Doug Yule on lead guitar at Max’s Kansas City?

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Doug Yule on lead guitar at Max’s Kansas City?

Post by fletchercjohnson » 18 Apr 2022 17:10

In Richie Unterberger’s Velvet Underground book he prints a review of the 1970 Max’s Kansas City shows that first appeared in the magazine Gay Power. Author of the review Bill Vehr describes the band: "Then there's Sterling Morrison, tall, dark, and cool as a cucumber, playing the sexiest lead-guitar since Keith Richard, especially on ‘What Goes On.' While Doug Yule, bass guitarist, sometimes vocalist, and lead guitar on 'Sweet Nothings,’ is having a ball.”

This got me thinking: Were Doug and Sterling regularly switching instruments for ‘Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ at their Max’s performances? Doug plays lead guitar on the album version of the song so this swap does not seem out of the question.

While ‘Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ does not appear on any of the official Live at Max’s Kansas City releases we do have 59 seconds of it from the Joseph Freeman sampler and it’s true that the guitar licks on this short live clip are almost identical to the Loaded version.

In another bootleg, recorded at the Second Fret May 9, 1970, Sterling plays lead guitar on the song, evident by Lou shouting “Okay Sterl“ before the solo break. The phrasing on the guitar leads from this performance are totally different from the ones heard on Loaded or the Freeman tape.