Friday, October 1, 2010
Warhol's Factory Records: "It's purely speculative what might or might not have happened to The Velvet Underground had they not been introduced to Andy Warhol. At the time, they weren't on anyone's radar, simply the resident group at Cafe Bizarre, a tourist-friendly club in New York's Greenwich Village. Even so, they were hardly a jobbing beat combo. Singer-guitarist and electro-shock therapy survivor Lou Reed, in-house songwriter for bargain bin pop imprint Pickwick Records, bonded with classically trained Welsh viola player John Cale over a mutual love of alternative tunings. Their androgynous drummer, Maureen 'Moe' Tucker, beat with mallets on toms and an upturned bass drum (no cymbals). Sterling Morrison, an accomplished bass player, claimed not to enjoy playing the instrument. Their songs, with gothic titles like 'Venus In Furs,' 'Heroin,' 'The Black Angel's Death Song,' were challenging, cacophonous drones; the antithesis of the Californian sunshine and love idyll. Undoubtedly, the VU were never going to see 'chart action' or shake the President's hand."