The Velvet Underground

Live performances and rehearsals

The unanimous opinion was that we were 10 times better live than we were on records (Sterling Morrison, Apr. 1981)

1968

Dates in gray are uncertain


handbill

photo #1

photo #2

photo #3

February 1, 1968
Aardvark Cinematheque, Chicago, Illinois

1608 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60614
Google Maps

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).

Reviews:

  • Muzak
    by Bev, in Chicago Seed Vol. 2 #2, February 1968
    reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 221).
  • The Velvet Underground
    by Copper, in unknow publication. The article also has some photos of the Velvet Underground both on and off-stage.
    reproduced in The Velvet Underground Scrapbook Vol. 1; in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 222).

    "Have you ever been on a trip?. If you have I can assure you, you've never taken one the likes of the VELVET UNDERGROUND AND RON BRITAIN EXPERIENCE.

    Verve's Midwest Regional Promotional Manager, JACK KATZ, has done it again!. He and his lovely wife hosted a "Press Trip" in honour of Velvet Underground's new album, "WHITE LIGHT WHITE HEAT" on the Verve label.

    After the get-together of stars and press, the entire entourage tripped over to the Aardvark Cinemateque in Old Town. There, 200 lucky teens awaited the Velvet Underground, Andy Warhol movies, and the me of the evening, WCFL's Ron Britain. (And we mustn't forget to add the history-making appearance of the one and only TAB MATHIS. How sweet it is.)

    The Velvet Underground, Lou - lead singer and electric guitar, John - electric organ, Sterling - electric guitar and Maureen (Mo) - on drums, took everyone ten miles high on their unique hard - rock sound."

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".
Google books


February 19, 1968
Morgan Auditorium, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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).
Google News Archive

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).
Google News Archive

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 24, 1968
The Union, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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."
http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=141892


Ad | Watertown Daily Times | March 1, 1968

March 1-3, 1968
Stone House Restaurant, Watertown, New York

545 Arsenal St, Watertown, NY 13601
Google Maps

Ad: in Watertown Daily Times, March 1, 1968 (p. 16).
Fulton History


 

March 9, 1968
Highschool Auditorium, Nether Providence, Pennsylvannia

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).


ad

March 15-17, 1968
The Trauma, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

2121 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Google Maps

With: The Mandrake Memorial, The Mary Jane Company

Ad:: in unidentified publication, March 16, 1968.


flyer

March 22-23, 1968
Boston Tea Party, Boston, Massachusetts

53 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116
Google Maps | Wikipedia

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
Kinetic Playground, Chicago, Illinois

1113 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
Google Maps | Wikipedia

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.

I think they played two nights - once with Blue Cheer opening. One of the first bad examples of heavy metal, this one-hit-wonder charted 10 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 top position (reaching #14 on 3/23/68) with their knock-off of "Summertime Blues." They were a hot act in Chicago at the time and a hard act to follow, especially when most of the audience left with them, but I remember the VU doing an exceptional version of "Booker T" that night (and vaguely recall that the acoustic number was all they did, disgusted as they must have been).

I'm fairly sure they also opened for Steppenwolf that weekend--"Born to Be Wild" was a huge hit on Chicago radio (it eventually hit #2 in Billboard 7/20/68). Don't remember much about either show (though I remember Stevie Winwood was pretty impressive over at the Cheetah)."


 

April 19, 1968
???, Montreal, Canada

Tape: listed in What Goes On - The Best of 1&2, 45 mins (incomplete), C+.


Mailer | La Cave, Cleveland OH | March-April 1968

The Plain Dealer | April 26, 1968

April 26-28, 1968
La Cave, Cleveland, Ohio

10615 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106
Google Maps | Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Mailer : 11 x 4¼ inch.

Ads:

  • in The Ohio State Lantern (Ohio State University Student Newspaper), March 29, 1968 (p. 5).
  • in The Ohio State Lantern (Ohio State University Student Newspaper), April 11, 1968 (p. 7).
  • in The Plain Dealer, April 19, 1968 (p. 13).
  • in The Plain Dealer, April 26, 1968, Friday night edition there is a picture of VU and an ad for Cleveland saying tonight thru Sunday. The picture is of them holding the copy of White Light/White Heat LP. There is a blurb at the top though. It refers to them as a quintet... "Stranger and more startling musical images are created by the Velvet Underground, headlined tonight through Sunday at La Cave Cafe, 10615 Euclid Avenue. This avant garde quintet from New York's Greenwich Village rooms is often described as a pace-setter in dynamic hard-rock sounds". Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 237).
Ad | The Ohio State Lantern | March 29, 1968 Ad | The Ohio State Lantern | April 11, 1968
Ad | The Plain Dealer | April 26, 1968 Ad | The Plain Dealer | April 19, 1968 (p. 13)

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.

  1. Sweet Sister Ray / Sister Ray [cut] (39:40)
  2. [cut] Venus In Furs (0:37)
  3. Heroin (6:30)

program

May 15, 1968
Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, New York

30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Google Maps | Wikipedia

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).


poster

May 16-18, 1968
The Boston Tea Party, Boston, Massachusetts

53 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116
Google Maps | Wikipedia

With: The Hallucinations, Bo Grumpus.

Poster: 22¼ x 17" poster, drawing of Lou Reed, white on black, artwork by David Lang.
Reproduced in Up-tight | The Velvet Underground Story (p. 101); in White Light/White Heat | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 47).

Handbill: 4¾ x 6¾", on a card stock. Same artwork as poster.
Reproduced in The Velvet Underground | New York Art (p. 218).

Annoucement: in The Tech, May 14, 1968, page 6.
http://www-tech.mit.edu/archives/VOL_088/TECH_V088_S0272_P006.pdf

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).

Ad - Boston After Dark - May 15, 1968


Ad | Los Angeles Free Press | May 3, 1968

May 24-25, 1968
Shrine Exposition Hall, Los Angeles, California

665 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Google Maps | Wikipedia

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).

poster

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).

ad

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).

Ad - Los Angeles Free Press - May 24, 1968

Announcement:

  • in Week End Of Entertainment section
    in The Valley News And Green Sheet (Van Nuys CA), May 24, 1968.
    Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 248).
  • in Concert section
    in Van Nuys News, May 24, 1968.

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
Jerry & Lorraine (?), Los Angeles, California

Tape: listed in What Goes On - The Best of 1&2, 55 minutes (incomplete), C+.


postcard

June 7-9, 1968
Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, California

1268 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Google Maps | Wikipedia

With: Iron Butterfly, Chrome Cyrcus

Poster: Family Dog #122, 20 x 14 inch, artist: Bob Schnepf. Reproduced in Peel Slowly And See box set booklet (p. 44-45); in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 116); in White Light/White Heat | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 54).

Postcard: Family Dog #122, 7 x 5 inch (17.8 x 12.6 cm), same artwork as poster.

Annoucement: in Berkeley Barb, June 7-13, 1968. Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 260).


Poster

June 14-15, 1968
Hippodrome, San Diego, California

Front St & W G St, San Diego, CA 92101
Google Maps

With: Clover, Maya.

Poster: 22 x 17 inch by Rebecca Galdeano. "From New York - Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground". 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).

Ad: in Indicator (University of California, San Diego student newpaper), vol. 3 no. 4, May 29, 1968 (p. 12).
The Library | UC San Diego

Ad | Indicator | May 29, 1968.

Announcement: Trans-Love Airways Brings Top Bands in Indicator (University of California, San Diego student newpaper), vol. 3 no. 4, May 29, 1968 (p. 6).
The Library | UC San Diego

Reviews:

  • 'Velvet Underground' Gives Touch Of Class To Rock
    by Dick Barnes, in San Diego Union, June 15, 1968
    reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 260).
  • Rock Postscript And Preview
    by Steve Gifford, in The Tea Spoon & The Door, June 21, 1968
    reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 261).

June 27-30, 1968
Retinal Circus, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

1024 Davie St, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Google Maps

Ads: The Sun ads are all reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 255).

Ad | The Peak | June 26, 1968Ad | The Sunday Sun | June 29, 1968

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).

Postcard

Press articles:

  • A week in the life by R. Serge Denisoff in The Peak (Simon Fraser University), July 3, 1968 (p. 6). Includes 4 photos by Beaumont.
    Simon Fraser University Library
  • Velvet digs R&B finds Doors dull by R. Serge Denisoff in The Peak (Simon Fraser University), July 10, 1968 (p. 8). Includes 3 photos by Beaumont.
    Simon Fraser University Libray

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

.

Poster | Hippodrome, Sandiego CA | July 5-6, 1968

Postcard

July 5-6, 1968
Hippodrome, San Diego, California

Front St & W G St, San Diego, CA 92101
Google Maps

With: Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Poster: printed on Silver paper, 22½ x 17½", artist: Rebecca Galdeano. Also exists as handbill (or postcard?). Reproduced in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 222); in White Light/White Heat | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 56).

Ticket: reproduced in White Light/White Heat | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 55)

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.
(in Feedback by Ignacio Julia, 1986)


Poster

Handbill

July 12-13, 1968
Shrine Exposition Hall, Los Angeles, California

665 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Google Maps | Wikipedia

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).

Ad - Los Angeles Free Press - July 5, 1968Ad - Los Angeles Free Press - July 12, 1968

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!"


Poster

July 19-21, 1968
Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, California

1268 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Google Maps | Wikipedia

With: Tim Buckley, All Men Joy. Lights by Jerry Abrams.

Ads:

  • in Scenodrome section of Berkeley Barb, July 12-18, 1968, reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 266).
  • in San Francisco Express Time, July 17, 1968: one ad plus announcement in concert listing section, both reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 267).
  • in Berkeley Barb, July 19-25, 1968, reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 267).

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 fanzine Best of 1+2 issue, 65 mins, B-. This recording is either misdated or uncirculated.


poster

handbill

August 15-17, 1968
The Boston Tea Party, Boston, Massachusetts

53 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116
Google Maps | Wikipedia

With: Eden's Children

Poster: artist is David Jenks. Reproduced in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 229).

Handbill: 11 x 8½ inch.


handbill

September 20-21, 1968
Electric Factory and Flea Market, Philadephia, Pennsylvania

N 22nd St & Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Google Maps | Wikipedia

With: Nazz, Caldwell Winfield Blues Band

Handbill.

[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).

ad


handbill

September 27-28, 1968
The Boston Tea Party, Boston, Massachusetts

53 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116
Google Maps | Wikipedia

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).

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.


Handbill

Ad, The Plain Dealer, 4/10/68

Mailer

Mailer

Mailer | La Cave, Cleveland OH |

October 4-6, 1968
La Cave, Cleveland, Ohio

10615 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106
Google Maps | Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

First dates with Doug Yule. Lots of records or tapes refer to a 2/10/68 show at La Cave, but documents prove that the engagement was October 4-6.

Handbill: 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).

Announcement: in The Plain Dealer (Ohio Largest Newspaper), October 4, 1968: "The S.R.C., appearing with the Velvet Underground this weekend at La Cave..."

Ad: in The Plain Dealer, October 4, 1968. Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 283).

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).

  1. What Goes On (5:25)
  2. Waiting For The Man (5:56)
  3. Pale Blue Eyes (false start 1:12; 6:09)
  4. Foggy Notion (10:32)
  5. Heroin (7:16)
  6. Jesus (5:12)
  7. Venus In Furs (4:07)
  8. Beginning To See The Light (6:18)
  9. Sister Ray (10:30)

"October 4, 1968" aka "Late show"

Audio: audience, B, 13 mins. A 4/10/68 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 "2/10/68" version), I'm Set Free and Sister Ray (same as the "30/11/68"/"October 1969" misdated tape). Source: Live '68 LP (1, 2), Problems In Urban Living CD (1-3).

  1. Move Right In (2:40)
  2. I Can't Stand It (7:57)
  3. That's The Story Of My Life (1:57)

"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 "2/10/68" tape. My guess is that version could actually be from October 4 late show.

  1. What Goes On (5:45)

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. My Guess is that Jaime Klimek recorded two sets on October 4, and that 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. However that may be it is almost sure 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."
(Live '68 LP liner notes, 1983)


 

October 14, 1968
Whiskey-A-Go-Go, West Hollywood, California

Tape: listed in What Goes On - The Best of 1&2, 55 minutes (incomplete), C+. This date may be wrong (see below).


Postcard
Poster (alternate)

October 18-20, 1968
Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, California

1268 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Google Maps | Wikipedia

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).


Poster

October 23-27, 1968
Whisky A Go Go, West Hollywood, California

8901 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Google Maps | Wikipedia

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).

Ads:

  • in UCLA Daily Bruin, Volume LXXV No. 15, October 17, 1968 (p. 10)
    archive.org | UCLA Daily Bruin
  • in University of Southern California Daily Trojan, October 18, 1968 (p. 10).
    USC Libraries | Daily Trojan
  • in Los Angeles Free Press, October 18-24, 1968.
    Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 284).
  • in UCLA Daily Bruin, Volume LXXV No. 20, October 24, 1968 (p. 11).
    archive.org | UCLA Daily Bruin
  • in University of Southern California Daily Trojan, October 25, 1968 (p. 14).
    USC Libraries | Daily Trojan
  • in Los Angeles Free Press, October 25-31, 1968.
    Reproduced in Feed-Back - La Leyenda de Los Velvet Underground (p. 83); in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 286); in The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 26).
Ad | Los Angeles Free Press | October 25-31, 1968
Ad | UCLA Daily Bruin | October 17, 1968 (p. 9)
Ad | UCLA Daily Bruin | October 24, 1968 (p. 11)
Ad | Daily Trojan | October 18, 1968 Ad | Daily Trojan | October 25, 1968

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."


flyer

October 31-November 3, 1968
Retinal Circus, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

1024 Davie St, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Google Maps

With: Black Snake Blues Band.

Handbill: "Halloween at the Retinal Circus", 7 x 5 inch, design: Frank Lewis.
Reproduced in Peel Slowly And See box set booklet (p. 54-55); in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 127); in The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 27).

Ads:

  • in The Ubyssey (student newspaper of the University of British Columbia) Vol. L No. 22, October 31, 1968 (p. 7): black & white repro of the original handbill (p. 7). Also classified ads in Vol. L No. 20, October 25, 1968 (p. 20) ; Vol. L No. 21, October 29, 1968 (p. 12) ; Vol. L No. 22, October 31, 1968 (2 ads, p. 12) ; Vol. L No. 23, November 1, 1968 (p. 16). Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 286-288).
  • in The Peak (Simon Fraser University), October 30, 1968 (p. 8).

Ad

Also mentioned on an office memo from MGM which lists the VU tour itinerary for October-November 1968.


Handbill

November 14-17, 1968
Whisky A Go Go, West Hollywood, California

8901 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Google Maps|Wikipedia

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.

Ads:

  • in Los Angeles Times Calendar, November 3, 1968.
    Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 290).
  • in unknown publication, ad for November 1 & 2 Spirit show, which also mentions the forthcoming VU show.
  • in UCLA Daily Bruin, November 7, 1968 (p.10).
    archive.org | UCLA Daily Bruin
  • in Los Angeles Free Press, November 8-13, 1968 (p. 6).
    Reproduced in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 126); in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 291).
  • in University of Southern California Daily Trojan, VOL. LX , NO. 35, November 8, 1968 (p. 12).
    Daily Trojan | USC Libraries
  • in UCLA Daily Bruin, November 14, 1968 (p. 8).
    archive.org | UCLA Daily Bruin
  • in Los Angeles Free Press, November 15-21, 1968.
    Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 294); in The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 26).
  • in calendar section, Open City, November 15-21, 1968.
    Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 294).
  • in University of Southern California Daily Trojan, VOL. LX , NO. 40, November 15, 1968 (p. 7).
    Daily Trojan | USC Libraries
  • in Things to do tonight, Independent Star, November 16, 1968. Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 299).

Ad | unknown publication | 1968

Ad | Los Angeles Times | November 3, 1968

Ad | Los Angeles Free Press | November 8-13, 1968

Ad | Los Angeles Free Press | November 15-21, 1968

Ad | Daily Trojan | November 8, 1968 Ad | Daily Trojan | November 15, 1968
Ad | UCLA Daily Bruin | November 7, 1968 (p. 10)
Ad | UCLA Daily Bruin | November 14, 1968 (p. 8)

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
Hippodrome, San Diego, California

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
The Bank, Los Angeles, California

Mentioned on an office memo from MGM which lists the VU tour itinerary for October-November 1968. This engagement overlaps with the dates below.


Flyer

November 22-24, 1968
Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, California

1268 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Google Maps - Wikipedia

With: Sir Douglas Quintet, Flamin' Groovies.

Flyer.


 

November 28-30, 1968
Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, California

1268 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Google Maps - Wikipedia

Mentioned on an office memo from MGM which lists the VU tour itinerary for October-November 1968.


 

circa October-November 1968
Beverly Hills High School, Beverly Hills, California

241 S Moreno Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212-3698
Google Maps

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).


Card

Ad | The Plain Dealer | November 22, 1968

Ad | The Plain Dealer | November 29, 1968

December 1, 1968
Music Hall, Cleveland, Ohio

St Clair Ave NE & E 6th St, Cleveland, OH 44114
Google Maps

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.

Ads: in The Plain Dealer, November 22 & 29, 1968. Both reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 299 & 302).

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"...!

  1. Heroin (5:36)
  2. What Goes On (3:20)
  3. Waiting For The Man (6:34)
  4. Pale Blue Eyes (5:28)
  5. I'm Set Free (4:02)
  6. Sister Ray (18:33)

 

December 12-14, 1968
The Boston Tea Party, Boston, Massachusetts

53 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116
Google Maps | Wikipedia

With: MC5.

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.
Reproduced in Peel Slowly And See box set booklet (p. 55); in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 121); in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 230-231); in The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 28).

Poster

December 12

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).

  1. Heroin (9:11)
  2. Move Right In (5:42)
  3. Waiting For The Man (7:18)
  4. I'm Set Free (5:02)
  5. Foggy Notion (8:17)
  6. Beginning To See The Light (6:17)
  7. Candy Says (4:44)
  8. White Light/White Heat (5:18)
  9. Jesus (4:50)
  10. Sister Ray (26:17)
  11. Pale Blue Eyes (6:09)

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.

December 14

Tape: listed in What Goes On - The Best of 1&2, 85 mins, B.


1968
Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

719 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Google Maps

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
The Velvet Underground are sinister and frightening. Their songs are about heroin, amphetamine, sex, and death: "I'm searching for my mainline, I couldn't hit it sideways." By the end of the first song, people are already beginning to leave. Lou sings "I'm waiting for my man/ 26 dollars in my hand/ Up to Lexington 125/ Feel sick and dirty/ More dead than alive/ I'm waiting for my man." The sound is loud, driving, and hard. The words are tough, and Lou spits them out in an atonal, vicious manner. "Heroin" is next - Lou's classic anthem of drugs and decadence. The volume is ear splitting. A jet plane on stage would not have as profound an effect on the audience , which has by now been reduced by half. Heroin. Lou says he wants to nullify his life. There are people in the audience who can identify with this. There are people in the audience who are rapt - exhilarated at seeing and hearing the possibilities that they suspected were inherent in the rock genre but had never before been demonstrated. There are some, but not very many.
"Sister Ray" is the last song. It goes on for a full half hour. Three chords: EEE, D, A, EEE, D, A, EEE, etc. The scene is eerie. Together the band creates an apocalyptic vision of eroticism, sadomaschism, and violence that is at once seductive and terrifying. The amplifiers feed back - the building seems to be shaking right to its foundations. The theatre is all but empty.

[Special thanks to Michael S. Prosser]


Home

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 Rick McGrath, Chris Van Tuyll, Mark Sturdy, Scott, António Neto Alves, Marc Skobac, Nick Blakey, Alfredo Garcia, Tom Z, Alessandro Locchi.

by Olivier Landemaine
last modified: August 21, 2016

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