Lewis Reed - Copyright Demo, May 1965
Something interesting popped up on Lou Reed’s Facebook page this week:
We thought it’d be cool to share a photograph of one of the more “mythical” artifacts of Lou and the VU.
Lou mentioned this in an interview a while back (Q Magazine in 1996, I think), that he’d recently unearthed a demo he had mailed to himself in 1965, the reason for which is known as “the poor man’s copyright.”
In classic Lou style, he had this to say about the discovery: “I’m not going to listen to it. I don’t want to hear these things any more.”
Well, here’s what it looks like. And no, we haven’t opened it.
So! What do you think is on it? Judging from the May postmark, my bet is that it’s this demo reel Lou recorded that month (with John Cale in tow) at Pickwick’s studios in Queens. Info via the VU Web page:
May 11, 1965
John Cale - Lou Reed - Jerry Vance or Jimmie Sims
Buzz Buzz Buzz (one complete take + a couple of attempts breaking down)
Why Don’t You Smile Now
Heroin (take 1)
Heroin (take 2)
Untitled Piano Piece 1
Untitled Piano Piece 1
Here’s what VU scholar Richie Unterberger has to say about the demo:
Never circulated even on bootleg, but heard by this author, these were done for Pickwick Records. Of by far the most note are the first two known recordings of “Heroin,” as two takes done right each other. Though with more of a Dylanesque talking folk-blues feel than the version the Velvet Underground would record for their first album about a year later (and with yet more of a folk-blues feel than the sparse July 1965 demo on the Peel Slowly and See box set), the lyrics are even at this early stage virtually identical, the arrangement even including the same accelerating tempos. Of lesser but certainly considerable interest, the tape also includes a Reed version of “Why Don’t You Smile Now,” a song he and John Cale were credited (along with other Pickwick staff songwriters) with writing that was covered on mid-1960s singles by the All Night Workers and the Downliners Sect. Also on the tape is a relatively trivial Reed tune titled “Buzz Buzz Buzz” that bears slight similarities to Chuck Berry’s “Memphis,” and an untitled John Cale solo piano instrumental that sounds much like the piano part he plays on “All Tomorrow’s Parties.”
You can actually hear one of those “Heroin” takes — it was played at Lou’s memorial service last year. But I don’t think anything else has surfaced. And hey, I could be totally wrong and this box could contain something else entirely. Maybe the mythical “Never Get Emotionally Involved with a Man, Woman, Beast or Child”?
Let’s open the box!
#NowSpinning Bob Dylan & The Band on Elektra Records (before this title went back to Columbia)!
This LP is so old it’s a stacker: LP1 has sides 1&4, LP has sides 3&4. With a stacking player you could run sides 1&2 continuously, then flip both to play 3&4 in a row.
#vinyl #BobDylan #TheBand #BeforeTheFlood
I don’t mean to Lorde it over you…
but Weird Al has a new video all about
F O I L
CAN YOU IMAGINE THE CHANCE TO COLLABORATE WITH A 27-YEAR-OLD BOB DYLAN?
T-Bone Burnett enlisted a bunch of musicians to do just that when Dylan sent him some unrecorded circa-1967 lyrics and suggested he might find a use for them. They recorded 44 versions of the songs to tape and 11 will be released later this year under the title Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes Vol 1.
The full story is over at the Guardian.
Watch the new music video for “War On The East Coast” off the upcoming album ‘Brill Bruisers’!
At the end of the video note the license plate… and what state it is from.
G A M E T H E O R Y
finally reissued! Check out the trailer video above.
Thanks very much in advance to omnivorerecordings for making this happen. Am especially eager to eventually be able to obtain an actual physical copy of Lolita Nation after all these years! The reissue campaign begins September 2 with Blaze of Glory on pink vinyl. More info on the reissues here.
Game Theory are one of those incredibly underheard and underappreciated indie power pop bands - with connections to:
It will fascinate you…
to learn that Thomas Dolby the first Homewood Professor of the Arts at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. The longtime musician invented technology that is in more than half of the world’s cell phones.
Read more here!
We have been stuck in Toledo now for three days and so far have had to cancel two shows. Our van was struck in a hit and run while parked overnight when we were sleeping Sunday morning. We had to have it towed to a mechanic and unfortunately it has some suffered some serious damage. To make things worse one of the vital parts needed to get things running is on a national back order for a month, which means we’re going to have to rent a van to continue this tour (on top of the cost of all the parts and labor to fix our current van). As you can imagine this is a pretty big set back considering any band of our size starts every tour in a considerable deficit, not to mention who rely on money at each show to keep things moving forward in general. If this was simply just a case of losing money at the end of a tour it wouldn’t be an issue, playing in this band and punk bands since early teens it has almost become accustom, but as it stands now we simply can not afford to continue on.
So at this point we are going to set up a paypal (firstname.lastname@example.org) for any donation you may be able to afford, so we can do everything in our power to make this awesome tour continue. ANYTHING will be sincerely and greatly appreciated even if it’s just a repost.
Thanks for taking your time to read this all and once again, apologies to Indianapolis and St Louis. We will be back soon.
- Dudes in Nothing
(at Brondes Ford Toledo)
Neko Case, Kelly Hogan, and Ellie Kemper explain that modern guys are “not the droids we’ve been looking for.”
Have a listen, won’t you? To John Entwistle’s isolated bass track for Won’t Get Fooled Again as performed in the film The Kids Are Alright.