Sunday Cinema | Warhol-Directed Velvet Underground Film

The Velvet Underground may have been a visual band, but it took until a 1993 reunion before one of the group's full sets was filmed with sound and shared. So, it's no surprise many took notice when a 33-minute clip of the Velvets' 1967 performance at the Tea Party in South End popped up on YouTube last week. The film was directed by Andy Warhol, whose liberal use of filters, flickers and quick movements makes this far from the straight- forward viewing experience we've become accustomed to when watching concert footage. Not to mention, the sound is muddy as well. Yet, as noted in the description on YouTube, "It is a significant find indeed for fans of the Velvets, being one of only two known films with synchronous sound of the band performing live, and this the only one in color."

A print of The Velvet Underground in 1967 was unearthed by The Warhol Museum in 2008, who preserved the footage and premiered it a few years later. Warhol managed The Velvet Underground for a short period starting in 1965 and running through 1967. The famed artist introduced the Velvets to German-born singer Nico, who appears on three songs on the band's 1967 debut album. Warhol designed the iconic cover art for the LP and is also listed as a producer, though it's thought his musical role was mostly to let the group do whatever they wanted. Again, the footage below may be for Velvet completists only, but for the reasons listed above The Velvet Underground in 1967 is an important document of a ground-breaking band made by one of the most influential artists of all-time. Watch it now before it gets pulled:

[Hat Tip - MetaFilter]

[Published on: 6/1/14]

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