March 13, 2013 – 4:04 pm

The VU Experience from 1967.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

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 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 [email protected] 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)
49m 23s

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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  1. 52 Responses to “THAT RARE VELVETS SHOW”

  2. Live VU with John Cale??!!
    Thank you, BIGO!

    By YogaforCynics on Mar 13, 2013

  3. one of the most overrated , over hyped, talentless bands ever.

    By bootleg princess on Mar 13, 2013

  4. lou reed has been using the same three chords for 50 years

    By bootleg princess on Mar 13, 2013

  5. Old VU = very cool.

    By Bozzo22 on Mar 13, 2013

  6. VU - venereal upgrade.

    By bootleg princess on Mar 13, 2013

  7. Thank you Big O Amigos. I appreciate your work.
    Bootleg Princess, this is not intended as a personal attack or criticism, so please don’t take it that way: when you listen to Sweet Jane and Heroin do you hear anything that you would consider evidence of talent? There are plenty of LR cuts where I might agree with you if we were only discussing the band, but Reed’s writing, at least to me, has a lot of reach.

    By James on Mar 13, 2013

  8. bootleg princess, you have a right to post an opinion. Constantly posting negative and retarded puns however isn’t necessary. We get it, you don’t like the velvets. So go download something else. Not everything that gets posted here i like. You seem pretty bitchy however.

    By walter on Mar 13, 2013

  9. bitchy ? love it thanks waldo.

    By bootleg princess on Mar 14, 2013

  10. same three chords for over 50 years
    sounds like the Blues
    always these same old 8 notes
    day in day out

    By fruchtas on Mar 14, 2013

  11. sometimes itsin a minor.
    blues is better because itsabout reallife not new yourk pussylife.

    By apple shnapps on Mar 14, 2013

  12. sometimes new yourk pussylife is reallife

    By fruchtas on Mar 14, 2013

  13. what is ny pussylife? where does apple live if he thinks that about ppl in ny?

    By darth on Mar 14, 2013

  14. what`s a darth ? a friggin` little kid with a star wars fetish?
    must be another new yanker er new yorker.

    By apple shnapps on Mar 14, 2013

  15. sometimes new yourk pussylife is reallife
    HAHAHAHAHA this is my friend hello amigo!!!!

    By apple shnapps on Mar 14, 2013

  16. darth are you that dude that had your ass handed to you earlier this week, see I read everything and you are a pouty little get your heinie spanked and you turtle for a few days..BWAHHHHH

    By apple shnapps on Mar 14, 2013

  17. keyboard courage…you folks are hilarious.

    By randsghost on Mar 14, 2013

  18. “one of the most overrated , over hyped, talentless bands ever.”
    not. one of the most influential bands ever.

    “lou reed has been using the same three chords for 50 years”
    and he gets a lot out of them too. they go well with his lyrics.

    “VU - venereal upgrade.”
    venereal: of or relating to sexual desire or sexual intercourse. i got nothing against an intercourse upgrade. sounds like u could use one too princess. :-)

    By barth on Mar 14, 2013

  19. While many of the three-chord songs are limited in scope, the last eight minutes of instrumental work in Sister Ray is something I have not heard from the Velvets before. Feedback laced and hypnotic, it shows great musicianship.

    By Damon on Mar 14, 2013

  20. As Elvis Costello said*, only a few thousand people bought the first VU record, but they all started bands of their own. There is something compelling about this music, even if it isn’t conventionally pretty or perfectly in tune. Like any music, it’s not for everybody.

    Thank you Big O, and everyone else, for sharing something I never thought I’d get to hear. Listening to this gig is as close as I can get to time travel. For a little while, I was in 1967. It was good.

    By Eric on Mar 14, 2013

  21. *Elvis might have been quoting someone else; I don’t remember.

    By Eric on Mar 14, 2013

  22. Eric, Brian Eno is usually credited with that quote. Thanks bigO, great show.

    By Mark E on Mar 14, 2013

  23. Yes, sometimes history needs to be revised. Bands such as The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, and Love have been just as influential as The Beatles. However, These bands were generally snubbed by their own generation at the time.

    By Pee Wee Priebus on Mar 14, 2013

  24. the old velvets , man does this bring back memories of working in a “head “shop/boutigue , barely getting by, eating porridge three times a day and enjoying some herb and velvet in the evening.

    By sluggo on Mar 14, 2013

  25. These bands were generally snubbed by their own generation at the time.

    I don`t entirely agree pee wee at least from my standpoint.
    I was living and working in asmall very blue collar city at the time and yet all three of those bands were well recieved here . I don`t know if you are aware of the bands Reign Ghost or Christmas but their leader, bob bryden a high school friend of mine was very much influenced by these bands. This was also back in the day the real undergrounf FM came out and bands like these recieved a good amount of airplay. Perhaps lp sales didn`t reflect it, but the general idea then was not so much about buying and owning everything, if one person had the disc, you had a party, then everyone enjoyed. less disposable income and simpler times. Sales does not always equate talent anyhow, look at the current batch of popular dreck.

    By sluggo on Mar 14, 2013

  26. I’m pushing fifty and I grew up in LA. I didn’t hear The Stooges or Velvet Underground until I was a teenager listening to Rodney Bingenheimer. FM radio in LA during the 70’s played Lou Reed, mostly the Transformer album and Rock n Roll Animal. Stations such as KMET, KLOS(T),and KWST concentrated mostly on Led Mc-Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Eagles…etc. And as far as Iggy! Iggy who? Eventually, in the late 70’s KROQ stepped up to the plate and played Punk Rock and New Wave. However, this was short lived, and by 1983 they had turned into a British New Wave Disco station! After this, the only place to hear interesting rock music was college radio stations such as KSPC and KXLU. Of course, Rodney continued to do his thang, and still does every Monday morning, in the dead zone from 12:00am to 3:00am on that sucky corporate “Alternative” station KROQ.

    By Pee Wee Priebus on Mar 14, 2013

  27. up here in Canada , Love`s Little Red Book got some AM airplay. It was basically the only single from all three of these bands, they weren`t really aimed at the pop market so their exposure was going to be limited for sure, however as I was in retail then and selling lps
    I can tell you we sold out a couple times of shipments of the first stooges lp . We had one FM station coming from toronto at the time CHUM-FM which was a great station in its day and we also had a station nearer to us coming from Ajax -Pickering area that was an AM channel however in the evening the formaty was very heavy underground. One time our store was invited to the station and allowed to roam the libray and play whatever lp we wanted and I remember choosing one entire side of Procol Harum`s Shine on Brightly.[try doing that today!] The FM radio movement here was very progressive, as per only hearing the hit on AM and maybe the rest of the lp on FM if it was hip enough. I recall hearing some very unusual and yet great sides back then as we had a tremendous amount of garage type bands popular here that could get airplay this way..The Ugly Ducklings Luke and the Apostles,etc..maybe I`m talking a few years ahead of you as i`m 60.

    By sluggo on Mar 15, 2013

  28. Um, Yeah, OK. I think you’ve been tokin’ a little too heavily on that BC Bud eh? You’re completely missing the point! Little Red Book was written by
    Burt Bacharach, and yes it did chart in the Top Forty. And yes, some moldy oldie stations still play it to this day. But that song hardly reflects the brilliant song writing and musicianship found on the first two Love albums. Again I must reiterate, I did not hear album cuts from these two records on so called “Album Oriented Radio” when I was growing up in LA during the 70’s. The first three Stooges records bombed in America, and were relegated to the cut out bins. All but forgotten, until Punk Rock bands such as The Sex Pistols and The Ramones started sighting them as an influence. This is when people my age started finding out about The New York Dolls, MC5, Stooges, and The Velvet Underground. These groups were overwhelming rejected by “their own useless generation”. This is a fact! And not open for debate! It’s OK though, I’ve always had problems with people your age, and mine. Most of them are closed minded Classic Rock morons. Or Top Forty idiots! In 1992 a “little band” from Seattle had some Top Forty success, and started sighting their influences. Hence, The Stooges and Velvet Underground. Along with a shit load of great and truly independent bands from the 80’s that were also rejected by “their own useless generation”. Again, a whole new generation found out about Iggy. He started selling more records and live venues. His music was used in many films and commercials. He started making a shit load of money! And he deserves it! Having been snubbed by his own “useless generation”

    By Pee Wee Priebus on Mar 15, 2013

  29. Pee Wee, I grew up in L.A. too. I heard Love many, many times. They had a number of hit songs on the L.A. AM charts and then they transitioned nicely to FM. However, they got erratic and faded in popularity. Everybody was aware of them.

    By the way, FM radio had been completely co-opted by the late 70’s and did not reflect the freedom that went before it. I can name DOZENS of bands that were played and loved by listeners but pushed aside by the tightened up format that became “classic rock”.

    The Stooges were just stupid and everybody knew of them, but nobody liked them.

    The Velvets were somewhat popular and I used to hear “Waiting for the Man” a lot on the radio. When Lou went solo he got really popular and had lots of airplay.

    By Just Bill on Mar 15, 2013

  30. lou reed’s first solo album bombed. he got popular after he made the bowie connection.

    By barth on Mar 15, 2013

  31. I don`t know peewee how else to tell you..we heard these bands here..I was just saying that of the three only Love had a bona fide hit that`s why it was on AM..these bands weren`t interested in that market they were album bands not hit single bands.
    Just bill is correct thought , the Stooges were pretty least Love was interesting.

    By sluggo on Mar 15, 2013

  32. Jeez! Talk about redundant! I acknowledged Love’s
    marginal Top Forty success! Love was the main inspiration for The Doors forming a band. Is it possible for you old farts to stick to a subject? Being FM radio in the 70’s! Hey Just Bill! You did not hear Waiting For The Man from White Light/White Heat on LA radio in the 70’s. They played Lou’s solo material. I think Jim Ladd played Sighned DC occasionally in one of his cheesy thematic sets. Stupid? Cruddy? Like I said! Rejected! Hey sluggo! You are a functional illiterate! I don’t give two shits about your drug addled opinions! It’s really boring to engage with people who repeat themselves and clearly don’t know what they’re talking about!

    By Pee Wee Priebus on Mar 15, 2013

  33. Oops! I meant to say The Velvets debut album!

    By Pee Wee Priebus on Mar 15, 2013

  34. Hey, Pee Wee, it’s amazing that you know what I heard on the radio. Actually, you just think you do. I used to tape songs I liked off the radio with a cheesy little mono reel to reel and I actually recorded both “I’m Waiting for the Man” and “Heroin” off FM radio. This would have been KMET or KPPC. I know this because I recently went through and digitized those tapes.

    As far as Love is concerned, in L.A. they had three strong hit singles, “My Little Red Book”, “7 and 7 is”, and “Alone Again Or”. At least two of those were later covered by other big name bands Oh, and those little reels? I have one in which a DJ plays the entire first side of False Start. This would have been 1970 or 1971.

    Sorry to destroy your premise, but reality has a way of doing that. Since you are “crowding 50″ you were born in 1964 or later. Love had all their hits by the time you were 4 years old and VU broke up when you were 5. You don’t know what you’re talking about and we all can tell.

    By Just Bill on Mar 15, 2013

  35. not going to waste my time carrying on with a darth wannabe.

    By sluggo on Mar 15, 2013

  36. thanks bootleg princess!
    starting a funny blog

    By fruchtas on Mar 15, 2013

  37. hey pee wee,is that your real name or the one the strippers gave you. you were only four years old when this stuff came out, you were listening to mother goose records on your close and play.what could you possibly know about anything from then other than all the words to cartoons.

    By bootleg princess on Mar 16, 2013

  38. hey bootleg princess,
    are you a real aristocrat or just bought at walmart? :-)
    if you don`t like Lou`s music - what you are listening to?

    By fruchtas on Mar 16, 2013

  39. i like moondog to start off my exquisite day followed by tales of edgar allan poe read by basil rathbone and in the evening I listen to the ambitious lovers version of copy me until i tire.

    By bootleg princess on Mar 16, 2013

  40. exquisite
    not overrated , not over hyped, no talentless copies. just tired.

    By fruchtas on Mar 17, 2013

  41. any links to a hi qual version of that legendary guitar amp show from 03-15-69?


    By I-) on Mar 17, 2013

  42. hey bootleg princess,
    tx for the information.
    all those copies, all those music
    what are doing with it - in the end?
    copying myself so much music - but sometimes
    thinking “just one is enough” - the rest just variations?

    By fruchtas on Mar 17, 2013

  43. I think Bootleg Princess is on the rag.

    By RedAndTheBlack on Mar 18, 2013

  44. The VU holy grail is the 1968 soundboard from San Diego. Historic in that it was the show Lester Bangs attended. Supposedly they did a TV appearance in Ohio that no one can seem to find.

    Disagree on the talentless part, esp. when it comes to Cale.

    By Danny on Mar 19, 2013

  45. Hey Just Bill here’s the history KPPC:

    I started listing to KMET in 1973, and KPPC had turned into KROQ by then. Lot’s of Zappa, not too much VU. I’m sure your tape collection is mislabeled and muddled like your brain. Hey bootleg princess, you obviously don’t follow American politics, or you would understand my name? You dumb cunt! Assuming you’re even a female? For your edification, I was listening to Alvin & The Chipmunks and Top Forty, on an a transistor radio! Hey sluggo, the only relevant music from Canaduh, were hardcore punk bands such as DOA, Subhumans, and The Dayglo Abortions. Musically speaking, a country of numb nuts!

    By Pee Wee Priebus on Mar 19, 2013

  46. Hum. And I thought I had to much spare time on my hands, feet or whatever… stupid saying really, how can you have Time on your hands?
    Rather listen to the Velvets then read Blah Blah Blah…

    By Revolutionarybum on Mar 19, 2013

  47. Hey bootleg princess, you obviously don’t follow American politics, or you would understand my name? You dumb cunt! Assuming you’re even a female?

    I see they have given you your half hour out of your cell for computer time again.
    seriously grow up .50 plus year old who thinks he`s a punk that`s pretty lame.

    By bootleg princess on Mar 19, 2013

  48. More punk than you could ever or would ever be! Wow! you really put me in my place!
    The individual who runs this site seems to be a fairly open minded person. It’s too bad trolls and geriatric burnouts have infested it!

    By Pee Wee Priebus on Mar 19, 2013

  49. and punk wanna -a-bes

    By psycho joe on Mar 19, 2013

  50. Pee Wee calling other people trolls and burnouts, yet he comes on here calling people cunts…wtf?

    By nutshell on Mar 19, 2013

  51. Pee Wee calling other people trolls and burnouts, yet he comes on here calling people cunts…wtf?

    shades of that darth character,probably same person. ignore her.

    By bootleg princess on Mar 19, 2013

  52. first thing you want to be able to do is block certain trolls.

    By widtla on May 3, 2013

  53. Someone takes the time to put up rare bootlegs of important bands that you can listen to for free and some of you feel the need to criticize for no other reason than just being an asshole. If you don’t like a particular band, go listen to one that you do like. We don’t all like the same artists and same bands so go find one that you do like. I don’t like Taylor Swift but I would never go to a Taylor Swift site just to tell her fans how much I don’t like her. Being hateful for no apparent reason other than being hateful says more about you than it does about them, and being an anonymous asshole just for the sake of being an asshole is no way to go through life. I love the Velvets and I love Lou Reed and I appreciate anyone taking the time to make this stuff available. If you don’t like it, listen to something else and stop being a dick.

    By Jessie on Mar 30, 2016

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