Win a Copy of Seeing the Light: Inside the Velvet Underground

Categories: Contests

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Update: Matt Harnish wins, because we can't resist a local hook. As a side note, I sincerely hope that Adam R. is the person I think it is. Well played, everybody.

As much has been said about the Velvet Underground, there will always be more worth talking about. Rob Jovanovic, who wrote the only book you need about Pavement as well as biographies of Nirvana, Big Star, R.E.M. and Beck, has just released Seeing the Light: Inside the Velvet Underground. We've got a nice shiny hardcover copy sitting on our desk and we'd like to give it to you.

To win, tell us in the comments below what your favorite piece of Velvet Underground trivia is. We'll pick a winner tomorrow afternoon.

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16 comments
Dave Todd
Dave Todd

Total amount of studio time used to make the first 3 vu records: 3 days.

Adam R.
Adam R.

VU was only a starting point for its founding members; many of the members of the band continued on to further fame and fortune after the band dissipated. For example, while many critics disagree on the high point of Lou Reed's career, most musicologists and fans acknowledge that it was the album that he made with Metallica recently. 

Matt Harnish
Matt Harnish

That version of "Sister Ray" on the Quine Tapes was recorded at Graham Chapel.

RickR
RickR

Café Bizarre, Greenwich Village, mid-to-late December 1965: The VU played about two weeks in this beatnik club-cum-tourist trap in front of largely uninterested, and occasionally hostile, customers. The stage was so small that Maureen Tucker couldn't even set up her drums, instead getting relegated to tambourine. Told they'd be fired if they played the room-clearing "The Black Angel's Death Song" even one more time, the Velvets proceeded to lead off their very next set with it. They got fired for their mischievousness, but not before meeting and impressing Andy Warhol in the audience, leading to a management deal with him and Paul Morrissey.

Danielle Zeis
Danielle Zeis

aaahhh why must I be a day lateeee! I want this! and look at how lame I am,  I don't have any clever/obscure facts which would show up the person below me- and this is why I need this book. How can you fight with that?

Animalnitrate
Animalnitrate

These might not be the most obscure, but they're some of my favorites:

1. Lou Reed underwent shock treatments for his homosexuality.2. Doug Yule sang lead vocals on "Who Loves the Sun."3. Sterling Morrison had a PhD in medieval studies.

Chris Bulock
Chris Bulock

I first ran across my favorite piece of trivia in the RFT's notice of the recent Tony Conrad show: http://blogs.riverfronttimes.c....Fun Fact: Around 1965 Tony Conrad moved out of an apartment and left his copy of Michael Leigh's book The Velvet Underground. John Cale and Lou Reed moved in, found the book and named their band.

Danielle Zeis
Danielle Zeis

You know, one time after arriving in India, Lou Reed was asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agreed, and stumbled upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.

Adam R.
Adam R.

From what I understand, when Lou Reed was fighting as a mercenary in the Central-American jungle, he became engaged in a battle of wills with an alien life form that destroyed his entire team. In the end, there was a showdown between Reed and the alien and Reed emerged triumphant after destroying the alien in an explosion. These events are said to have inspired his writing of "White Light/White Heat".

Danielle Zeis
Danielle Zeis

 Was that before or after the human-looking, apparently unstoppable cyborg was sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor; and Lou Reed was forced to stop it? Because I hear after that traumatic event is when he began experimenting with heroin.

Adam R.
Adam R.

When Lou Reed was 20 years old, he was working as a janitor at MIT, finishing difficult math equations after the professors had left each night. One evening, a professor caught Reed writing the solution to one of the most challenging math problems in the world. The professor—as well as a therapist that Reed was seeing at the time—believed in Reed, forcing him to take control of his life and begin his life's work as a musician. 

Danielle Zeis
Danielle Zeis

Wow, you are so knowledgeable. Lou Reed has lived such an incredible life. It's so sad that his neighbor Thao, a young Hmong teenager was under pressure from his gang member cousin, and tried to steal his Gran Torino, then after Reed set out to reform the youth. I know he was drawn against his will into the life of Thao's family, but Reed never deserved to be murdered when he decided to take steps to protect them from the gangs that infested their neighborhood. Such a sad way to go...at least he put out that Metallica album before he passed..

Adam R.
Adam R.

Well you are half-right, Danielle. Lou Reed's mother was that woman from the Titanic, but his father was Satan, who raped her in a dream. 9 months later, Lou Reed was born in a New York hospital where, immediately following his birth, he recorded Transformer. 

Danielle Zeis
Danielle Zeis

 Andy Warhol? I thought Reed's dad was that artist who died on the Titanic? Jack something...? I though the rumor was after he drew that risque photo of some rich chick he impregnated her- after the Titanic sank, Jack unfortunately froze in the icy ocean. Lou's mother (naked and impregnated rich chick) on the other hand, made it safely ashore where she raised Lou to be a rock god. At least that's what I heard.

Adam R.
Adam R.

It was around that time indeed. Another interesting fact: once, Lou Reed was traveling in space with his friends on an important mission when their ship was taken prisoner by a larger space station—a "Death Star", if you will. Lou Reed escaped from the ship and witnessed his master slain by an evil villain, who he later found out was Andy Warhol, the famous painter who was also believed to be Lou Reed's father. 

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