. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – The Velvet Underground – Live At End Of Cole Ave, Dallas – October 19, 1969 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
As much as people now cite The Velvet Underground as being one of the most important and influential bands in Rock, at the time they had trouble getting arrested. Their albums were not commercial successes, and even though they were heavily played on the fledgling FM-Underground at the time, they weren’t wholeheartedly embraced, as they are now. They weren’t unknowns, by any stretch of the imagination – they just weren’t hugely popular at the time.
But, if you’ll notice – that’s the same story with a lot of bands during the 60s. Classic case in point; Pink Floyd. I’ve written about this several times over the past few years, commercial success for Pink Floyd really didn’t happen until Dark Side of The Moon – and the early material, which is now considered important, did not get the mass attention it does now.
Same with Velvet Underground. You could say they were very far ahead of their time. And it was the audience who needed to catch up. And that’s most likely what happened. With the great success of Lou Reed in the early 70s, it caused people to look back on the earlier material with new eyes – and when Punk came along, they became the unofficial high priests (but by that time the Velvets had already called it a day).
That’s not to say neither Velvet Underground nor Pink Floyd were ignored completely by audiences at the time. But when commercial success (certainly in Record company terms) is gauged on how many albums you sell – they sold, but didn’t sell a lot; they were judged a dismal commercial failure in the eyes of the Front Office. But their audience were select and ahead of the curve.
So this weekend it’s a dive into what Velvet Underground sounded like live. In this case, an intimate setting at the End Of Cole Avenue club in Dallas, recorded on October 19, 1969.
Fortunately for everyone, the sound quality is quite good and it gives ample evidence of a band much ahead of their time and one which has come to be indelibly linked in the progression of Rock Music during the last 50 years.
You can crank this one up – it’ll take it.