Guest Speaker: Bill Shelley
The 1960’s was a time of experimenting, questioning, and reinventing. Many musicians, writers, and other artists gravitated to Andy Warhol’s Factory for the freedom they sought to create, and the notoriety they needed to seek fame. The Velvet Underground, with their Long Island-born lead singer-songwriter, Lou Reed, became Warhol’s house band before becoming one of the most acclaimed rock bands of all time. Join film archivist Bill Shelley for an exciting evening celebrating this legendary band that changed the sound of rock with their groundbreaking use of feedback and industrial tape-looping, and inspired political thought and new artistic methods of expression. Some of the highlights will be “I’m Waiting for the Man,” “Sunday Morning,” “Walk on the Wild Side,” “Sweet Jane,” “Rock and Roll,” selections from Songs for Drella – Reed’s musical memorial for Andy Warhol, and many more.
The performances will include 16mm film prints, video tapes, promos, rehearsals, and live concert footage. See why the group went beyond accompanying Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable gallery shows to become stars of Warhol’s experimental films and happenings. While their first album’s “banana cover” wasn’t a commercial success, it was deeply influential. Musician, composer, and record producer Brian Eno said, “The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.”
The evening will be an intellectual treat, as we examine Reed’s moody songs, such as “Heroin.” His poetry is a deeply moving musical portrait of dark images of drug addiction and the desperation of youth, with a pantheon of Greenwich Village characters. Along with German singer Nico, The Velvet Underground became a legendary downtown attraction and cultural phenomenon. Rediscover their magic. (Approximately 90 mins.)