The unanimous opinion was that we were 10 times better live than we were on records (Sterling Morrison, Apr. 1981)
Dates in gray are uncertain
February 1, 1968
1608 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60614
Handbill: invitation to an album release party for White Light/White Heat with Warhol (spelled wrong on the card) and the Velvet Underground put on by Verve two days after the album was released. Artist is unknown. Reproduced in White Light/White Heat | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 35).
Announcement: in Chicago Daily News, February 1, 1968: "ON TAP THURSDAY: (...) The Velvet Underground does its thing at Aardvark Cinematheque–for some reason under the leadership of local disk jockey Ron Brtiain".
The show is mentioned in From The Music Capitals of the World - Chicago in Billboard, February 17, 1968 (p. 44): "MGM Records' the Velvet Underground performed at the Aardvark recently with WCFL's Ron Britain".
Also in Cash Box, March 2, 1968 (p. 40): "WHITE LIGHT AND HEAT IN CHICAGO—Verve's Velvet Underground introduced their new “White Light Heat” LP at a cocktail party held in Chicago's Bratskeller. The party was follwed by a live Velvet Underground performance at the Aardvark Cinematheque in the Windy City's while-back revamped Old Town. Shown here (from the left) are: Jack Katz, Paul Frumkin, Morrie Price (head of Metro Dist. in Chi.), and Steve Sesnick."
Several ads that ran in the Chicago Daily News indicate Ron Nameth's Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable film was being show both before and after The Velvet Underground played there in person on February 1, 1968.
February 19, 1968
Mentioned in Slated At UA, But... Will The Real Andy Warhol Show Up? by Howell Raines in The Tuscaloosa News, February 17, 1968 (p. 20): "In the advance publicity, Warhol's show is billed as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, featuring a rock and roll group called "The Velvet Underground," which performs while Warhol projects his films on various screens". Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 223).
On the other hand, there no mention of a Velvet Underground show in Viva! Andy! Art? by Howell Raines - discussing Andy Warhol appearance - in The Tuscaloosa News, February 20, 1968 (p. 3).
Also, the library of the University of Alabama has a digital version of both the yearbook (The Corolla - it has a few photos of Andy - which proves he appeared - but doesn't disprove that the VU were not there) and the student newspaper The Crimson-White. All issues of the Crimson-White are online and can be browsed. The issue of Feb 15th (Warhol Appears at Morgan Monday) and Feb 19th (Spotting Warhol) editions mention that Andy Warhol will be appearing. The Feb 22nd (Had to Learn to Use Camera) edition talks about his appearance (after an hour and 10 mins of film, Andy, Viva and Paul Morrissey were on stage to answer questions) and has a few photos. Again, there is no mention of the VU or music at all, just that he showed two of his films and answered questions.
[Special thanks to Tom Z.]
February 22, 1968
Poster: 22 x 14 in., "A.U.S.A. Speakers Committee Presents Andy Warhol, Pop Artist, Producer Of Underground Films, Together with Nico & The Velvet Underground". A corresponding ticket exists.
Lot essay: "This extremely rare poster advertises one of a series of events attended by Andy Warhol in early 1968. In 1967, Warhol agreed to undertake a cross-country college lecture tour organised by the American Program Bureau. After 'appearances' at the University Of Oregon, Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon and at the University of Montana, he was scheduled to appear at the University of Utah on 2 October, 1967 where attendees and college officials became suspicious that this was not in fact the real Warhol. It later became clear that it was not Warhol speaking but instead, one of his superstars, Allen Midgette, was speaking in his place. As a consolation for this deceit, Warhol was later obligated to appear himself at 18 different college venues from 16 January to 2 April, 1968. Although The Velvet Underground were billed at this event, they apparently never actually appeared although they did appear two days later at Harvard University, Massachusetts. An account of this event in the Denver University student newspaper reported that the event consisted of the showing of two reels of Warhol's films over each other followed by a Q & A session where Paul Morrissey and Viva did most of the talking whilst Warhol remained silent. The performance was apparently ill-received, with the newspaper reporting Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer. Ask a straight question, get a stupid answer."
February 24, 1968
Mentioned in Holiday Parietals Cause Extension Of Combined Charities Campaign in The Harvard Crimson, February 23, 1968: "The drive will sponsor a dance in the Union tomorrow night with the Velvet Underground. Tickets are $2 per person, and the proceeds go to the seven charities."
Jonathan Richman: "The day I learned the most about Lou Reed's approach to guitar sound, the group was scheduled to play a dance at Harvard University Student Union in mid-1968 but Cale was sickso they played it as a trio. Lou Reed put one stereo-jack in one Vox amp. So now he had two different amps he could set two different ways as he played."
February 25, 1968
545 Arsenal St, Watertown, NY 13601
Announcement: in Thomas Trio At IUP Event, in Indiana Evening Gazette, February 24, 1968. "In addition to music by the trio, the two hour program will include a showing at intermission of Andy Warhol's psychedelic horror film "EPI" with the Velvet Underground."
March 1-3, 1968
545 Arsenal St, Watertown, NY 13601
Ad: in Watertown Daily Times, March 1, 1968 (p. 16).
March 9, 1968
High School's Annual Follies
The Velvet Underground is mentioned among the performers in 'Follies' Features 5 Funny Fellows, in Delaware County Daily Times, March 6, 1968. Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 226).
This is actually another Velvet Underground band, coming from Pennsylvania and led by one Brian Leimseider, as stated in the article.
March 15-17, 1968
2121 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
With: The Mandrake Memorial, The Mary Jane Company
Ad:: in unidentified publication, March 16, 1968.
March 22-23, 1968
With: United States Of America
Flyer: 11 x 8½ inch. Artist is Bob Driscoll.
Poster: 22 x 17 inch, same artwork. Reproduced in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 215).
Ad: full-page ad in Vibrations Issue 7, March-April 1968. Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 234).
April 19-20, 1968
Susan Pile: "The Velvet Underground played Chicago in April, 1968. I think they did two nights at Aaron Russo's Kinetic Playground. The same weekend, just a few blocks due east, Traffic made its debut at the Cheetah, and a bunch of us caught their act before - or after - the Velvets' set. I remember this vividly because I got a speeding ticket* on Saturday, April 20, at 9:15pm driving the band to the gig. 58 miles per hour in a 45 zone, and I can't even think what might have been in the car aside from most members of the group (and maybe even Steve Seznick). We must have horrified the arresting officer--bear in mind that the Chicago Democratic Convention was just about four months away. *I still treasure this document.
April 19, 1968
Tape: listed in What Goes On - The Best of 1&2, 45 mins (incomplete), C+.
April 26-28, 1968
Mailer : 11 x 4¼ inch.
Review: The Underground are novelists by Jeff Papez in The Plain Dealer, May 17, 1968 (p. 26) with 1 photo from White Light/White Heat promo session.
"April 29" (misdated)
Tape: listed in What Goes On | The Best of 1&2, 65 minutes, B.
"April 30" (misdated, maybe April 28)
documented by Live '68 bootleg LP liner notes: "Recorded Sun, Apr 30, 1968 [Ed. note: Er... sorry but April 30, 1968 wasn't Sunday but Tuesday...]. Lou is playing his hot rodded Gretsh White Falcon (emblazoned with a sticker that read: Caution! K-9 Corps). Sterling his Gibson and Cale on viola. This was the last song in an afternoon set that consisted of Sweet Sister Ray (39 min) segueing into Sister ray, Mr. rain, Venus in Furs, and Heroin."
Tape: audience recording taped by Jaime Klimek, B+, 46 minutes. Sources: Sweet Sister Ray 2-LP and 2-CD (1), Sweet Sister Ray Murder Mystery CD (1), Live '68 LP (3), Caught Between The Twisted Stars 4-CD (1, 3), Dispatches From The Dream Factory 3-CD Disc 2 (1). A tape copy - with Sweet Sister Ray only - circulating prior to the vinyl issue contains a few seconds of preamble which seems to have been trimmed off all other circulating versions. The last seconds of Venus In Furs exist on the tape copy used to master the Sweet Sister Ray 2LP.
May 15, 1968
Merce Cunningham and Dance Company
Program: page four reads "Music by The Velvet Underground".
Review: Dance: Cunningham Finally Makes It | After 24 Years, He Has a New York Season New Rain Forest Given at Brooklyn Academy by Clive Barnes in The New York Times, May 16, 1968 (p.51). Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 241).
May 16-18, 1968
With: The Hallucinations, Bo Grumpus.
Poster: 22¼ x 17" poster, drawing of Lou Reed, white on black, artwork by David Lang.
Handbill: 4¾ x 6¾", on a card stock. Same artwork as poster.
Annoucement: in The Tech, May 14, 1968, page 6.
Ad: in Boston After Dark, May 15, 1968. Reproduced in Velvet Underground | An Illustrated Story of a Walk on the Wild Side (p. 112); in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 248).
May 24-25, 1968
With: Chambers Brothers. According to Dr John, the May 24-25th, 1968 shows at the Shrine did not have The Velvet Underground. They cancelled and were replaced by the Blues Project. On the other hand, the Los Angeles Times dated Mon., May 27, 1968 has a review of the show which clearly states the appearance of Mike Bloomfiekd's Electric Flag, Dr. John the Night Tripper, Salvation and The Velvet Underground.
Poster: 11 x 14¼ inch poster by John Van Hamersveld. Also exists as signed reissue. Also 22 x 28 inch silkscreen. Reproduced in Pop Goes Art exhibition box; Peel Slowly And See booklet (p. 52-53); in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 114); in White Light/White Heat | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 44-45).
Ad: May month concert calendar that was printed in the Los Angeles Free Press, May 3, 1968. Reproduced in Peel Slowly And See booklet (p. 81); in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 115); in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 239).
Ad: double page, 17½ x 22½" in Los Angeles Free Press, May 17-23, 1968, advertising the May 24-25 1968 gigs at Shrine Hall in Los Angeles. Complete newspaper centerfold, so probably the biggest newspaper ad of the Velvets ever. The artwork is by John Van Hamersveld and is identical to the one in the poster, except the balloons are coloured pink. Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 244-245).
Ads: half-page, 7½ x 10", in Los Angeles Free Press, May 24, 1968 (p. 8). Same John Van Hamersveld artwork, no colored balloons however. Also another small one in the same issue, as part of the classified ads section. Both ads reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 247).
Review: Concert of Rock, Blues at Shrine by Pete Johnson in Los Angeles Times, May 27, 1968. Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 248).
June 1, 1968
Tape: listed in What Goes On - The Best of 1&2, 55 minutes (incomplete), C+.
June 7-9, 1968
With: Iron Butterfly, Chrome Cyrcus
Poster: Family Dog #122, 20 x 14 inch, artist: Bob Schnepf.
Postcard: Family Dog #122, 7 x 5 inch (17.8 x 12.6 cm), same artwork as poster.
June 14-15, 1968
Front St & W G St, San Diego, CA 92101
With: Clover, Maya.
Poster: 21.5 x 17 7/16 inch by Rebecca Galdeano. "From New York ∼ Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground". Featured in The Art Of Rock, plate 3.98. Reproduced in Peel Slowly And See box set booklet (p. 63); in The Velvet Underground | An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 117); in The Velvet Underground | New York Art (p. 219); in White Light/White Heat | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 54).
John Cale: "That was the fun part for us, doing those improvisations. And those improvisations would really get the best of us in the end, because they'd go on and on and on and on. We'd be up there for an hour just improvising before we'd even done a song! In San Diego we did that. That's kind of the rep we had when we got to San Francisco and L.A."
June 27-30, 1968
1024 Davie St, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Ads: The Sun ads are all reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 255).
The gig is also mentioned under a Velvet Underground photo illustrating the article Valerie A Bummer On Both Coasts, from circa 1968 unknown publication. Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 262).
Flyer: art by S. Seymour. Also exists as 5 x 14 inch double-sized postcard. Reproduced in Peel Slowly And See box set booklet (p. 46-47); in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 117); in White Light/White Heat | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 48-49).
Photos: by Roy Beaumont. One available at Rick McGrath's Psychedelic Rock Handbills, also published in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 106). Another one from motel room after show interview available in Solid Gold: The Popular Record Industry book by R. Serge Denisoff.
July 5-6, 1968
Front St & W G St, San Diego, CA 92101
With: Quicksilver Messenger Service.
Poster: printed on silver paper, 22½ x 17½ inch, artist: Rebecca Galdeano.
Handbill/card: same artwork as poster, 7 x 5 inch, thick silver-brushed semi-glossy stock handbill.
Ticket: reproduced in White Light/White Heat | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 55).
Announcement: in San Diego Union, June 30, 1968 (p. 76), Pop section: "HIPPODROME—The new rock hall at 211 W. G St. will present the Velvet Underground and Maya at 8:30 p.m. Thursdayand the Quicksilver Messenger Service, joined by theVelvet Underground, at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday."
Review: in Dead Lie the Velvets Underground by Lester Bangs, in Creem vol. 3, no.2, May 1971.
Sterling: We also did a four track tape when we played with Quicksilver. We did the show and then went to a party, and Lou and I and John Cipollina were sitting on this couch. I'm sitting there and I heard Quicksilver - that had played first - and it was fabulous. So then I hear us tuning up and I said to Lou: Well I think I'm getting out of here! I didn't want us sounding terrible compared to Quicksilver, and I figured we had to sound terrible compared to them, because I'd just heard how great they had sounded. Cipollina is a real good guitar player. After tuning, we started with "Waiting for the Man" and it didn't sound so bad, so I stuck around. Then came "Sweet Rock and Roll," which was never recorded and never played again. We wanted that tape, it sounded so great, so there was no point in recording it. I think we did it a time or two after that, but it was nothing compared to this first one. I remember the chords and some words: "Sweet rock 'n' roll is good to your soul...". We used that as a preamble to "Sister Ray," it kind of just goes along and then hits the chords, which were very heavy. It was good. It was heavy, serious. Cale played keyboard on "Sweet Rock and Roll," and that was really what carried it. Good keyboards.
July 12-13, 1968
With: Butterfield Blues Band, Sly & Family Stone, Rockets.
Poster: Art Of Rock 3.70. 26 3/4 x 15 15/16 inch. Art by Neon Park. Also exists as 6 x 3½ inch card. Reproduced in Peel Slowly And See booklet (p. 79); in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 118); in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 215).
Flyer: alternate 8½ x 5¼ inch handbill on thin paper, man with guitar walking between freighttrains. Reproduced in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 118); in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 218); in White Light/White Heat | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 56).
Ads: in Los Angeles Free Press, July 5-11, 1968 & July 12-18, 1968. Both reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 264 & 266).
Review: Saturday Night at the Shrine by Robert Gold in Los Angeles Free Press, July 19-25, 1968. Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 268).
"The Velvet Underground minus Nico but featuring a drummer named Maureen who beats the shit out of the tom-tom and the bass drum. Her heavy continuous 4/4 outpouring on the drums slams into your bowles and crawls out your asshole. Meanwhile, the rest of the band makes a sound that can only be compared to a railroad shunting yard, metal wheels screeching to a halt on the tracks. Its music to go out of your mind to, if that's your bent. Lead singer Lou Reed, who looks like Clark Kent, sings original lyrics which can't be understood due to the loudness of the group. VG did a sour, raucous version of "Sweet Rock and Roll." Velvet indeed!"
July 19-21, 1968
With: Tim Buckley, All Men Joy. Lights by Jerry Abrams.
Poster: Family Dog #128, 20 x 14 inch, "In A Woodpile", artist: Paul Kagan. Reproduced in The Velvet Underground | An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 119).
Postcard: double card, Family Dog #127/128, 6½ x 9 inch (16.5 x 23.4 cm), same artwork with July/August Avalon Ballroom program printed on back.
Tape: listed in What Goes On | The Best of 1&2 fanzine, 65 mins, B-. This recording is either misdated or uncirculated.
August 15-17, 1968
With: Eden's Children
Poster: artist is David Jenks. Reproduced in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 229).
Handbill: 11 x 8½ inch.
September 20-21, 1968
With: Nazz, Caldwell Winfield Blues Band
[source: George Manney from Geosound, The Electric Factory Archives]
Ad: in unidentified publication, mentions a September 27-28 engagement. Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 280).
September 27-28, 1968
Last gigs with John Cale. With: Fire and Ice
Poster/handbill: 22 x 16½ inch, artist is David Laing. Reproduced in The Velvet Underground | New York Art (p. 218); in White Light/White Heat | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 47).
Photos: The Modern Printer, in Up-tight | The Velvet Underground Story (p. 97).
Article: Talking Rock by Steve Grant in The Tech, October 1, 1968 (p. 7).
Tapes: two tapes listed in What Goes On | The Best Of 1&2 fanzine: 26/9, 70 mins, B- and 28/9, 20 mins, B-. Those recordings are either misdated or uncirculated.
October 4-6, 1968
First dates with Doug Yule.
Lots of records or tapes refer to an October 2, 1968 show at La Cave, but documents prove that the engagement was October 4-6.
Handbill: 8½ x 4¼ inch, partly reproduced in black & white on the inside cover of Feed-Back | La Leyenda de Los Velvet Underground book.
Mailers: 3 different mailers, artist unknown. One reproduced in The Velvet Underground | New York Art (p. 218).
October '68 La Cave Tapes:
"October 2, 1968" aka "Early show"
Audio: audience, B, 65 mins. Though the date is inaccurate this recording is usually listed as 2/10/68 - it circulates also sometimes as "October 21, 1968"... Pale Blue Eyes has false start so that Lou's mic can be turned up. Sources: Live '68 LP (1, 4), Problems In Urban Living CD (1-9), Peel Slowly And See 5CD (1), Searchin' For My Mainline 3LP and 3 CD (2), La Cave 1968 | Problems In Urban Living 2LP & CD (1-9).
"October 4, 1968" aka "Late show"
Audio: audience, B, 13 mins. A "October 4, 1968" tape is listed in What Goes On | The Best of 1&2, but the venue stated is Music Hall, 70 minutes, B. Some of the tapes circulating have also What Goes On (but in fact it sounds exactly like the "October 2, 1968" version), I'm Set Free and Sister Ray (same as the "November 30, 1968"/"October 1969" misdated tape). Source: Live '68 LP (1, 2), Problems In Urban Living CD (1-3), La Cave 1968 | Problems In Urban Living 2LP & CD (1-3).
"October 26, 1968"
Tape: aud, B-, 7 mins. Once again this is a misdated recording (the VU were at the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles on this date). The complete tape is listed in What Goes On | The Best of 1&2, 55 minutes, B, with the same tracklist as on the "October 2, 1968" tape. That version could actually be from October 4 late show.
These shows were recorded by Jaime Klimek, who was later in the notorious Cleveland art-punk combos Mirrors and The Styrenes. The Live '68 liner notes say that the shows were "recorded on a mono Norelco cassette recorder using a hand held mike and a Norelco C-120 cassette". According to some sources the second tape could be a late show performed October 2nd. However after researches in Cleveland press archives, it appears now that the La Cave engagement was October 4-6, which is confirmed by the La Cave program, reprinted on inside cover of Feed-Back book. Jaime Klimek probably recorded two sets on October 4, and those are the source for the tapes now circulating. Klimek taped every single Cleveland Velvets show from the Plastic Exploding Inevitable on out but most of those tapes unfortunately haven't surfaced. People who had chance to hear them all say that there is still some excellent stuff that hasn't surfaced, like the long, winding Sweet Sister Ray intro to Sister Ray that goes on for some 15 minutes of trippy, dreamy VU, and a superb Waitin' For My Man with Cale.
There are Cleveland late October 1968 dates often listed. First there is an October 23, 1968 show at La Cave supposedly documented by the Murder Mystery LP. Actually Sister Ray/Murder Mystery and Waiting For The Man come from the January 28, 1969 show; What Goes On, Venus In Furs, That's The Story Of My Life come from the early October '68 shows. Then there is the tape listed as October 26, 1968, La Cave (see below) mentionned on What Goes On fanzine "Reeling in the VU" list. Tracklisting is identical to the "Oct. 2" tape, so those tapes may be the same. On the other hand there is a What Goes On version circulating on tape, recorded at La Cave, and dated October 26, 1968, which is clearly different from the "October 2" version. Anyway it is almost certain that there was no Cleveland show in late October 1968 because the Velvets were on tour on West Coast. Also after researches in Cleveland press microfilms made by Aral Sezen, no evidence that these shows exist has been found. Last thing there is a tape which circulates as "La Cave, February 10, 1969". This one is really a mix of early October 1968 recordings and Hilltop Festival, August 2, 1969...
Klimek: "In the period of April '67 to Mar '69 the Velvets played Cleveland 7 times. After an appearance with the Exploding Plastic Inevitable at Public Hall, they returned 5 times to play a basement club called La Cave, situated between a ghetto and the Cleveland Orchestra's home, Severance Hall. Located beneath the local social security offices, the former coffee house was virtually the only place during that period in which the band could play, the only other options being the Music Hall, a 3,000 seat auditorium, and the 10,000 seat Public Hall which was more suited to circuses and expositions. La Cave's dimensions were 60'x125' with a seating capacity of 250-300. The club would generally book rock bands to play Fri-Sat, two shows a night with an occasional 3:00 Sunday afternoon show. For the mere sum of $3.50 entrance was gained to a dimly lit rectangle with burlap and church pews covering one long wall, the stage on the other, and tables in between. The PA was Voice Of the Theaters powered by a low tech amp and mixed by a rudimentary board. The stage was a platform 10 inch high with barely enough room for the Velvets stage gear, which was comprised at first of double cabinet Vox amps, later changed to Acoustic amps. The drums had to be put on Lou's right, on the floor next to the PA cabinet. On Oct 2, 1968 the VU came in for another 3 day stand. With Cale being given the boot in late August, this marks Yule's first public appearance with the band, and Reed rose magnificently to the occasion with marvelous guitarwork and much more forceful vocals than had been his wont. Sterling put the finishing touches on his bid for the title of the worlds greatest rhythm guitarist."
October 14, 1968
Tape: listed in What Goes On - The Best of 1&2, 55 minutes (incomplete), C+. This date may be wrong (see below).
October 18-20, 1968
With : Charley Musselwhite, Initial Shock.
Poster: Family Dog #142, 14 x 20 inch, artist: Wes Wilson, photo: Belmer Wright. Reproduced in Peel Slowly And See box set booklet (p. 64-65); in The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 26). An alternate version exists announcing a unique gig on October 18, with Jefferson Airplane and Captain Beefheart in place of Charley Musselwhite and Initial Shock. Both versions reproduced in The Velvet Underground | An Illustrated History of a Walk on the Wild Side (p. 122-123).
Postcard: Family Dog #142, 4½ x 6½ inch (11.7 x 16.5 cm), same artwork as poster.
Ad: in San Francisco Express Times, October 18, 1968. Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 284); in The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 27).
Also mentioned on an office memo from MGM which lists the VU tour itinerary for October-November 1968, reproduced in The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 26).
October 23-27, 1968
With: The Chicago Transit Authority.
Poster: artist is Dennis Loren. A limited numbered reprint signed by artist (and copyrighted '69 !?) exists, however there is no evidence that the poster was actually printed for the show in 1968.
Announcement: in Independent Star-News (Pasadena CA), October 26, 1968. Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 287).
Also mentioned on an office memo from MGM which lists the VU tour itinerary for October-November 1968.
Susan Pile: in a letter she sent from Los Angeles to her friend Edward Walsh on October 29, 1968:
"The VELVET UNDERGROUND is in LA and will be here intermittently for the next 5 weeks (until December). They opened at the Whisky last Wednesday (through Sunday) and have been booked for return November 14. They are really making it at last. Miss Hackett may have clued you in to the distressing fact that John is no longer with the Velvet (I hesitated in putting "luminaries" there for some reason) - Actually it's not distressing at all - they're sounding better than I can remember them for a long time. The new kid is named Doug(ie)(las) - he's from Boston, plays bass and organ and is really neat-looking (more so - perhaps - from a strictly objective viewpoint - than M. Reed). They have a lot of new material, like one song that ends (in joyous 2-part harmony of sufficient unintelligibility) "How does it feel... to be dumb?" Plus, things like "Waiting for the Man" slowed to an easy Booker T. Louis doesn't really dominate the group any more - in fact, I would consider Sterling lead guitar. You won't believe how strong they are musically now - I mean, we've learned a bit about music since that day we (actually you) had the audacity to comment to Miss Janis Joplin, circa summer '66, "a friend of ours says you sound something like the Yardbirds." (remember that, Edward? I do - it's hysterical. We never really knew what was going on in the sense that we knew what we were talking about. It probably was a lot more fun that way, before we knew what dilettantes were....
The Velvets will record their 3rd album here in LA sometime within the next 5 weeks, and I am convinced it's going to be incredible. I am (I hope) going to the recording session, which will be veritably outasite."
October 31-November 3, 1968
1024 Davie St, Vancouver, BC, Canada
With: Black Snake Blues Band.
Handbill: "Halloween at the Retinal Circus", 7 x 5 inch, design: Frank Lewis.
Also mentioned on an office memo from MGM which lists the VU tour itinerary for October-November 1968.
November 14-17, 1968
With: Cold Blood.
Handbill: "Whisky A Go Go | Winter Happenings", listing concerts (each with a band bio) by the Velvet Underground, Moby Grape, the Flying Burrito Brothers (their first ever shows, opening for Moby Grape), Kaleidoscope, and more. "VELVET UNDERGROUND | Once again the Whisky brings back the extremely talented "Velvet Underground". If you didn't catch them the last time, make sure you do now; you won't be sorry. Also on the bill is "Cold Blood", a a new group coming up fast on the San Francisco scene - different and original, both groups will make for a unique show."
Announcement: in Independent Star-News (Pasadena CA), November 16, 1968.
Review: in Hollywood Scene by Judy Sims, in Disc, November 30, 1968: "Velvet Underground played the Whisky here twice in the past three weeks; the first first time I saw them they were fairly awful, the second time they were fairly great...". Reprinted in The Velvet Underground & Lou Reed book; reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 301).
Tape: an October 14, 1968 tape is listed in What Goes On - The Best of 1&2 fanzine, but this may be incorrect and may have been November 14. Actual existence unconfirmed.
November 15-16, 1968
Mentioned on an office memo from MGM which lists the VU tour itinerary for October-November 1968. This engagement overlaps with the above dates.
November 22-23, 1968
Mentioned on an office memo from MGM which lists the VU tour itinerary for October-November 1968. This engagement overlaps with the dates below.
November 22-24, 1968
With: Sir Douglas Quintet, Flamin' Groovies.
Flyer/handbill: 11 x 8½ in.
Announcement: in San Francisco Chronicle, November 22, 1968: "The bands at the Avalon this weekend, by the way, are Sir Douglas Quintet, Velvet Underground and Flamin' Groovies.
November 28-30, 1968
Mentioned on an office memo from MGM which lists the VU tour itinerary for October-November 1968.
circa October-November 1968
241 S Moreno Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212-3698
The Velvet Underground appearance at the Beverly Hills High School is also related by Mickey Kaus at reasont.tv - the VU part starts at 32:45.
Lloyd Grove: "Speaking of Lou Reed, I remember that 31 years ago he played a high school assembly at Beverly Hills High School, where I was a 9th grader, and he and his Velvet Underground justed blasted out the place. When the school psychiatrist--yes, they had one of those in Beverly Hills, natch--warned that studies had shown that rock music had caused hearing deficits in hamsters, Reed replied "When we play for hamsters, we will turn the volume down." It was a pretty freaky occasion, orchestrated by Senior Class President and BMOC Mickey Kaus."
Photos: in the Beverly Hills High School Watchtower Yearbook - Class of 1969 (p. 76-77). Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 306).
December 1, 1968
Supporting Canned Heat, with Apple Pie Motherhood.
Card: concert card, the back of the card has a La Cave logo, a Youngbloods concert advertising & a WMMS radio ad.
Announcement: in The Plain Dealer, November 29, 1968 : "The Canned Heat and the Velvet Underground fired up Public Music Hall Sunday at 2:30 p.m., sponsored by Grape and WMMS."
Tape: 45 mins, B-, listed in What Goes On | The Best of 1&2, as "Music Hall, 30/11/68" (without What Goes On however). But The Velvet Underground didn't play in Cleveland nor at La Cave (it was The Youngbloods) or at Public Music Hall (it was Peter Nero) on this date. This tape also circulates sometimes as "Music Hall, Cleveland, Oct. '69" or "La Cave, 30/11/68" or edited without I'm Set Free. Also the last two tracks are also available on a tape listed as "La Cave, 4/10/68"...!
December 12-14, 1968
Flyer & poster: actually two versions - one is a paper-thin 8½ x 11 inch flyer. The other one is a 11 x 17½ inch poster. Drawn and designed by Steve Nelson.
Tape: 90 minutes, audience recording by "The Professor". Candy Says is introduced by Lou as a new song that no-one has heard before and sings it himself. Sources: The Legendaly Guitar Amp Tape 2CD (2, 5); Sweet Sister Ray 2LP & 2CD (10); Afterhours #31 (1, 2, 7); #32 (4, 5), #33 (10, 11), The Boston Tea Party 1968 2CD (1-11); Live At The Boston Tea Party, December 12th 1968 2CD (1-11).
Notes: the legend says that all the Boston Tea Party tapes (with the exception of the 'guitar amp tape') were recorded by a guy known as "The Professor", who smuggled a reel-reel tape deck into the Tea Party underneath his poncho.
Review: in I Was A Velveteen by Rob Norris in Kicks magazine, issue #1, 1979. Reprinted in What Goes On fanzine, issue Number 2, June 1979.
Tape: listed in What Goes On - The Best of 1&2, 85 mins, B.
719 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Review: this review was found in a sociological study on punk rock titled Break All The Rules!: Punk Rock and the Making of a Style by Tricia Henry (1955-) published in 1989 by UMI Research Press (an imprint of University Microfilms Inc. Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106) ISBN 0-8357-1980-4. It is contained within the chapter titled: Lou Reed, the Velvet Underground, and the Exploding Plastic Inevitable. The source of the recollection is cited in the bibliography as O'Hara, Charles. "The Velvet Underground: Pittsburgh, PA 1968" New York, 1984 (unpublished manuscript). Tricia Henry interviewed Charles O'Hara in New York on 21 August 1984; 14 June 1985; 12 October 1986 and provides this info: Charles O'Hara. Fan and member of the Riff Doctors. She also thanks him in the preface "for his skillful and patient editing of the text, as well as his invaluable contributions to the work". The only date listed is 1968, which may be wrong since the only VU date at Pittsburgh's Stanley Theater is February 7, 1969.
STANLEY THEATRE. PITTSBURGH, PA. 1968
[Special thanks to Michael S. Prosser]
Special thanks to Susan Pile & Michael S. Prosser, George Manney from Geosound. Also to Steven Beck - The Velvet Collection - for the Boston Tea Party August 15-17, Hippodrome July 5-6, and La Cave October 1968 mailer scans. Thanks to Gordon Lyon & Aral Sezen, Rick McGrath, Chris Van Tuyll, Mark Sturdy, Scott, António Neto Alves, Marc Skobac, Nick Blakey, Alfredo Garcia, Tom Z, Alessandro Locchi.
by Olivier Landemaine
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