Song of the day – 68: The Velvet Underground and Nico
For decades now, I’ve steered clear of admitting to a love for either The Velvet Underground or Nico, but damn it. This is the first time I’ve seen this footage. And yes, I used to be fascinated by Nico – a couple of the shows she performed towards the end of her life were among the scariest, most chilling concerts I’ve ever witnessed. I was drawn inexorably towards her dying flame, her world-weary voice, her Gothic silences. When I was immersing myself in Chelsea Girl and The Marble Index and her live performance, I wasn’t even particularly aware of the Velvets, beyond the stuff Stephen Pastel would put on mix tapes for me. (I was really put off them by the guy in the room next to mine in our Goldsmith College hall of residence, who’d put on his headphones at 3am and sing aloud to that line about, “Taste the whip in love not given lightly…”)
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with admitting to a fondness for either the Velvets or Nico. Both are great, foundation stone stuff. It’s just that I often shy away from the obvious. But c’mon. Let’s be upfront about it, just for today. THIS SONG IS FUCKING INCREDIBLE. As are many Velvets songs.
P.S. Apologies for not embedding the video directly. “Embedding disabled by request.” Here’s another cool video.