crackle crackle fzzt YEAH

The best music is the kind I’ll listen to at the worst quality.

I was the kid holding on to the antenna and standing JUST THERE to get the signal from KSPC or the old weak KCRW to hear my favorite song. About a third would be cut out and it was more than worth the effort. I’d leave the tape recorder on pause record so I could leap across the room and capture music from the radio when one of my favorites hit. Cut off at the beginning, DJ chatter at the end, fade into other songs, and shitty tape quality did not diminish the beauty of the music.

Later on I made audience tapes and bought bootlegs. Click, clank, crackle! Annoying guy behind me yelling “Gimme head!” Inability to hear vocals and/or drums! Who cares?

I rediscovered this today listening to an old Velvet Underground boot. “What Goes On” is a favorite song of mine, especially live versions. The drums and rhythm guitar are one big WHACK WHACK WHACK and it’s impossible not to chairdance. And this is one of my favorite versions. Objectively the sound is shit, but I played it five times in a row today.

What Goes On (Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes)

5 thoughts on “crackle crackle fzzt YEAH

  1. Dude. KSPC. I listened to that when i lived in claremont in 7th grade.
    I would just record the whole night to cassette tape and it was nothing but gold. I still have a cpl cassette tapes from back then..

  2. TRULY one of the great VU live tapes. the guy who recorded it had his mic right in front of Lou’s amp all night – the Sister Ray on that is BRUTAL.
    another great VU boot is “If it’s Too Loud, Then Stand Back!” the cleanest version of the columbus, ohio 1966 show out there. you can hear the audience go “WTF” after each song.

  3. Rhythm guitar as drum
    It’s on some liner note somewhere, or some dern place from long ago…. Lou Reed’s talking about something involving “old black music” (I don’t remember what type) and admiring how they “use the rhythm guitar like a drum.” I’ve never forgotten that.
    Obviously I’m not alone. Me and What Goes On have a date that’s never been kept, as they say–that version made my hackles lift. Jumping Jehosophat.
    “…great VU live tape [which includes Sister Ray]” Is this a named, indeed buyable, entity?

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