Monday, October 28, 2013

first thing you learn is you always gotta wait

In 1967 the biggest selling and most popular US album was 'More of the Monkees'. Extremely popular, millions of copies sold.

Also released in 1967 was The Velvet Underground's first album 'The Velvet Underground and Nico'.

The Velvets never troubled the top 100 album chart with this, or any of their subsequent albums, but nigh on every one of the brave souls who witnessed a Velvets performance or purchased the album went on to form their own bands or become painters, or artists of some description.

The 'influence' of the Velvets can still be felt as it permeated right through much of the important music from 1967 to this day. Although in 1967 no-one knew that they would be influential, their influence was only apparent after it had happened.

And looking at the long game the Velvets and Lou ultimately outsold the Monkees.

Lou's Transformer is as much an iconic punk document as anything else of the time, even though it's from '72.

In my first punky band as a teenager the bass player's art teacher force fed us Transformer, along with The Stooges 'Raw Power' and (somewhat out of left-field, it must be noted) The Mothers of Invention's Freak Out and bits of John Coltrane.

Later, as a young art student in 1984 my Velvets album was a permanent 'under the arm' fixture - as a signifier.

I also recall petitioning the art materials shop within the college to stock the first Velvets album, as an essential material for new students, along with their paints and canvas.

The true measure of 'influence' is what happens as a result of exposure to said influence.
How the idea propagates and what people do with the idea, over time.

Lou Reed. March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013.

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