Friday, September 17, 2010

White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground Day-By-Day: A Review

Simply put, this is the Velvet Underground Bible.  Alongside the hundreds of photos, flyers, newspaper clippings, promotional ads and record covers, is a day-by-day account of one of the most influential bands of all time, The Velvet Underground.  From the pre-VU days, all the way to their reunion in 1993, author Richie Unterberger has meticulously compiled all of the happenings related to the members of the VU.

All gigs, recording sessions, rehearsals and reviews are assembled in chronological order - from Lou Reed's days as a house songwriter at Pickwick Records, to John Cale's avante-garde performances with John Cage, to Nico's entrance/exit and the days under the wings of Andy Warhol.  

This book is mammoth and not for the casual Velvets fan.  I found myself skipping over the monotonous sections pertaining to early drummer Angus MacLise and John Cale collaborator LaMonte Young - it was a bit extraneous and skipping did not take away from the overall effect of the book.

Lots and lots of VU trivia to be gained from these pages. Drummer Maureen Tucker first rehearsed with the band on the very same day as her first gig with them.  She was asked to join the band because the first drummer quit and Maureen had a car and an extra guitar amp.  The original drummer, MacLise, quit because he found out the band was getting a paid gig and didn't want to get paid or commit to showing up at a set time for the gig.

From the same publisher that brought us Bowie In Berlin, Jawbone Press has once again done a fantastic job.  This edition is  similar in size to a school textbook - 8 x 10 inches, with full page, high quality photos.

Published by Jawbone Press on June 1, 2009
368 pages


  1. wow crazy. how the hell was he able to find out that much information? can you imagine someone doing that for either of our bands? lol!

  2. I imagine that he sat on the old microfilm machines in the basement of a library in NYC for years! :)