A Day of Listening at the Lincoln Center Library

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hkmartin
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Re: A Day of Listening at the Lincoln Center Library

Post by hkmartin » 07 Apr 2019 14:31

I'm particularly grateful for the info on Pale Blue Eyes, I was wondering if the lyrics matched either the 3rd album or La Cave versions, and now it seems they do not. At last I can sleep again ...
Since you're asking about PBE, I jotted down some more lyrics. I didn't list them all above since I don't think I got them all right and I missed some, and I lost track of which were in the first version and which were in the second and which were in both, but, FWIW, my notes have:

Woke up in the morning, about half past three
Don't mind the darkness so much
Just makes me think about me

That's when I start worrying about what's gonna happen to me

Remember when I met you
You were clean and pure
??

Saw you walk out on Main Street
Fell by the hand
???
Brand new lover man

Not that I'm complaining
Just sooner see you dead
Even when I loved you
Won't get hit in the head (?)

Walked down the street
Feeling so sad
Dropped a bomb right on my head
Made me feel so bad

(like I said, the lyrics improved by the time they recorded it!)
Seems to me that there is a whole section of the VU history (66 to mid-68) missing from the archive, including the Cale July Studio tape.
One thing that was striking in listening to the archives was that, as wonderful as some of the early Reed demos were, the archives shed little light on how we got from these quirky, dark, doo-wop influenced folky songs to the Banana Album.

Wick Pick
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Re: A Day of Listening at the Lincoln Center Library

Post by Wick Pick » 07 Apr 2019 15:46

Very interesting about PB Eyes. I had been wondering if the 'the fact that you are married' lyric was in there. Knowing the date of when Shelley Albin gets married might help with the dating of the rewritten lyrics.
Many thanks again!

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iaredatsun
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Re: A Day of Listening at the Lincoln Center Library

Post by iaredatsun » 07 Apr 2019 19:41

I have written to the LR Archive to ask about the 'missing' July '68 recordings. I will report back.
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threechordwonder
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Re: A Day of Listening at the Lincoln Center Library

Post by threechordwonder » 07 Apr 2019 20:20

Many more thanks for the PBE lyrics, it's good to see they contain the germs of the song we love (well, sad, mad and pure).

Now, "Wrap your troubles" was rehearsed with a girl called Electra who was hitting a sarinda so hard her knuckles bled. See https://www.uncut.co.uk/features/john-c ... co-30063/3 and scroll down to "There she goes again" for Cale's notes.

I guess it would sound like hitting a box (although it's a folk fiddle from Afghanistan, Pakistan or India).

hkmartin
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Re: A Day of Listening at the Lincoln Center Library

Post by hkmartin » 07 Apr 2019 22:53

"Wrap your troubles" was rehearsed with a girl called Electra who was hitting a sarinda so hard her knuckles bled
Ha! Great find! That's definitely what it was. Whenever the whatever-it-was was whacked, there was the sound of strings ringing. It totally could have been a stringed instrument. Glad to learn it wasn't Lou or Cale doing the whacking. Whoever it was had no sense of time. I guess Electra was the mystery female on the tape.

hkmartin
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Re: A Day of Listening at the Lincoln Center Library

Post by hkmartin » 07 Apr 2019 23:27

Last installment of my notes - this is for the solo stuff I got to:

Lou Reed Solo Acoustic Demos
I think I just listened to the first song. Goods sound quality. My notes say there was a female singing harmonies in I’m So Free. Would like to come back to this one.

Home recordings with Bettye Kronstad
I listened to the two unreleased songs, which I thought were quite nice. The first was a quiet ballad – difficult to hear the words. The second was a bluesy folk song. Lyrics I noted were “Too many people on the ground. When I’m walking around, people seem to knock me down.”

Lou Reed – New Songs
Also good sound. Acoustic demos. I listened to “I Want to Be Black”. Musically, it sounded nice, but, believe it or not, the words were toned down considerably before they were recorded. I know Lou was trying to make an ironic statement or something, but ick!! This is one which might have been better off remaining locked in the vaults.

Electric Rock Symphony
I had no idea what this was. Lou doing some electronic noodling. Perhaps a precursor to MMM before it was sped up and multitracked? Who knows?

Blue Mask
I remember reading that Quine was pissed off about Lou mixing him way down in the final mix, so I listened to a few songs. Maybe some validity to his claim. Some of the sounds sounded different. Not night-and-day different, but different. This is another one I’d like to revisit.

Lou Doing Lennon Songs
Yup – Lou doing Lennon Songs. I think I listened to Jealous Guy.

Letter to the Vatican
This was a nice surprise. This is from the Ruben Blades album which Lou wrote a few songs for, Letter to the Vatican being the best one. Whenever I heard Blades sing it, I pictured Lou. Well, here we have Lou singing it. I think it’s the same backing track. Not Lou’s best vocal performance – he’s doing his talk-singing thing, but still cool.

Sally Can’t Dance
There was a question on the other thread about L.A. Bars, so I thought I’d give it a listen to solve some of the mystery. It sounded so familiar, but I knew it was an unknown song. It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out it was NY Stars with a different vocal track.

There was tons of the Lou studio stuff I would have loved to dig into more, but there is no time

Finally, I thought I’d clear up the mystery, discussed in the other thread, on the Live at the Rainbow Theater tape, which had some unlikely songs, like Chelsea Girls and It Was a Pleasure Then on the second side. Sorry to disappoint, but the first side was a low sound quality bootleg, but the second side was just a mix of studio recordings. Not live. Not from 1974. Not sure how this made it to the archives.

Well, that’s it for me! At least until I make it back to the archives again. I’m sure other people will have vastly different takes from mine as others explore this treasure Laurie (and Lou!) left for us. Looking forward to hearing other opinions (both consenting and dissenting!) on the tracks I heard and to hearing more about all the tracks I didn’t get to.

Wick Pick
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Re: A Day of Listening at the Lincoln Center Library

Post by Wick Pick » 07 Apr 2019 23:49

Thanks again, great work. What an amazing find if that is actually Electra on tape with John and Lou!

Questions: So would you say LA Bars is a different song for NY Stars? Different vocal melody? Or just the same song with different lyrics?
Cheeers

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pineappleaftermath
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Re: A Day of Listening at the Lincoln Center Library

Post by pineappleaftermath » 08 Apr 2019 00:04

Thanks for sharing your notes!
For the piano tracks, do you think they were Lou or Cale playing? I assumed piano stuff would be Cale, but you said Lou played some songs on piano so now I wonder.

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iaredatsun
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Re: A Day of Listening at the Lincoln Center Library

Post by iaredatsun » 08 Apr 2019 01:01

Doesn't Lou play piano on WLWH song?
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hkmartin
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Re: A Day of Listening at the Lincoln Center Library

Post by hkmartin » 08 Apr 2019 02:10

Questions: So would you say LA Bars is a different song for NY Stars? Different vocal melody? Or just the same song with different lyrics?
I'm a bit of an unreliable witness because it took me a day to make the connection, but I believe it was the exact same instrumental track with a completely different vocal track with completely different lyrics. I think different-ish melody, to the extent the song really had a melody in the first place. Whether that constitutes a different song is a judgement call. I don't think the similarity of the names is an accident, though.
For the piano tracks, do you think they were Lou or Cale playing?
Positively Lou. Cale's only participation was that he was the audience. Lou was playing the songs for Cale, not with him.

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