Former Velvet Underground Drummer Moe Tucker Pays Tribute to Lou Reed

Posted on: December 17th, 2013 at 11:24 am by
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Nearly two months after we lost Lou Reed, his former Velvet Underground bandmate Moe Tucker penned a tearjerker of a tribute. Published Saturday in The Guardian, the drummer’s eulogy reveals the deep friendship between the musicians, and the group dynamic out there on the fringe of 1960s music scene.

The full treatment is certainly worth your time, but below is a quick excerpt:

The first gig I played was the first gig as the Velvet Underground. [Summit high school New Jersey, 11 December 1965] We played three songs [There She Goes Again, Venus in Furs and Heroin]. A lot of people were bewildered. A lot of people left. I think Lou kind of liked that. Then we played Cafe Bizarre in New York and the guy who owned it didn’t want the drums as they were too loud, so I played tambourine. I like the sound of the tambourine so that was fine. That’s where Barbara Rubin introduced us to Andy (Warhol).

We never sat around and discussed what we were going to do or what our direction was going to be, we just made music and it was music that nobody else was making, and a lot of people at that time didn’t want to hear it. It wasn’t peace and love, that’s for sure. It wasn’t so much us against the world; it was us against San Francisco. The hippies out there hated us and we didn’t like them too much either. We played out there once at the Fillmore West. The promoter, Bill Graham, booked us for some reason. Maybe he wanted to check out Andy’s light show. As we were going onstage, he said, “I hope you fuckers bomb.” I guess we scared him. Andy’s light shows were so much more radical than the hippy light shows.

We had a lot of fun, and a lot of fun upsetting people. We used to joke that we knew how good the gig was by the number of people who left the room. I think now that they were perfect times in a way. We split when we should have, and we left behind just a handful of great albums. It wasn’t a career. We didn’t keep going on and on like a lot of groups, but we influenced a lot of people.

Read the whole piece over at The Guardian.

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