Suzie Surfer and Peter Suydam

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Sheila Klein
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Suzie Surfer and Peter Suydam

Post by Sheila Klein » 20 Jan 2020 04:37

A couple of years ago the Dangerous Minds website ran a piece that reprinted clippings from a weekly newspaper in central New Jersey in late 1965 of a brief, negative review of the VU's Summit High debut show and a follow-up letter defending the group. These items were included in a regular feature, written for teens/local high school students and titled (and bylined) "Suzie Surfer," of the Warren Township Sentinel/Watchung Hills News. As the VU had only formally formed just before that show, the Suzie Surfer exchange appeared to be the first-ever press mention of them, as well as revelation of their first-ever fans.

As excited as I was to see those clippings, I was also a bit frustrated by their lack of context. Armed with a new subscription to newspapers.com, I recently went in search of the full issues those items were included in. I then proceeded to extract all of the Suzie Surfer columns (which ran from Oct. '65 through Feb. '66), and read them thoroughly to see if they included any additional mentions of the VU. The Suzie Surfer column did not, but I did find a full article that reviewed the Dec. 11 '65 show. Its focus was, of course, on the headliners The Myddle Class, and while its review of the VU portion of the show was also brief and also negative, the fact that Peter Suydam's review ran four pages before Suzie Surfer's makes it technically the first-ever review of the VU.

In postings subsequent to this one I'm pasting a Suzie Surfer preview of the show (which does not mention VU), Peter Suydam's review, Suzie Surfer's review and the follow-up defense ascribed to "Some Velvet Underground Fans."

--Phil M.

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Sheila Klein
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Re: Suzie Surfer and Peter Suydam

Post by Sheila Klein » 20 Jan 2020 04:38

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Sheila Klein
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Re: Suzie Surfer and Peter Suydam

Post by Sheila Klein » 20 Jan 2020 04:39

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schnittstelle
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Re: Suzie Surfer and Peter Suydam

Post by schnittstelle » 20 Jan 2020 07:31

A very cool find! Thank you very much for sharing it here!

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mangue
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Re: Suzie Surfer and Peter Suydam

Post by mangue » 20 Jan 2020 12:18

Thanks posting these from after the 1st VU gig.
I know that on newspapers.com is also the announcement of the gig published 1965.Nov.29 in The Courier-News [from Bridgewater, New Jersey].
Apart from being mostly about the Myddle Class, it's also mentioning the support arts:

"Also on the program will be the Velvet Underground, four Greenwich Village artists who play an avant-garde type of folk-rock, and the Forty Fingers, four 14-year-old boys from Springfield."

The article can be found at
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/219004612/

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lurid
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Re: Suzie Surfer and Peter Suydam

Post by lurid » 20 Jan 2020 12:43

many thanks for locating and posting these items!

"avante-garde folk rock" - I suppose in 1965 context that's what it sounded like. Those were indeed different times.....

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