This last week was the release of the 45th anniversary reissuing of the Velvet Underground’s self-title studio album featuring previously unreleased recordings and performances. Now, the only color footage of the band performing live is on YouTube.
The film was recorded in 1967 by Andy Warhol, who frequently collaborated with the band. The YouTube description says:
“This newly unearthed film, which Warhol shot during a concert at the Boston Tea Party, features a variety of filmmaking techniques. Sudden in-and-out zooms, sweeping panning shots, in-camera edits that create single frame images and bursts of light like paparazzi flash bulbs going off mirror the kinesthetic experience of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, with its strobe lights, whip dancers, colorful slide shows, multi-screen projections, liberal use of amphetamines, and overpowering sound. 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. It’s fitting that it was shot at the Boston Tea Party, as the Beantown club became one of the band’s favorite, most-played venues, and was where a 16-year-old Jonathan Richman faithfully attended every show and befriended the group. Richman, who would later have his debut recordings produced by John Cale, and later yet record a song about the group, is just possibly seen in the background of this film.”
The setlist included “I’m Waiting For The Man,” “Guess I’m Falling In Love,” “Run Run Run,” “Heroin,” “Walk It & Talk It,” “I Heard Her Call My Name,” “Venus In Furs,” and “Sister Ray.”