Agony Shorthand

Friday, January 02, 2004

This bootleg is easily the most confounding -- and let's just be frank here: least listenable -- VELVET UNDERGROUND rarity of the dozen or so bootlegs I've encountered during my research on the matter. My question is: save for the great pulsating, slow-vibe, low-fidelity version of "Oh, Sweet Nuthin" that keeps this boggling release from being a mere coaster, is there really any true Velvet Underground material on here?? Web crawls turn up very little save for the photo reproduced above and an explanatory note from this site:

"...listed here as Screentest 1965 but actually contains MGM Music Factory 1968 interview, Oh Sweet Nuthin' live from Philadelphia 1970, some great energetic live soundcheck instrumental that sounds like a speeded up Sister Ray mutation from Woodrose Ballroom, Springfield, 17/4/70, snippets from Warhol movies..."

Make that a LOT of snippets from Warhol movies -- that much I was able to gather. We're talking 18-minute snippets at a time, actually recorded with a handheld tape player from the seats at what I'm sure was a wank-covered 42nd Street NYC movie house circa 1966. Then a brief musical interlude might pop in -- someone tuning up, say, or a 2-minute squawk of the band practicing -- and then maybe a snippet of an interview with John Cale. The weird thing is I thought I'd once read that this was one of THE bootlegs to track down for Velvets freaks. I'm sticking with the fantastic "Ultra Rare Trax" series or the revelatory "Sweet Sister Ray" 2xCD for now.