The VELVET UNDERGROUND (DOPPELPROJEKTION)
As 65 turned to 66, the big new interest at the Factory was a group of musicians that called themselves The Velvet Underground. For New Years, the Velvets, Edie, Paul, Gerard and I all went to the Apollo Theater up in Harlem, then raced back downtown to watch ourselves on the evening news. Eventually we passed out in front of the TV.
Wed met the Velvets through a filmmaker friend of Jonass named Barbara Rubin, who was one of the first people to get multimedia interest going around New York. She knew a lot of rock and folk performers, and shed sometimes bring people like Donovan and The Byrds by the Factory.
The Velvets had done tapes for filmmakers to use while they projected their movies and theyd played live behind the screen during some screenings at the Lafayette Street Cinematheque. But where we first really became aware of how fabulous and demented their act was was at the Cafe Bizarre on West 3rd Street «On Go-Go Street for nine bucks a night», as Lou Reed, the sort of lead Velvet, put it.
When Barbara Rubin asked Gerard to help her make a movie of the Velvets playing at the Bizarre, Gerard asked Paul Morrissey to help, and Paul said why didnt I come along, and so we all went down there to see them. The Bizarre management wasnt too thrilled with them. Their music was beyond the pale way too loud and insane for any tourist coffeehouse clientele. People would leave looking dazed and damaged. Anyway, the Velvets were about to get fired. We talked to them a little bit that same night while Barbara and her crew went through the audience pushing the blinding sun gun lights and the cameras in peoples faces and asking, «Are you uptight? Are you uptight?» until they reacted, and then she would hold the cameras and lights on them while they got madder or cringed more or ran away or whatever.
We liked the Velvets and invited them to come by the Factory. Paul wanted to do some shows with them. Coincidentally, wed just been approached by a producer whod taken over a film studio out on Long Island that he wanted to turn into a discotheque. He claimed that this studio was originally the airplane hangar that Lindbergh took off from. It was around seventeen thousand square feet and had a three-thousand-person capacity and he was going to call it Murray the Ks World. He said he wanted the Factory crew to be disco mascots and hang out there every night making movies so he could get publicity for the place. Paul thought there should be a house band since Jordan Christophers house band at Arthur did so well, and the producer said that if we could come up with a band, maybe hed just call the place Andy Warhols World.
«POPism: The Warhol 60s»,
Warhol and Hackett, N.Y. 1980
Together with the screening of <filmlink id=\"1791\">Outer and inner Space</filmlink>
- John Cale
- Sterling Morrison
- Lou Reed
- Maureen Tucker