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
Late December 1969-January 3, 1970
Review: Philadelphia 1969, 1970 by Bob Kachnycz in What Goes On fanzine issue #5. Bob taped some of those shows.
Photos: by George Manney - 2 available at The Electric Factory Archives
Photos: Sterling Morrison Archives. See Uptight - The Velvet Underground Story (p. 118 & 119); Feed-Back - La Leyenda De Los Velvet Underground (p. 64 & 66).
First set: I'm Waiting For The Man, Some Kinda Love, I'm Sticking With You, After Hours, Sweet Molly Brown [sic], I Can't Stand It.
Second set: [first reel] White light/White Heat, Sweet Jane, Over You, Foggy Notion, [second reel] Goodnight Ladies, Sad Song, New Age, What Goes On, Ocean.
Tape: audience, B, 24 minutes. This is Bob Kachnycz first reel - the second reel is gone from a 1971 robbery. The complete tape is listed in What Goes On fanzine Best of 1+2 issue (including Waiting For The Man, Some Kinda Love, Lisa Says, Sweet Bonnie Brown, Stickin' With You, Can't Stand It, After Hours, Good Night Ladies, Sad Song, New Age, What Goes On, Ocean and the 4 following songs).
Sources: Shiny Leather In The Dark 2LP (1-4), Searchin' For My Mainline 3LP and 3CD (1-4), Flowers Of Evil 2CD (1-4).
Tape: audience, B, 10 minutes. It offers the last 9 minutes of Sister Ray. Maybe the 20-min tape listed as 30/1/70 in What Goes On fanzine The Best of 1&2 issue (?).
Source: Searchin' For My Mainline 3LP and 3CD (1), Flowers Of Evil 2CD (1).
Bob Kachnycz: "I dragged a reel-to-reel into the club and plugged it in in the back. Only had one mike, so they are mono. Wouldn't have been much stereo from the back of a club shaped like a tunnel, though. The band thought it was fine to be taping them. End of 69 and May of 70 at the Second Fret in Philadelphia, two shows and a short part of a third. I sent my tapes to a Velvet fan in Boston, and they got some radio play and came out on some boots."
January 9, 1970
With: Fat, and Barry T & The Studebakers.
Poster: 17 x 11 inch. Reproduced in The Velvet Underground | New York Art (p. 279); in The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (p. 34); in Loaded Re-Loaded 45th Anniversary Edition (p. 14).
Steve Nelson: "We moved the Woodrose shows ("The Woodrose presents...") from the "ballroom" in South Deerfield to the Paramount Theater in Springfield MA, on December 31, 1969, so anything after that date was in Springfield. The Velvets used to get there by train, and Train Goin' Round The Bend is about going back to New York from the country in western Massachusetts. The theater, was just about next door to the train station..."
Steve Nelson: "The next show at the Paramount was on Friday, January 9. FAT and Barry T & The Studebakers opened for The Velvet Underground. But there was an unexpected and unbilled pre-show performance. Jonathan Richman was a huge Velvets fan, and an aspiring musician (...)."
January 15 & 21, 1970
The Quiet Knight was a club on Belmont Avenue. Jan 15th and Jan 21st are documented by setlists however they played there the whole week.
Review: The savage sound of Velvet by Lynn Van Matre in Chicago Tribune, January 16, 1970 with one photo by Val Mazzenga.
Setlists: two setlists written in Sterling's own handwriting (reproduced on the poster which came with some copies of the Searchin' 3-LP box set), no venue stated, 2 shows?, 4 sets? Reproduced in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 286-287).
1-15-70 WAITING FOR MAN VENUS SOME KIND OF LOVE ROCK & ROLL LUCY BROWN RUN RUN STICKIN' WITH YOU CANDY SAYS LISA SAYS PALE BLUE EYES HERE COME THE WAVES THERE SHE GOES -------------------- ONE OF THESE DAYS HEROIN S.R. WHITE LIGHT JESUS I'M SET FREE GOOD TIME TOGETHER AFTER HOURS OVER YOU WHAT GOES ON STORY OF MY LIFE -------------------- SUNDAY MORNING FOGGY NOTION SWEET JANE MIRROR FEMME FATALE CANT STAND IT ANYMORE BEGINNING TO SEE THE LIGHT 1-21-70 GOOD TIME TOGETHER SOME KIND OF LOVE STICKIN' WITH YOU WAITING FOR MAN LISA SAYS BEGINNIN TO SEE THE LIGHT WHITE LIGHT I'M SET FREE AFTER HOURS LUCY BROWN FEMME FATALE NEW AGE HEROIN SWEET JANE MIRROR CANT STAND IT OVER YOU HERE COME THE WAVES PALE BLUE EYES
1 Sheridan Square, New York, NY 10014
With: The Chambers Brothers.
Mentioned by David Fricke in Rock & Roll Suicide, MOJO 265, December 2015.
David Fricke: "(...) they performed at the New York club Salvation in February 1970. The show was a private music-industry event and the group's first local appearance in nearly three years. "It was The Chambers Brtothers and us," Morrison told me in 1995. "We acquitted ourselves well." One of the executives in attendance was Atlantic co-founder Ahmet Ertegun (...)" [MOJO 265, December 2015, p. 53]
Mentionned in c/o The Velvet Underground in Fusion magazine, March 6, 1970: "Within the month, you can catch The Velvet Underground at Head Quarters in Reading, Pa. or at the Main Point in Bryn Mawr.".
February 19-22, 1970
With: Don Lease.
Also mentionned in Fusion magazine - see above.
Flyer: list mentioning the different acts that month. Printed on colored paper.
Ad: in The Dome (PMC Colleges), Volume 24 - Number 14, February 18, 1970 (p. 2).
February 28, 1970
Tape: listed in What Goes On fanzine, Best of 1&2 issue, 50 mins, C.
April 17, 1970
Poster: 17 x 11 inch. "The Woodrose" - this show is often listed as The Woodrose, April 17, 1970, but site was the former Paramount Theater in Springfield MA, as stated under The Woodrose on the poster.
Flyer: 11 x 8½ inch red on white flyer, hung outside the venue advertising coming events. Designed by Tom Kuchenski.
Tape: audience, drummerless, B-, 57 minutes. Intro (listed as Vamp on Screen Test boot) is some kind of instrumental Foggy Notion. Oh Gin is the only live version available. Sources: Screen Test LP and CD (1), Searchin' For My Mainline 3LP and 3CD (6), After The White Heat 2CD (1-10).
Doug Yule: "I remember a show in Springfield, Massachusetts like that. We had a set of drums there, and I played them on some tunes, bass on others."
May 8-10, 1970
One date, without Maureen. Doug plays drums on some songs (Cool It Down, Rock And Roll, Head Held High).
Press article: Second Fret, second management, in the Distant Drummer (publication date unknown) by Frank Gruber with one b&w photo showing Ed Vincent 2nd Fret manager posing at the entrance near the felt board window with the Velvet Underground gig dates.
Frank Gruber: "I took the picture for the Distant Drummer, which was the underground newspaper in Philly then. This picture was taken in April 1970. I know that because it's at the end of a roll that starts at the first Earth Day, which took place on April 22 of that year."
Review: in Philadelphia 1969, 1970 by Bob Kachnycz, in What Goes On #5. Also in Rock & Roll Suicide, MOJO 265, December 2015.
Setlist: I'm Waiting For The Man, What Goes On, Rock And Roll, I'll Be Your Mirror, New Age, Head Held High, Train Comin' Round The Bend, Oh! Sweet Nuthin'.
Audio: audience, B-, 69 minutes. Also circulates as "Main Point, Philadelphia", but the venue was really the Second Fret. Sources: Screen Test LP and CD (11), Praise Ye The Lord LP (9-11), Caught Between The Twisted Stars 4-CD (10, 11), Flowers Of Evil 2CD (9-11), Loaded | Re-Loaded | 45th Anniversary Edition 5CD+DVD (1-11).
May 26-June 7, 1970
1088 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215
The Unicorn was on Boylston Street in the Back Bay section of Boston.
Aral Sezen says: "... The 8-track was purchased in Salt Lake City on a cross country trip to Boston from California. I wanted to catch the VU on their turf, after seeing them in SF Nov 1969. My ride deserted me in DC and took the tape with them. I have not seen it since. I arrived in Boston and stayed at a Cambridge dorm that was mostly deserted except for two guys who let me have the whole upstairs for two weeks during break. With that kind of lucky break I decided not to immediately scan the area for any shows the VU may be doing in town. A bad break there. The next day, in early June 1970, I found the VU had finished a two week stay at the Unicorn a small club in Boston. All I got from that was a white on gold silkscreen poster of the Velvets. It was a picture that rarely surfaced until recently to promote Fully Loaded..."
Jay Dobis: "In June 1970, Jonathan was scheduled to open for the Velvet Underground at the Unicorn Coffee House. The Velvets had played many gigs at the Boston Tea Party and the rumor was that the Tea Party was pissed off at the Velvets and decided to have a mini festival so people wouldn't see them. If so, it worked: Only about a dozen people were in attendance. The Velvets (a trio, as Mo was ill) wanted Jonathan to open, but the club manager was pissed off about the low attendance and took it on Jonathan and didn't let him play."
June 16-20, 1970
Annoucement: in The Synapse, Volume 14, Number 29, May 25, 1970 (p. 4).
June 24-August 28, 1970
Poster: 11 x 28¾ inch, designed by Steve Nelson. "FIRST N.Y. APPEARANCE IN 3 YEARS", June 24-28, July 1-5. Reproduced in in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 140); in The Velvet Underground - New York Art (p. 300-301); in Loaded Re-Loaded 45th Anniversary Edition (p. 36-37).
June 24, 1970
Review: Putting on the style to cover up the agony by Dick Pountain, in Friends, no. 18, November 13, 1970, UK. Exact date of the show is not given.
Setlists: maybe not in correct order, two sets. Waiting For The Man, White Light/White Heat, I'm Set Free, I'll Be Your Mirror, Some Kinda Love, Beginning To See The Light, Candy Says, What Goes On, Sweet Jane, "A Story Song" (possibly Sister Ray?), Cool It Down, New Age, Oh Sweet Nothing, Heroin (encore).
June 26, 1970
Review: No Pale Imitation by Richard Nusser in The Village Voice, July 2, 1970, p. 34.
Danny Fields' reel-to-reel tape (directly transfered from Brigid Polk's cassette) is marked "Velvet Rehearsal 6/26/70" but the date is written a bit unclearly... It's recorded at a rehearsal with a single mike in mono.
Tape: audience, B+/C, 57:52.
Sources: Ultra Rare Trax Vol. 1 CD (1, 3, 5, 10, 16), Collector's Dream CD (2, 3, 5, 6, 15, 16), A Young Person's Guide To CD (5), Flowers Of Evil 2CD (3, 5, 10, 16) , Live At Max's Kansas City Deluxe Edition (work CD-R 1st edition) 2-CD (15-16), After The White Heat 2CD (1-16).
"July 26, 1970"
Tape: audience, B+, 39:46. The actual date may be August 23, 1970. The Max's tapes used to compile Live At Max's Kansas City were recorded by Brigid Polk. Polk's tape tracklistings are available in a German booklet Polaroids And Tapes (Heiner Friedrichs, Köln). The July 26, 1970 entry (B-side of tape no. 39) reads "Andy Warhol, Bill Feldman and B. Polk go to Max's. Mr. Feldman discusses how Andy Warhol could break into T.V. to end." So there is no indication of a VU recording - even if Brigid Polk went at Max's Kansas City on this date. On the other hand the August 23, 1970 entry lists only one set...
Danny Fields' reel-to-reel direct copy from Brigid Polk's cassette is just marked "Velvets At Max's". After White Light there are notes to cut the solo and the tuning (which I assume is tuning up). The rest of the sets or second set maybe...?
Sources: Live At Max's Kansas City LP (1, intro of 4, 5, 6, 7), Evil Mothers LP (1, 2, 3, 5, 6), The Black Side Of The Street LP (2, 3), Everything You've Ever Heard 3-LP (3), A Young Person's Guide To CD (3), Collector's Dream CD (3), The Psychopath's Rolling Stones CD (1, 2), A Walk With... 5-CD (1, 2), A Walk With... Volume 2 3-CD (2, 3), Flowers Of Evil 2CD (1-7), Live At Max's Kansas City Deluxe Edition 2-CD (1-7), Loaded | Re-Loaded | 45th Anniversary Edition 5CD+DVD (1-7), Live At Max's Kansas City 2LP (1-7).
August 23, 1970
Last show with Lou Reed.
Tape: audience, B+, 50:20. Recorded by Brigid Polk. The tape is listed as no. 45 in Brigid Polk - Polaroids And Tapes booklet (see above). Curiously Who Loves The Sun is not listed. Also Pale Blue Eyes is listed as Linger On, and Femme Fatale as Here She Comes.
Danny Fields' reel-to-reel tape's got the band lineup listed, says "produced by Brigid Polk", is titled and dated.
Sources: Live At Max's Kansas City LP (2-4, 6-8), Evil Mothers LP (2), The Black Side Of The Street (4, 5), What Goes On 3CD (7), Peel Slowly And See 5CD (3, 9), Everything You've Ever Heard 3LP (5, 9), A Walk With... Volume 2 3CD (1-9), Flowers Of Evil 2CD (1-9), Live At Max's Kansas City Deluxe Edition 2CD (1-10), Loaded | Re-Loaded | 45th Anniversary Edition 5CD+DVD (3-10), Live At Max's Kansas City 2LP (3-10).
The Joseph Freeman tape
Joseph Freeman: "I recorded an entire set at Max's (around the same time as Polk's). The tape was recorded on a Sony TCS-124 a portable stereo cassette recorder with an external single stereo mic. The quality of the tape is very good and has never been bootlegged. I may be interested in having this tape surface as a legitimate release".
[source: message posted in the Velvet underground Discussion Forum on March 2, 1999]
August 26, 1970
Tape: Brigid Polk - Polaroids And Tapes lists "THE VELVET UNDERGROUND without Lou Reed no. 15-55".
August 28, 1970
Tape: Brigid Polk - Polaroids And Tapes lists "THE VELVET UNDERGROUND without Loe (sic) Reed to 55".
Late Summer 1970
Lincoln says: "I saw the Velvet Underground in the Summer of 1970 in a meadow in Central Park, it was a free concert for a blood drive. It was during their stint at Max's, and I was thrilled because I got to see them, and I wasn't old enough to get into Max's. Sad to say I have no exact date for the show. According to my notes dating to the period, it was between August 28 and September 11, as it falls between two Fillmore East shows I can date, however, my list may be out of order, which it would seem to be, as Lou's last show is listed as August 23. Lou was definately with them, I was a pretty big fan and I would have noticed a different singer. Anyhow, it was in a meadow in the southwest corner of the park, the MC was Vincent Price or Zacharlee, and one of the other bands was named Communication Workshop."
Photo: Doug Yule at the microphone in Rock, October 11, 1970 issue.
November 13, 1970
The Velvet Underground is announced as part of Alex Bennett radio show on WMCA, in Radio | Talks, Sports, Events section of The New York Times, November 13, 1970 (p. 47).
November 19-22, 1970
With Compton & Batteau.
Announced in From The Music Capitals of the World - New York in Billboard, November 28, 1970 (p. 29).
Flyer: printed on colored paper.
Thanks: Gordon Lyon, Aral Sezen, Chris Van Tuyll, Lau Buur Nielsen, Steve Rovner, Bob Kachnycz, Lincoln, Steve Nelson, Alfredo Garcia, George Manney from Geosound, Steven Beck, Marc Skobac, Nick Blakey, Tom Z.
by Olivier Landemaine
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