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)
1969Dates in gray are uncertain
January 9-11, 1969
With: Holy Modal Rounders.
Poster: 22¼ x 17", artist: David Laing. Reproduced on inside cover of Feed-Back - La Leyenda De Los Velvet Underground book (B&W); in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (color, p. 238); in White Light/White Heat | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 46).
Tape: audience, mono, B+, 90 minutes, recorded by "The Professor". Sources: Afterhours tape #3 (1-12), Live at the Boston Tea Party LP (1-11 with 6-11 too fast), Live at the Boston Tea Party CD (1-4, 6-11 (with 6-11 too fast), A Tribute to Andy and Nico CD (3, 4, 6, 8-11), Searchin' For My Mainline 3LP and 3CD (7, 12), A Walk With The Velvet Underground Volume 2 3-CD (12), Boston Tea Party 1969 4CD (1-12).
Tape: listed in What Goes On - The Best of 1&2 fanzine, 75 minutes, B-. EXISTENCE UNCONFIRMED.
January 17-18, 1969
With: Taj Mahal.
January 22, 1969
The Boston Tea Party Birthday Party
Free admission show.
Poster: poster on cardboard, 17 x 11", artist is Bob Driscoll.
January 24-25, 1969
Flyer: 4¼ x 7½ inch, with the Velvet Underground listed towards the bottom. Artist is Mark Twain Behrens. The Kinetic Playground January month mailer has however a different act (Buddy Rich and His Orchestra / Buddy Miles Express / Rotary Connection) on this weekend.
January 31-February 2, 1969
Ad: in The Plain Dealer, January 17, 1969 (p. 13).
Announcement: in The Plain Dealer, January 31, 1969: "The Velvet Underground at La Cave, 10615 Euclid, tonight through Sunday." Reproduced in The Inevitable World Of The Velvet Underground (p. 308). Also in the "... the club beat goes on" section of the same issue (p. 15): "Velvet Underground goes into its fame heavy rock beat on the same nights at La Cave Cafe..."
Tape: audience, 49 minutes (incomplete). It is usually listed as "January 28, 1969". Sources: The Murder Mystery LP (1, 4), Sweet Sister Ray's Murder Mystery CD (4), Ostrich/Hilltop CD (4). Also: Afterhours #32 cassette (2).
February 7, 1969
With: The Grateful Dead, The Fugs.
Poster: Art of Rock Series AOR 3.160. Artist: Gene King. Reproduced in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 127).
Ad: in The Pittsburgh Press, February 5, 1969 (p. 16). Reproduced in The Inevitable World Of The Velvet Underground (p. 308).
Review: this is from February 13, 1969 issue of a local underground newspaper called The Pittsburgh Point. The article is by F. D. Williams and is titled "The journey of the Magi". It refers to the February 7, 1969 appearance of the Velvet Underground with The Grateful Dead and The Fugs at the Stanley Theatre and includes a picture of the theatre marquee as well as a picture of the VU with a light show behind them.
"The Velvet Underground was more velvet than underground - snooth, soft, and sensuous. The juxtaposition of "What Goes on in Your Mind" to a "Merry Melodies" cartoon (starring Bugs, would yo believe, Bunny) rearranged our brainwaves in nostalgic patterns.
There is a second article about the show titled "Flash in the great Rock wasteland" by Joe Anderson within the same issue.
"Of course the making of the concert was the tight performance of three Rock groups - the Velvet Underground, The Fugs and the Grateful Dead. Such a collection of freaks could hardly lead anywhere but up.
Special thanks to Michael S. Prosser
Both articles are reproduced in The Inevitable World Of The Velvet Underground (p. 309).
March 3, 1969
Tape: listed in What Goes On - The Best Of 1 & 2 fanzine, 80 mins, B.
March 13-15, 1969
With: Wilkinson's Tricycle.
Mentioned by the interviewer at the end of the March 3, 1969 WBCN Boston tape.
Flyer: 11 x 8½", artist is Bob Driscoll. Reproduced on inside cover of Feed-Back - La Leyenda De Los Velvet Underground; in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 129); ; in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 239); in White Light/White Heat | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 46).
Poster: 22 x 17", same artwork.
Tape: audience, B+, 87 minutes, recorded by "The Professor". The band must have played 2 sets that night - that's why there's the intro mid-way, just before I Can't Stand It. Sources: A Tribute To Andy And Nico CD (4, 7, 9, 11), Ultra Rare Trax Vol. 3 CD (10-12), Searchin' For My Mainline 3LP and 3CD (2), Boston Tea Party 1969 4CD (1-12), The Boston Tea Party, March 13th 1969 2CD (1-12).
Tape: Lou's amp, B+, 85 minutes. Also known as "the guitar amp tape". An alternate audience recording supposedly exists but hasn't surfaced yet. Sources: The Legendaly Guitar Amp Tape 2CD (1-11), A Drug Hit Sally Inside LP (4, 6, 7, 9-11), A Symphony Of Sound 2-LP (1, 3, 4, 6-8, 10), Legend LP (6), Sweet Sister Ray 2-LP and 2-CD (11), Live At The Boston Tea Party CD (11), The Wild Side Of The Street CD (11), Caught Between The Twisted Stars 4-CD (11), Boston Tea Party 1969 4CD (1-11).
March 21-22, 1969
241 Greenfield Rd, South Deerfield, MA 01373
Poster: reproduced in What Goes On - Number 1 fanzine (p. 9); in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 128); ; in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 240).
Steve Nelson: "We opened The Woodrose Ballroom in Deerfield on March 14-15, 1969 with The J.Geils Band, while The Velvets were at The Tea Party, one of the very few gigs they played there that I missed. The Velvets were in Maryland and La Cave March 27-30. So I'm certain it must have been the weekend in-between, March 21-22, when they first played the Woodrose."
Review: Beginning To See The Dark by Mike Kostek in What Goes On - Number 1 fanzine (p. 9), reprinted in Up-tight - The Velvet Underground Story (p. 110).
March 27, 1969
Tape: listed in What Goes On - The Best Of 1 & 2 fanzine, 65 mins (incomplete), C.
Actual date may be September 20, 1969 - see below.
March 28-30, 1969
Poster: White Light/White Heat LP backcover picture with John Cale (!).
Playbill: club calendar, artist unknown.
Audio: audience recording, UNCIRCULATED.
April 11-13, 1969
With: Nice, Earth Opera.
Announcement: in The Windsor Star, April 12, 1969 in Pop by John Laycock: "THE CALENDAR: (...) the Grande Ballroom has the Velvet Underground, Nice and Earth Opera tonight and Sunday."
Ad: in Tales From The Ozone #1 comic, January 1969 (back cover). Reproduced in The Inevitable World of The Velvet Underground (p. 307); in The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 62).
Card: Grande Ballroom card #75. 7 x 4¼ inch, "Russ Gibb Presents In Detroit", art by Gary Grimshaw. This is a two sided postcard with on the other side: Jethro Tull Jethro Tull, Sky and Caste on April 7-8, 1969, as well as Savoy Brown, 3rd Power and Commander Cody on April 9-10, 1969.
Poster: 13 x 19 inch. "Digitally recreated poster by the original Grande Ballroom poster artist Carl Lundgren". No evidence that the poster was originally created in 1969.
April 25-27, 1969
With: The Grateful Dead (on 25th & 26th), SRC (on 25th, 26th & 27th).
Mailer: 8½ x 5½, printed on heavyweight poster paper. This is a mailer for the month. Artist is M. Behrens.
Tape?: The Grateful Dead show was taped, why not the VU set? According to Ron Ramsey, who attended the show on April 25, The Velvet Underground played a very long set and as a result the Dead only got to play one set on this date. According to Ramsey the Dead did the same thing to the Velvet Underground the next night.
Doug Yule: "One time the Grateful Dead were putting acid on the tabs of Coke cans and Sterling got dosed. I remember I picked up a girl that night who looked like she knew everything. She was very quiet and had this mysterious smile. Turned out she was just tripping. That show the Dead opened for us; we opened for them the next night so that that no one could say they were the openers. As you know, the Grateful Dead play very long sets and they were supposed to only play for an hour. We were up in the dressing room and they're playing for an hour and a half and, hour and 45 minutes. So the next day when we were opening for them, Lou says, "Huh, watch this". And we proceeded to play a very long set. We did Sister Ray for like an hour and then a whole other show. Lou was out to prove that he could do it."
May 11, 1969
Washington University - Saint Louis, 1 Brookings Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63130-4862
With: Taj Mahal, White Lightning.
Poster: 18 x 34¾ inch, silkscreened on black paper, with rice paper backing. 3 different printings. Reproduced in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 245).
Tape: by Robert Quine.
Source: The Quine Tapes - Disc 3
Robert Quine: "Somebody was setting up a concert at Washington University in St. Louis, where I was going to law school, and I turned him onto The Velvet Underground, so he had them come out there. It was Taj Mahal and The Velvet Underground. I had actually bought a cassette recorder the day before. The sound was sort of muddy. It was literally a basketball gym, and it was pretty echoey. So I taped that."
May 16-17, 1969
241 Greenfield Rd, South Deerfield, MA 01373
With: Country Funk.
Poster: small 11 x 7" poster, original color is light pink.
Tape: listed in What Goes On - The Best Of 1&2, 70 mins, B-. Another Woodrose Ballroom '69 tape is also listed: 75 mins, C. EXISTENCE UNCONFIRMED.
May 29-31, 1969
With: The Allman Brothers.
Poster: approx 11 x 14 inch calendar lay out for May and first week of June. Artist: Engstrom. Reproduced in Peel Slowly And See booklet (p. 80); in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 130).
Ad: full-page newsprint advertisement (11 x 17 1/2 inch) for May 29-31, 1969.
June 13-14, 1969
241 Greenfield Rd, South Deerfield, MA 01373
Poster: drawing of man in chair holding a Velvet Underground poster. Reproduced in What Goes On fanzine issue #1 (p. 10) and What Goes On - The Best of 1 & 2 (p. 9); in The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 63).
June 21, 1969
Toronto Pop Festival 69
Posters: 3 different versions. 2 with same photo. One reproduced in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 131), 2 reproduced (along with sticker, ticket, festival booklet) in The Inevitable World Of The Velvet Underground (p. 336-337).. The "come" poster is 22 7/8 x 16 13/16 inch, artist: Pat Knox, Perold and Or Lynch.
Film: actually no - the possibility that D.A. Pennebaker filmed the Velvet Underground performance has been discussed. His Sweet Toronto film shows performers Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Eric Clapton, Bo Diddley, Alan White, Klaus Voorman and John Lennon and Yoko Ono with the Plastic Ono Band. However the film was actually shot during the Toronto Rock 'n Roll Revival, which was also held in Varsity Stadium, Toronto, on September 13, 1969. To add to the confusion, John Lennon took to referring to it as The Toronto Peace Festival, and that is what it was called on the Plastic Ono Band's recording. It gets worse: there was a second festival called the Toronto Pop Festival, in August 1970!
Press article: With the crowds, the stars and the amplifiers at Varsity Stadium by Ritchie York in The Globe and Mail, June 21, 1969 - The Velvet Underground is not mentioned however.
June 27-28, 1969
With: American Dream.
Ad: in The Drexel Triangle, Volume XLVI, Number 25, June 27, 1969 (p. 3).
Newletter: a newsletter called "Factory Newsletter" Vol. 1 No. 5 from JUNE 1969 (dated May 22, 1969) that was sent out by Electric Factory Concerts in Philadelphia to their mailing list announcing and advertising upcoming shows at The Electric Factory on Arch St. in Philadelphia. In the calender section in the upper left corner of the front side it lists: "June 27-28 Velvet Underground and American Dream." The front side has a bunch of articles about each of the groups that were to perform in June of 1969. The one on Velvet Underground is headlined "THE VELVET UNDERGROUND OFFER EXTREMES OF ELECTRONIC SOUND AMERICAN DREAM ON JUNE 27-28" with a small photo of the band and then a four paragraph article on the history of Velvet Underground. Reproduced in The Inevitable World Of The Velvet Underground (p. 325).
Playlist: Waiting For The Man, Heroin, White Light/White Heat, Foggy Notion, I Can't Stand It, Run Run Run, What Goes On, Beginning To See The Light, Pale Blue Eyes, I'm Set Free, ect., Sister Ray (45 minutes version).
Review: Philadelphia 1969, 1970 by Bob Kachnycz in What Goes On Issue Number 5 (p. 16).
July 11, 1969
With: Country Funk, Quill.
Last concert at the original location of the Boston Tea Party.
Poster: reproduced in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 126). No evidence that this poster is genuine however.
Review: by Richard Nusser, in The Village Voice Riffs section, July 17, 1969, p. 36. Reproduced in The Inevitable World Of The Velvet Underground (p. 342).
Tape: audience, B, 88 minutes, recorded by "The Professor". Sources: The Legendaly Guitar Amp Tape 2-CD (3), Sweet Sister Ray 2-CD (9), Boston Tea Party 1969 4CD (1-9).
July 17, 1969
Press article: Doing Their Own Things in Somerset Daily American, July 19, 1969.
August 2, 1969
Barrett Hill Rd, Mason, NH
A Benefit for the Mason Volunteer Fire Dept.
The event is often placed in Rindge NH, but it really took place on Barrett Hill Road in Mason NH.
Poster: 12 x 9¾" poster, printed on card stock, with the Velvet Underground headlining. Artist unknown. 2 different versions.
Tape: audience, B+, 40 minutes, recorded by "The Professor". Sources: Shiny Leather In The Dark LP (1-5), The Wild Side Of The Street CD (1-5), Ostrich/Hilltop CD (1-5), Searchin' For My Mainline 3-LP and 3-CD (2, 4), The March Of The Wooden Soldiers (2, 4), Legend LP (2), The Psychopath's Rolling Stones CD (2), A True Rock'n Roller CD (2), Caught Between The Twisted Stars 4-CD (2), Hilltop Pop Festival LP & CD (1-5).
August 2, 1969
Ad: in The Nashua Telegraph, August 2, 1969 (p. 7).
August 8, 1969
With: Dirty John's Hot Dog Stand.
Poster: unique known copy to survive was part of Sterling Morrison's archive.
Doug Yule: "I do remember that particular gig, partly because Martha’s Vineyard was the first place I lived when I left home and also because I met some people there during that gig that were interesting and thus memorable.
August 14-16, 1969
With: Serf, Country Funk.
Poster: 11 x 17½ inch, artist is Eric Engstrom. Reproduced in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 251); in The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 66).
August 22-23, 1969
241 Greenfield Rd, South Deerfield, MA 01373
Flyer: 8½ x 11½ inch, printed on light pink or yellow paper. Reproduced in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 250); in The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 67).
August 27-30, 1969
Ad: in The Drexel Triangle, Volume XLVI, Number 32, August 22, 1969 (p. 2).
Review: The Velvet Underground | dodging the underground in Distant Drummer, September 4, 1969. Reproduced in The Inevitable World Of The Velvet Underground (p. 363)
Maybe the date just above.
Two dates. Similar sets to the Electric Factory's.
Review: Philadelphia 1969, 1970 by Bob Kachnycz in What Goes On #5.
"In September they returned to the smaller Second Fret, which is usually a folk club. It was an old rowhouse store building on smallish Sanson Street in center city, about 18 feet wide and 80 feet deep, with wooden folding chairs eight wide that went right up to the tiny front stage that was a foot above the floor. If you were in front row with your feet on stage, the band was right on top of you."
September 20, 1969
With: Fallen Angels.
Announcement: in Mixer Planned Tonight, Concerts, Dance Ahead in The Retriever, Volume 4 Number 1, September 5, 1969 (p. 3). Reproduced in The Inevitable World Of The Velvet Underground (p. 364).
Listed in Mark Opsasnik's book Capitol Rock.
Photos: Sterling Morrison Archive. Those photographs can be seen in Uptight - The Velvet Underground Story book (p. 111) and are subtitled "University of Maryland, Baltimore, 1969". 12 color photos available in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 252-253, 264-265, 268-269).
September 26, 1969
1588 State St, Schenectady, NY 12304
Review: the show is briefly mentioned in In The Groove by Mike Hyland in Schenectady Gazette, October 4, 1969 (p. 12): "It was alright to miss the Velvet Underground at the Aerodrome".
Also as mentioned in Recapturing those Aerodrom nights, in Daily Gazette, August 11, 2008:
"The Club was originally founded by a partnership of Nat Rubin and Jack Herman, who purchased the block-long Woodlawn Lanes for their venture. At 25,000 square feet, it was among the largest nightclubs in the area and capable of drwing crowds in excess of 3,000 people.
October 3-4, 1969
241 Greenfield Rd, South Deerfield, MA 01373
Poster: 5½x17 inch.
October 8-11, 1969
It is almost certain that this date is wrong (no evidence of an appearance in Cleveland on October 1969 has been found in The Plain Dealer archives). The tape which circulates under this pretense is the one that is also available as "30/11/1968" minus I'm Set Free.
Tape: audience, C, 40 minutes.
October 12, 1969
117 4th St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Photo: Sterling Morrison Archive. See Up-tight - The Velvet Underground Story (p. 110).
October 14-19, 1969
4926 Cole Ave, Dallas, TX 75205
Handbill: printed on thin paper, 8" x 7.25". Reproduced in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 130); in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 267); in The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 67).
Tapes: often listed as October 27-28, 1969 but Aral Sezen has done some researches in the newspaper archives, and found a report about the football game that lou talks about at the start of the tape. The conclusion was October 18-19, 1969.
Tape: audience, 1-18: B, 19: A-, 100 minutes. Sources: The First Night CD (1-18), Live At End Cole Ave 2CD (19). The Lost Live Tapes 1969 (19).
Tape: audience, A-, 80 minutes. One of the best Velvet Underground live recording available. Sister Ray is unfortunately faded out. Sources: Peel Slowly And See/Ride Into The Sun CDEP (9-11), Live At End Cole Ave 2CD and 2LP (1-14), The Lost Live Tapes 1969 CD (1-10, 12-14), A True Rock 'n' Roller CD (15), The March Of Wooden Soldiers LP (15).
Peel Slowly And See/Ride Into The Sun CDEP has a 25-seconds intro to One Of These Days which is not on the bootleg versions.
The Afterhours Set
Tape: audience, A-, 56 mins. General jam with roadies. The two "jam" tracks are actually drawn out of a 90-minutes long tape. Sources: Live At End Cole Ave 2CD (1-3), The First Night 2CD (4).
wrayb: "The crowd was small but respectably large on Thursday, big on Friday, the place was jammed on Saturday. Then surprisingly Sunday night I think there were only a handful there who were not directly connected to the staff of the club.
October 15, 1969
wrayb: "I went that October afternoon because I was determined to see the VU every second of their public appearances in Dallas and, oh yeah, Vietnam war: boooo. The VU played just a few songs between some speeches. I remember puzzling over what Lou said as an intro, I don't remember what was said. I left soon after the Velvets music lapsed again into the speeches of the day. I had "made the scene," the Velvets had played, I had to go get ready to go see them that night."
October 23-25, 1969
With: Ramon Ramon & The Four Daddyos, Water Brothers.
Handbill: 2-sided 8 ½ x 10 ¾ inch flyer, art by Jim Franklin (may also exists as postcard?). Reverse side advertises Oat Willie's. Reproduced in Pop Goes Art exhibition box; in The Velvet Underground | An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 130).
Ad: in Austin Daily Texan, October 25, 1969.
Tape: mentioned in Up-tight | The Velvet Underground Story book (p. 111).
Review: in Recall In Tranquility by Stephanie Chernikowski in NY Rocker, July/August 1980:
"(...) Those writhing bodies suddenly started moving as one-cool, carefully choregraphed, slow and impassionate. It was no doubt the drugs. The drugs and the Velvet Underground. Here at the Vulcan Gas Company in Austin Texas with the carpet of invading crickets crunching underfoot as you enter, and the streaming, sunbathed and sexually wholesome masses undulating and panting inside, urban evil was inflicting itself. Gimme heroin they screamed. And they got Sister Ray in the ear for 45 minutes, hard and cold and turning the provincial darkness of the dully damned into the oh God gimme it now decadence of New York City. You're gonna wait for that man baby. And you're gonna wait for some more and when he comes don't expect no satisfaction. Uh-uh. You're gonna get hurt bad. Baby he's so mean, he's so cool - he would fuck you and your mother at the same time without losing eye contact with either one. (...)"
October 29-November 2, 1969
With: The Collectors.
October 30-November 1, 1969
Tape: listed in What Goes on - Best of 1&2, 85 minutes, B.
Tape: a complete tape is listed in What Goes on - Best of 1&2, 85 minutes, C.
Notes: those Matrix shows are supposedly the source for most of the tracks of the official 1969 Live album - which according to Paul Nelson was compiled "from over eight hours of performances tapes". However those dates overlap with the Whisky shows and must be wrong. The correct ones may be those listed below. Unfortunately Polygram never had access to the original tapes when they mastered the CD reissues...
November 7-9, 1969
600 Great Hwy, San Francisco, CA 94121
With: Danny Cox, Maximum Speed, John Adams, lights by Garden Of Delights.
Ad: unknown source.
Card: FD #GH691107-1, 8½ x 5¼ inch card, artist: unknown.
Robert Quine: "The first weekend, at the Family Dog, it was basically just a bunch of hippies there. They brought their tambourines, harmonicas, and were playing along. I made tapes of that stuff that came out very well. It was a large place, so they could really turn up the amps."
November 7, 1969
Tape: audience recording by Robert Quine. Source: The Quine Tapes - Disc 1 (1-2).
November 8, 1969
Review: The Story... Between Wrong And Right ...And Not Dying by Aral Sezen, in What Goes On #5 (according to the author the article recalls this as Oct 1969 but later research after the completion of the article revealed the actual date as November 8, 1969).
Setlists: First set: I'm Waiting For The Man, Candy says, Femme Fatale, Cool It Down, I'm Set Free, Rock And Roll/Foggy Notion, What Goes On. Second set: I'll Be Your Mirror, Beginning To See The Light, I Can't Stand It, Some Kinda Love, After Hours, Murder Mystery/Ocean, Heroin, Lonely Saturday Night (Goodnight Ladies).
Tape: audience recording by Robert Quine. Source: The Quine Tapes - Disc 1 (1-8).
November 9, 1969
Ad: in S.F. Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, November 9, 1969: "Winding up a weekend of performances today at the Associated Rubber Dog on the Great Highway at Playland-On-The-Beach is the VU. Other performers include Danny Cox, Maximum Speed Limit, John Adams."
Tape: audience recording by Robert Quine. Source: The Quine Tapes - Disc 1 (1).
November 7 (??), 1969
This date is documented by a tape listed in What Goes On - The Best of 1 & 2 as 80 minutes, C+. The date is wrong because it overlaps with the above which is well documented, press articles and The Quine Tapes. Plus there has never been a club in Seattle called "The Rusty Nail" (but there was one in Massachusetts).
A "Seattle 1969" soundboard tape supposedly exists but it does not circulate - it was acquired from the local Seattle band who opened for The Velvet Underground. They recorded their own set and then left the reels running for the VU set. This reel was supposedly recorded at the Trolly Club (http://pnwbands.com/trollyclub.html) sometimes in 1969 (or maybe 1968).
November 11-17, 1969
With: Danny Cox.
Ad: in Berkeley Tribe, November 14-21, 1969. Reproduced in The Inevitable World Of The Velvet Underground (p. 372); in The Complete Matrix Tapes 4-CD set.
Review: Underground Competition by Philip Elwood in San Francisco Examiner, Thursday November 13, 1969: review of the Velvet Underground at the Matrix, with Danny Cox. (week-long engagement!!).
Robert Quine: "Then they went to The Matrix for a couple of weeks, and that's where I really got to know them, 'cause in the beginning, they'd start off on a weeknight around 8:30 and sometimes there'd be two or three people in the place. So they got to know me, and we'd get talking. I asked if it was alright if I taped the stuff. They said it was alright. Sometimes I'd sit around at their rehearsals and tape the rehearsals. Ultimately, I taped over the rehearsals. There was nothing really spectacular going on in them. They'd just work out new songs, but it was interesting to see them in rehearsal, to see how they worked together. (...) So I taped all those nights, I think I missed one night. I remember the next day, he said: "Oh you should have been here last night, we played 'Candy Says'." Which was a song they never did. I asked him if they'd play it again that night, but he said no."
November 21, 1969
SE 190th Dr, Gresham - North Central, OR 97080 (approx.)
With: The Chapter Five
Mentioned on the November 1969 KVAN interview tape.
Flyer: 11 x 8½ inch flyer on gold card stock.
Ticket: same paper as flyer.
November 22, 1969
With: Notary Sojac
Poster: golden construction paper.
November 23-27, 1969
Announcement: in San Francisco Chronicle, Monday November 24, 1969, in Ad Libs section: "at the Matrix, tonight through Wednesday : Velvet Underground, Mendlebaum."
November 23, 1969
Tape: audience recording by Robert Quine. Source: The Quine Tapes - Disc 2 (1), The Quine Tapes - Disc 3 (2).
November 24, 1969
Tape: audience recording by Robert Quine. Source: The Quine Tapes - Disc 3 (1, 2).
November 25, 1969
Tape: audience recording by Robert Quine. Source: The Quine Tapes - Disc 3 (1, 2). Soundboard recording. Source: 1969 Live (1).
November 27, 1969
Tape: audience recording by Robert Quine. Sources: The Quine Tapes - Disc 2 (1), The Quine Tapes - Disc 3 (2).
November 26-27, 1969
Tape: soundboard recording by Peter Abram.
A selection of 18 of the 42 tracks recorded is finally released in November 2014 with the 45th Anniversary editions of The Velvet Underground album. Sources: The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition 6CD (1-18), The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition 2CD (1-4, 6-10, 14-15, 18).
Track 3, 6, 7, 8, 15 & 18 were previously released as part of 1969 The Velvet Underground Live With Lou Reed. Sister Ray is the soundboard version of the song recorded from the audience by Robert Quine and released on The Quine Tapes, where it's dated December 3, 1969.
The 42 tracks are finally released in November 2015 as The Complete Matrix Tapes 4CD box set.
Moe Tucker: "Were were all, basically having fun. And doing our best, and enjoying it. It was totally happy playing live. Oh, I got very tired of playing "Beginning To See The Light". I don't know why, I didn't think it was a crappy song, I just got very sick of it. My favorites were "Sister Ray", "Heroin", "I'm Waiting For The Man", "Run Run Run" and "Pale Blue Eyes"."
Doug Yule: "It depends on what night you went. Some nights it was really crowded and some nights you'd get 15-20 people because it was an off night. It was laidback and very casual, like a separate club where the act is unknown. Lou was talkative and it seems to be around the time where ha started to pretend I was his brother."
Tape: listed in What Goes On - Best of 1&2 fanzine, 25 minutes (incomplete), B-. This entry is probably wrong since the Retinal Circus was located on Davie Street in Vancouver BC in Canada.
December 1-3, 1969
There is a debate about the fact that The Velvet Underground really played on those dates.
According to Chickenonaunicycle: "Velvet Underground (December 1-3, 1969): There has always been some question regarding the validity of the Velvet Underground shows at the Matrix on December 1, 1969 through December 3. Little substantiating evidence had existed that the shows actually took place - aside from the regular inclusion of recordings on tape lists. Research in to the contemporary press have now identified that Bukka White and Charlie Cockey played the Matrix on those three nights. As such, the entry has been changed to include White and Cockey as replacing the Velvet Underground. The evidence of a contemporary newspaper listing for any show is generally more plausible than any posters or handbills that would have been printed weeks before the show". Also Sister Ray credited as December 3 on The Quine Tapes, is said to be recorded on November 26 or 27 on the 45th Anniversary Edition of The Velvet Underground.
On the other hand, some of the recordings made by Robert Quine are dated either December 1st or 3rd. Plus there is an uncirculated Velvet Underground tape (Scotch MAGNETIC TAPE 290 5 INCH REEL TRIPLE LENGTH), which has clearly handwritten on the box: THE VELVET UNDERGROUND | at the Matrix | San Francisco | December 3, 1969.
December 1, 1969
Tape: audience recording by Robert Quine. Source: The Quine Tapes - Disc 2 (1-2).
December 3, 1969
Tape: audience recording by Robert Quine. Source: The Quine Tapes - Disc 2 (1).
Tape: audience reel-to-reel recording from alternate source, two sets recorded. Status: uncirculated.
The Quine Tapes Outtakes
The Bootleg Series Volume 1: The Quine Tapes was sourced from a "best of" reel-to-reel compiled by Robert Quine from his original cassettes. The outtakes available on Dispatches From The Dream Factory bootleg come from a cheap little cassette, mixed down from the long lost tapes. It's been said it was for certain the only tape Bob Quine still had, along with the two 11/11/69 tracks, which were on a separate cassette.
Tape: audience recording by Robert Quine. Source: Dispatches From The Dream Factory - Disc 3 (1).
Heroin is actually an audience recording version of the track available as bonus on the official 1969 Velvet Underground Live CD Volume 1.
November 11, 1969
Tape: audience recording by Robert Quine. Source: Dispatches From The Dream Factory - Disc 3 (1-2).
Quine handed over a cassette with the two songs, and ONLY these two songs, that was was dated 11/11/69. The legend goes that the November 11 performance was an outdoor gig, maybe by the beach South of San Francisco. However White Light/White Heat is edited from an audience recording version of the track available on 1969 Velvet Underground Live. So the "unknown location" is probably The Matrix.
Special thanks Gordon Lyon & Aral Sezen. Also to Steven Beck - The Velvet Collection - for the Boston Tea Party January 22, La Cave March 28-30, Kinetic Playground February 14-15 and April 25-27, Hilltop Pop Festival August 2, Boston Tea Party August 14-16, and Springer's Hall November 21 scans. Thanks: Tom Herbers, Nick Blakey, Chris Knight, Zane, Nuno Robles, Jon Allan, Scott, Henry Owings, Richard Byrne, Tom Z, Andrew Russ, Daniel Abraham.
by Olivier Landemaine
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