Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Velvet Underground at the Philharmonie: 7 nuggets not to miss – francetv info

1. The Childhood of art, documentary Lou Reed and John Cale

The film, directed as five specially for the exhibition, is a must that draws crossed portraits of the two leaders of the Velvet Underground . Or explosive encounter Lou Reed, born in Brooklyn in a home of average Jewish bourgeoisie, rock fanatic and self-taught guitarist, and John Cale, son of minors South Wales academic musical path but passionate forward -keep. This documentary contains many valuable evidence and particularly the unpublished, sister of Lou Reed, Merrill, about electroshock suffered by his brother.

Lou Reed treated with electroshock
as a teenager, Lou had become “increasingly anxious, fleeing, refractory to most social relationships,” she recalls. At 16, he began to test many drugs and closes the door to all communication with his parents. It’s terrifying behavior, they decide to consult a psychiatrist. The diagnosis falls: shizophrénie, and with it the recommended treatment: electric shocks. “My parents believed they had no choice,” she pleads. On his return, Lou “was dazed, unable to walk.” But he finally recovered.

Lou Reed at the Castle of Los Angeles in 1966. He was then 24 years.

Lou Reed at the Castle of Los Angeles in 1966. He then 24 years.

© Lisa Law

Lou Reed tells his life to his literature teacher in a letter 1965
This documentary includes two other major accounts. First a long letter addressed Lou Reed in 1965 to Delmore Schwartz, a professor of literature at the University of Syracuse. In this “spiritual godfather,” he tells his year, including his meeting with John Cale, “a guy came from Wales arrived here through a Leonard Bernstein scholarship, completely starved.” “Since my retrour in New York,” he writes, “I experienced some strange things, but twisted strange and fascinating and sometimes even revealing, beneficial and helpful. The middle disc is vicious, like most industries but this one is even a little more. New York is home to so many people sad, twisted, and I have the gift to meet them. “

John Cale struck by the appearance literary Lou Reed
Finally, John Cale, who in 1965 worked with La Monte Young and John Cage, shows him as his meeting with Lou Reed. “Lou played me some songs he had written,” Heroin “and” Waiting for my man “on an acoustic guitar, as if it were folk. I hated folk. But his texts well written and scholars had powerful visions of life, like a novelist. I had no real knowledge of rock music at that time, so I focused on the literary aspect (…) It was fascinating, there were so many facilities with language. ”

John Cale and Lou Reed at the Cafe Bizarre in Greenwich Village in 1965.

John Cale and Lou Reed at the Cafe Bizarre in Greenwich Village in 1965.

© Adam Ritchie

2. Photographs and reportage on the film “Venus in Furs”

In November 1965 Velvet has just been formed and the young director Piero Heliczer wants to include the group in the film that he named “Venus in Furs “. John Cale, Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison, who often play then to accompany screenings of their film friends vanguard, it shows shirtless and covered in paint.

The film will never see the day. But the images remained. Rare. They are in the exhibition. There is firstly a small report that CBS had chosen this shooting Heliczer to evoke the New York underground film. This is the only contemporary report showing the Velvet active, broadcast on national television. On the other hand, a young photographer, Adam Ritchie, was present during the shooting on set. His black and white photos of the band playing shirtless and makeup slamming hard.

A reporter from CBS on the filming of & amp; quot; Venus in Furs & amp; quot; Piero Heliczer in 1965.

reporter CBS on the set of the film “Venus in Furs” by Piero Heliczer in 1965.

© Adam Ritchie

3. The documentary about the album Banana (projected under the roof)

This is perhaps the most famous bag in the world: the banana first album of Velvet Underground and Nico. And it’s probably also the work most reproduced of Andy Warhol. In the short documentary dedicated to him at the show, we see the original version of the first pressings, the one that adorned the 5,000 copies of the first album released in March 1967. In this version, very sophisticated for its time, banana is “peeled” and appeared under a very phallic pink banana. An idea erection when Warhol was anxious and that is found on the cover he made for the “Sticky Fingers” by the Rolling Stones.

But this cover of Velvet, the first of customized story ( ie not only printed) was not an easy task to achieve. Commissioners have found the man who was responsible for the make. He had to find the right system, the right glue, good paper adhesive to make it work. The game was worth it: almost 50 years later, this banana is still on everyone’s lips … As for the myth that the drug was present in the sticker if licked, the mystery remains. And with it the license to fantasize.

Of the original covers of the first album of Velvet Underground and Nico designed by Warhol, it was written & amp; quot; Peel slowly and see & amp; quot; (peel slowly and see) A pink banana, very phallic, emerged then..

of the original covers of the first album of Velvet Underground and Nico designed by Warhol, it was written” Peel slowly and see “(peel slowly and see) . A pink banana, very phallic, emerging then.

© Andy Warhol

4. The arrival of the Velvet Factory, two films of Danny Williams (projected under the roof)

Andy Warhol discovered the Velvet Underground in December 1965, when the band performed at the Café Bizarre, bar tourists to Greenwich Village (New York). Amazed by the raw text and sound findings of the group, born pope of pop art soon propose their artistic asylum at the Factory, epicenter of the creative ferment of the time.

Discreet in the tribe who haunts the scene, Danny Williams is the first to film the arrival of the Velvet Underground to the Factory early 1966. Two of his short films in 16 mm, sleeping on the shelves because MOMA mislabeled, are among the nuggets of exposure for their rarity . 8 minutes long each, this silent film in black and white where we see the Velvet repeat and relax. Images that echo photo of Stephen Shore, also performed during break time at the Factory.

John Cale, Maureen Tucker and Lou Reed at the Café Bizarre (New York) in 1965.

John Cale, Maureen Tucker and Lou Reed at Café Bizarre (New York) in 1965.

© Adam Ritchie

5. The documentary Nico (in an alcove dedicated to him)

When Nico is pushed by Warhol to take the microphone Velvet Underground in early 1966, not born. Model since adolescence, magnetic blonde deep voice made the cover of the most prestigious fashion magazines and has already begun an acting career – she was seen in 1959 to play opposite Mastroiani in “La Dolce Vita “Fellini.

in the documentary of ten minutes that dedicates the exhibition to him, and that begins with a testimony of the singer Antoine wandering the streets hand in hand with the beautiful, we see extracts a rare film shot by Willie Meywald Montparnasse in 1958 and in which the German court the fashion shoots. We also see clips from the film “Strip Tease” by Jacques Poitrenaud in which it holds the first role, that of a stripper (brown!) In the Paris of that time. “A quite funny movie and a funny curiosity”, as promised by the curator Christian Fevret.

Nico and Lou Reed at the Castle in Los Angeles in 1966.

Nico and Lou Reed at the Castle in Los Angeles in 1966.

© Lisa Law

6. The new version of “Heroin” 3’45 (on a discrete terminal titled “Birth of the 1965 Velvet”)

Recommended by the curator of the exhibition Christian Fevret a rarity. This is a demo recorded by Lou Reed for Pickwick Records. A primitive version, slower than the original, where he is alone on acoustic guitar. Lou Reed sings like a lullaby, nursery rhyme, a soft voice, sweet and innocent, in total contradiction with the lyrics. Evoking they, drugs, death and annihilation drives.

The Live version 1969 “Heroin” (not the version mentioned above)

7. Pictures of Nat Finkestein “On the way to Ann Arbor, March 1966″

The happening combining experimental concert, projections, dance and light shows whip initiated by Warhol in collaboration with the Velvet Underground is first given on St Mark’s Place, East Village. It puts a foot out of New York for the first time in March 1966. The performance, which still bears the name of Up-Tight before becoming the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, ships with the team in Ann Arbor (Michigan).

the photographer Nat Finkestein is the journey. His testimony picture is worth a look. We see Nico driving the van. Life on board, often studious. But also the joyful promiscuity including Lou Reed, laughing, lying (fully clothed) alongside Warhol who embraces tenderly. We think back to that phrase we glided Christian Fevret “Sour side of Velvet pleased Warhol But I think Lou Reed quite liked it too ….”

The Velvet Underground “New York Extravaganza “
from 30 March to 21 August 2016 at the Philharmonie de Paris
221 Avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris 19th


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