The VU Experience from 1967.
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND
Psychedelic Sounds From The Gymnasium [XTV-CD 144, 1CD]
Live at The Gymnasium, New York City, New York, April 30, 1967. Ex SBD mono? The sound is ultra-bright with Reed’s vocals dead centre and loud.
Rare VU shows always attract vultures. When the acetate of The Velvet Underground & Nico surfaced in 2002, the collector who found the acetate in a fire sale in Chelsea, New York, finally went to eBay to hock the rarity. It sold for US$155,401 on eBay in 2006. Fans had to wait till November of last year to buy an officially released vinyl copy. Only 5,000 copies were released on Black Friday/Record Store Day 2012.
In February 2008, the second Velvet Underground rarity appeared. This was a live concert of the band, one month after the release of The Velvet Underground & Nico. Yes music fans, this is a show from 1967, 46 years ago and just shy of falling into the Public Domain.
For the second appearance, the collector pressed 100 copies of the rare tape to green vinyl and went online to sell it. This time, we presume a big-hearted collector ripped the vinyl and shared the contents as MP3s online. We all had the opportunity to give this show a listen.
The fan who shared the lossless version at Hunger City offered more info on The Gymnasium soundboard tape(s):
“First track to surface from the Gymnasium tape(s) was Guess I’m Falling In Love (supposedly listed as Fever In My Pocket on the original tape box), broadcast on WPIX FM by John Cale on June 3, 1979. After playing this version he clearly states that it is from a tape he stumbled across. He definitely says ‘Gymnasium, April 1967′. Cale also said in some interviews he owns the tape of the entire Gymnasium show, including Walk It As You Talk It with a really good guitar sound.
“Guess I’m Falling In Love [version 1] (4:09)
Sources: And So On LP, Everything You’ve Ever Heard… 3LP, Collector’s Dream CD, The Psychopath’s Rolling Stones CD, A True Rock ‘n Roller CD, Ultra Rare Trax Vol.3 CD, Caught Between The Twisted Stars 4CD.
“Two others tracks surfaced in the ’90s - Booker T. orginally appeared on the John Cale Paris S’Eveille CDEP in 1991 and was reissued (unfortunately with 8 seconds amputated at the beginning) on the Peel Slowly And See box set, along with an alternate version of Guess I’m Falling In Love. This version sounds clearly different as compared with the WPIX version and has some lyrics differences (the box set version begins with ‘I got fever…’ while the ‘old’ version begins with ‘I got MY fever…’).”
The above establishes that Guess I’m Falling In Love from this show is different from the officially released version. While the version of Booker T here is complete. Get the Peel Slowly And See box set for the official versions. This show also contains the first live performance of Sister Ray, at the time still unreleased. The reason for the confusion is that the band played several dates at The Gymnasium, April 14-16, 21-23 and 28-30, 1967. Some of the other shows were probably recorded.
What’s interesting about this show, aside from the never released I’m Not A Young Man Anymore, is the band and Reed’s attitude. The voice is unpleasant, the band flings everything and the kitchen sink, the mix grates with its “wall of sound” harshness but the beauty is in its ugliness. In the face of a Britpop invasion, Reed and the Velvets were determined to be different. No compromise. No sweet pop song at this gig.
If Nico was at this concert, we didn’t hear a peep.
- The Little Chicken
The source of this show was originally seeded to velvetunderground.be by WilliamLee on October 22, 2008. This was then shared at Hunger City by dogegio. Thanks to all who made this happen.
Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.
Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.
Track 01. I’m Not A Young Man Anymore (7:15) (12.2MB)
Track 02. Guess I’m Falling In Love (4:12) (7.1MB)
Track 03. I’m Waiting For The Man (5:30) (9.3MB)
Track 04. Run Run Run (6:55) (11.6MB)
Track 05. Sister Ray (18:51) (31.7MB)
Track 06. Booker T. (6:37) (11.1MB)
For the alternate and officially released version of Guess I’m Falling In Love (the four minute, ten second version), buy the 5CD Velvet Underground box set, Peel Slowly And See. Buy it here.
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