born Louis Firbank,'" he said, which prompted audience laughter. "I couldn't get in there to edit it."