Thursday, 31 October 2013

Last Night I Said Goodbye to My Friend

These days most bands reform eventually, to some extent or other, and by the time they do, it's old news thanks to social media. In 1993, when word spread that the Velvet Underground were reuniting for a European tour, it was a huge surprise. Two shows were scheduled for London, one at Wembley Arena, the other at The Forum in Kentish Town. It would have made sense to apply for Wembley tickets, with much more chance of being successful, but somehow the thought of VU in a barn didn't sit right with me, so I gambled on the smaller venue, sent off my cheque and stamped addressed envelope, sat back and waited. The gamble paid off.

It was a privilege to be in such a small room with The Velvet Underground during that brief reformation and witness, at close quarters, the glances, nods and smiles between band members as they rediscovered and rekindled their magic in front of us. The songs seemed frail, almost stapled and gaffa-taped together in places, by turns brutally primitive and utterly transfixing. When it came to the encore, we all howled.

As a postscript, here is the very last performance by The Velvet Underground. A song of farewell to their fallen comrade Sterling Morrison, filmed at the band's Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1996. Watch out for the glances, nods and smiles.


Anonymous said...

Excellent tribute to Lou and band. You were lucky to see them.

Old Pa's Corner said...

That would have been somthing TS...great vid of the tribute song too

drew said...

Loved that. The other week when we were all together and someone asked which band would we have liked to have seen I had no hesitation in saying the Velvet Underground on either the 26th or 27th November 1969 at the Matrix

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