On March 15, 1969, The Velvet Underground played its last show of a three-day residency at the legendary rock club The Boston Tea Party in Boston, Massachusetts. That night’s set was recorded by a fan (no, not Robert Quine) directly from Lou Reed’s guitar amplifier. The recording became known as “The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes.” Reed’s guitar is, of course, way up front and the rest of the band is barely audible. The result is a mighty electronic roar that reveals the depth and layers of Reed’s playing. Over and undertones, feedback, string buzz, the scratch of fingers on frets and the crackle and hum of tube amps combine to create a monolithic blast of metal machine music.
I’ve combined some of the “Guitar Amp Tapes” (“Heroin/Sister Ray”) with The Velvet’s performing “What Goes On” at End of Cole Avenue in Dallas, Texas in 1969 with an edited version of Coffin Joe’s (Jose Mojica Marin) Awakening Of The Beast . I think it makes for an edgy listening and viewing experience and one that should not be watched at work or in the presence of the easily offended.