Wednesday, March 10, 2010

All Yesterday's Parties: The Velvet Underground in Print 1966-1971, edited by Clinton Heylin

This book is a collection of nearly every published article about the Velvet Underground written while the band was still together, from mainstream publications like the New York Times to rock music zines like Crawdaddy! and Creem. You get Lester Bangs, Lenny Kaye, and Richard Goldstein, and then you also get the confused squares writing about the latest Andy Warhol happening. ("It was ridiculous, outrageous, painful...It seemed like a whole prison ward had escaped.") It's pretty interesting to read about the most important band in the history of music (more or less a fact) within the context of their actual existence--definitely worth checking out, whether piecemeal or straight through from beginning to end. The book is ordered chronologically so if you go the latter route, you get the band's whole story arc (according to the journalists and rock critics of the day).

Scattered throughout the book are scans of various articles, advertisements, and flyers, such as the above for the band's residency at Max's Kansas City throughout the summer of 1970 (even though Mo Tucker didn't actually play any of those shows due to the fact that she was very pregnant). I can't imagine what it would have been like to have the opportunity to see the Velvet Underground play nearly every night for an entire summer. I'm getting chills just thinking about it!

Note: Dave has taken offense to the fact that I've included this book on my blog since it is technically from his shelf. But in my defense I was the one who actually bought (and read) it. So there.

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