If you think of the first half of my BOOTLEG1969 curation as the general release and of this sequel as the bonus material on “the deluxe edition,” you’ll have it about right.
In this three-part expansion pack, I’ve tried to capture everything else from the audience/bootleg tapes that I consider to be compelling listening. I count 18 hours of source tapes, which I’ve curated down to 6.75 hours with my two compilations.
As with the main compilation, here I’ve endeavored to stack up performances in ways that push them as far out of the bootleg morass and as close to the old “1969 Live” album experience as possible. Nevertheless, the average fidelity of this second set is lower than the first one.
Just Like Sister Ray Set (120 minutes)
Aside from “The Complete Matrix Tape” performance, 11 “Sister Rays” from the Reed/Morrison/Tucker/Yule period appear to have made it onto tape. I judge 5.3 of them to be essential. Two appeared on my initial mix, and these are the other 3.3.
Do you need this much Sister Ray? Yes, of course. I wish there were 50 soundboard recordings.
- The Story of Sister Ray (edit of 5-11-69 with 3-13-69 coda) (9:38)
This is a nearly all-vocal edit of the song that proceeds directly through the story of Duck and Sally, Rosie and Miss Rayon, Cecil and the sailor, the narrator and his ding-dong. It begins with Reed introducing the characters and their situation and concludes with a mutation into “The Murder Mystery,” in which “Sister Ray’s” murdered sailor gets moved from the carpet to the casket to the parapet, and so on. Two otherwise tedious/abrasive recordings of “Sister Ray” happened to contain the pieces to make this totally approachable version of the song – as a song.
- Sister Ray (12-12-68 Boston) (25:33)
- Sister Ray (11-7-69 San Francisco – Quine) (24:03)
- Sister Ray (1-10-69 Boston) (21:04)
Quiet Again (50 minutes)
In some cases, the audience recordings captured quieter songs quite beautifully, even though the same recordings might offer only terrible versions of loud songs.
My initial curation included one version each of these songs; here are the other pleasing versions. You might like some of them better than the ones I initially picked.
Reed’s vocals on the 7-11-69 “Candy Says” and “Pale Blue Eyes” are fantastic. Both recordings begin rough, but they straighten out.
- Jesus (edit 10-68 Cleveland)
- Candy Says (v. Reed 7-11-69 Boston)
- Pale Blue Eyes (7-11-69 Boston)
- Sunday Morning (11-9-69 San Francisco)
- Jesus (3-13-69 Boston)
- After Hours (11-8-69 San Francisco)
- I’m Sticking with You (11-8-69 San Francisco)
- PA: The texture of adultery (10-18-69 Dallas)
- Pale Blue Eyes (10-18-69 Dallas)
- PA: One of our says songs (10-18-69 Dallas)
- Candy Says (v. Yule 10-18-69 Dallas)
- I’m Set Free (1-10-69 Boston)
- 3rd Album Radio Ad
- Heroin (8-2-69 Rindge, NH)
- Jesus (edit 3-15-69 Boston)
Underground: Lo-Fi Jams (72 minutes)
The Velvet Underground rocking out is one of the best sounds ever, but it’s also what typically threw audience tape recorders into the red, particularly during verses and choruses. As the “Rock Set” on my initial compilation sadly demonstrated, finding even one really good, end-to-end recording of a loud song on the audience tapes is sometimes a challenge.
This collection includes all the additional minutes of fiercely-played material that I find exciting, even at low, or very low fidelity.
A few tracks include the vocals; all the others are instrumental edits. Because of this, you can pretend that this is a lost jam session tape.
I swear that this is the best remaining version of “Beginning to See the Light.” The song never (seems to have) had a jam, and there’s nothing in this performance that stands out, but somehow it seemed like the song/riff had to be on a low-fi jams mix.
- I Can’t Stand It (edit 1-10-69 Boston)
- What Goes On (edit 1-10-69 Boston)
- Run Run Run (edit 1-10-69 Boston)
- Foggy Notion (edit 10-68 Cleveland)
- I Can’t Stand It (edit 10-18-69 Dallas)
- What Goes On (8-2-69 Rindge, NH)
- White Light White Heat (edit 3-15-69 Boston)
- Ferryboat Bill (3-15-69 Boston)
- I Can’t Stand It (edit 10-68 Cleveland)
- What Goes On (11-69 San Francisco)
- I Can’t Stand It (3-13-69 Boston)
- Beginning to See the Light (1-10-69 Boston)
And that’s it. Everything from this period’s audience tapes that I recommend you take seriously and keep handy, polished and arranged to the best of my ability.