Tuesday, May 19, 2009

back when rock 'n' roll mattered...

...people wrote things like this. here are elliott murphy's liner notes for velvet underground 1969: velvet underground live vol. 1-- yes, a bit cheesy, but i won't lie--gives me chills every time.

It's one hundred years from today, and everyone who is reading this is dead. I'm dead. You're dead. And some kid is taking a music course in junior high, and maybe he's listening to the Velvet Underground because he's got to write a report on classical rock 'n' roll, and I wonder what that kid is thinking. I wish they would invent a machine that could find out everyone's biggest secret--yours and mine and Lou Reed's. The difference between movies and rock 'n' roll is that rock 'n' roll doesn't lie. It never promises a happy ending. I'd have to say the Velvet Underground wrote and played sad music. When I listen to either, I think about people I won't ever see again. But that's the story of the world of art. Van Gogh cuts off his ear, and parents sign permission slips for field trips to museums. The Velvet Underground must have scared a lot of people. What goes through a mother's mind when she asks her fifteen-year-old daughter, "What's the name of that song you're listening to?" and her daughter replies "Heroin." I wish I was writing this a hundred years from today. Then, I'd be writing about music made by dead people. There'd be a beginning and an end. As it stands now, I don't know where this album fits in. I think all of the people on this album are alive today. I know that at least one of them is still at it. I don't know if this will be considered one of Lou Reed's greater or lesser contributions. What will be mandatory listening for that classical rock 'n' roll class? I think this is great rock 'n' roll. I think Alexander the Great, Lord Byron, Jack the Ripper, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Albert Einstein, James Dean, and other rock 'n' rolls stars would tend to agree with me. And maybe it's 1969, and some kid is borrowing his parents' car and driving into the city and doing things he'd never done before and getting home later than he's supposed to and getting into trouble, but it's all right because he knows he'll never be the same again. (That's what this album is about.) Rock 'n' roll people tend to live on the edge. (That's what this album is about.) Anyway--I could analyze each and every song, but that's what took all the fun out of chemistry. I hope someday they'll teach rock 'n' roll history. I hope that the music on this album is among the more important elements of that class. I hope parents will still get scared when they find their daughter listening to this music. I wish it were a hundred years from today. (I can't stand the suspense).

velvet underground- "sweet jane" (live)

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