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The Velvet Underground

CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite

"The Making of an Underground Film about Piero Heliczer's film Venus In Furs, with the Velvet Underground performing Heroin, Heliczer joining in on saxophone.

This is, I think, the only circulating excerpt from The Velvet Underground's first TV appearance. The 31 seconds here are taken from the 1996 BBC documentary 'Dancing in the Streets'. Shorter versions of the same clip have been more recently used in the John Cale documentary from 1998, and the 'Seven Ages of Rock' documentary. No sound because the original soundtrack isn't included on any of the circulating versions."

Uploaded to YouTube by msturdy on Jul 31, 2009



This isn't a Velvet's clip but it may be related. I came across on archive.com that proports to be a preview of the "Venus In Furs" film referenced above. If it is or not I'm not sure because at least some of the footage is from a sexploitation film called "Olga's House Of Shame" The rest of it may well be from VIF so we put it here for your enjoyment

I came across this picture of a handbill for a Velvet Underground concert in Chicago. It was kind of neat and got me wondering how many times they appeared in the windy city. So I did some checking around and came up with four for sure and one maybe shows. One of which is notable for a couple of reasons. Here is what I came up with.

First time was a five night stand at Poor Richards in Old Town at 1363 N. Sedgewick. It was one of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable multi media experiences hosted by Andy Warhol featuring films a light show and the Velvets. What it didn't feature was Lou Reed who was recovering from hepatitis. Also included in this version of the band was original drummer Angus Mac Lisle playing drums with Maureen Tucker moving over to bass.

On the video to the right you can hear a recording of Venus In Furs recordered during these concerts.

During this stay in Chicago they also appeared on the Studs Terkle show and played for a fashhion show at the Playboy club. You can read more about this gig by checking out this list of odd Velvet's concerts.


On 2/1/1968 the band played at the Aardvark Cinematheque 1608 N Wells St. in Pipers alley. This was a record release party for the White Light White Heat lp. The event was hosted by Ron Britton a disc jockey for radio station WCFL.

They would return to Chicago in April headling at the Kinetic Playground on north Clark St. on April 19 & 20 again on January 17 & 18 1969 and one more time on April 22 &23. The playground was a short lived rock venue that was open for a little more than a year in 1968/69. In that short span they hosted some of the most legendary acts of the day like; The Doors, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Byrds, Janis Joplin, Coven, The Mothers of Invention, The Grateful Dead, Joe Cocker, Jeff Beck Group, Eric Burdon, The Small Faces, MC5, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Iron Butterfly, Buffy Saint Marie, Fleetwood Mac, Rotary Connection, Savoy Brown, Vanilla Fudge, Muddy Waters, and Jefferson Airplane

The bands last Chicago appearance was during January of 1969 when they played for a couple of weeks at the Quiet Knight on west Belmont. The Knight was a new club owned by Richard Harding who was the owner fo Poor Richards.

In addition the company that owns a Division St bar named Mothers claims the Velvets played there. It's your standard pick up place not where you would expect them to appear and I can't find any independent verification. That said during the late 70's they did have the occasional punk rock show. I saw the Only Ones, B52's and Sonic Rendezvous Band with Patti Smith making an encore appearance. So who knows?

The Velvet Underground In Chicago

Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable w/ Velvet Underground Live.

A couple of days ago I came across a film of archive.org described as “The Velvet Underground and Nico on Rai Tre Italian Television in 1966, mainly a long instrumental. “ With a little research I found out it was a little more than that. 

It turned out to be very important film from the early days of one of rocks most influential groups the Velvet Underground. We see the original lineup; Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Mo Tucker and Nico. Filmed by Andy Warhol at the Factory in early 1966 it is known as “Symphony of Sound” and it more than lives up to it's name. The symphony is unreleased composition of what can be best described as free rock that lasts over an hour with no vocals and Cale switching back & forth from violin to bass. The song was finally ended by police responding to noise complaints.

The first clip gives a sampling of the tune and the second clip shows the police raid and it's aftermath.

Here is a link if you'd like your own copy of this film.

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The Symphony Of Sound / Live At Warhol's Factory
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Collection of super 8 MM films of early Velvet’s gigs with sound from them playing at The Dom (on 8th street) in the spring of 1966; Psychiatrists Convention 1/14/1966, The Dom April of 1966, House party ?, Village Gate 6/1966. There is very little footage of the band in this eleven minute film collage of mostly random, arty, chaotic footage of everything but the band. Some of the faces in the audience are; Warhol, Tuli Kupferberg, Ed Sanders, Allan Ginsberg and others.
The sound is from the Velvet’s  playing at The Dom in the spring of 1966.

WNET-TV - 07-02-1966

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An expanding post that started as a look at the Velvet Underground Chicago concerts in the 60's and has morphed into a look at other 1960's Velvet Underground "video". The odd thing is here is this band created by a filmaker who released a 24 hour movie of the Empire State Building. He starts the worlds first multi media band and there is very little film footage.


“Show about Warhol, on the eve of Up-tight at the Filmmaker's Cinematheque in New York City. Andy Warhol introduces the Velvet Underground, and the band plays Venus In Furs and Heroin. Warhol's intro is available in the Aussie What Goes On 3-CD box set, and both songs appears on several bootlegs. Lou Reed - Rock And Roll Heartvideo/DVD offers also part of the WNET stuff.”
From the web page
“The Velvet Underground  TV Appearances”



Early Television Appearances

This is from Chelsea Girls reel number 12 the last reel of this uncut 6 hour 40 minute version of the film. This entire 33 min reel features sounds and music from The Velvet Underground. The split screen 3hr 15min theatrical release only has the last 10 min of this VU music and that's with the second screen playing at the same time with Ondine's ranting that prevents the viewer from hearing most of the VU music

Nico Crying, "Chelsea Girls" Sound by Velvet Underground
Andy & The Velvets Host A Mod Wedding, In Detroit (1966)

I came a cross this interesting Velvets story recently on the Dangerous Minds web site.

"Picture it: You’re a steady couple in Detroit, it’s the mid-‘60s and you’re hip sort of people, and you get a chance for Andy Warhol, Nico, and the Velvet Underground to participate in your nuptials, making it the world’s first-ever “mod wedding.” What could be better?

This actually happened. The date of the wedding was November 20, 1966, and it was one of the concluding events of a three-day festival held in Detroit called the Carnaby Street Fun Festival, at which the Velvet Underground and the Yardbirds played. The lucky couple were named Gary Norris and Randi Rossi."

To finish the story and see more groovy photos click here.

More info and pictures can be found on the Velvet Forum site, click.