Quadruple whammmy of sorts of The Velvet Underground‘s hypnotic and practically one-chord feedback-fest, Run Run Run.
First up, an original rare as could be 1966 acetate version by Warhol’s lapdogs themsleves. Recorded by Norman Dolph at Scepter Studios in NYC this rough demo version (complete with snaps, crackles and all manner of pops) was long-forgotten about until a passerby with a keen nose for musical history sniffed out the one and only acetate of the session (above) on a Chelsea (not London) street vendor’s record stall. The lucky so-and-so paid just 75 cents for it and ended up selling it for $25,000 on eBay. The definitive full account of finding the acetate can be read here. Do yourself a favour and click. It’s well worth taking the time to read. Then start pondering. Why don’t people sell stuff like this on the streets where I live?
Next, a faithful, fantastically feedback soaked version by Argentine garage band Capsula. Clearly influenced by yer Velvets, Stooges, and all manner of tub-thumping garage rockers, they’ve been staple features of SXSW for the past couple of years. This version is taken from a low-key 2007 Velvet Underground tribute album. Look at the picture above. You know how its going to sound.
You probably have the next version already. Taken from Beck‘s excellent Record Club series where he and some pals play and record a classic album in it’s entirety, this version replaces the original’s guitar maelstrom with analoguey synth bleeps and bloops. A bit like Stereolab. In fact, a big bit like Stereolab. But you knew that already.
Lastly, we have the Strange Boys. This track isn’t actually a cover of Run Run Run, but it might as well be. Wearing their influences proudly on their skinny-fit sleeves, the Texans are unashamedly retro to the core. If you’re a fan of Nuggetsy garage band stuff or Television or The Strokes (and isn’t it all the same thing anyway?), their Strange Boys..and Girls album from a year or so ago is well worth seeking out. Probation Blues, the Run Run Run-alike is taken from the self-same LP. You’d probably like their latest offering, Be Brave, as well.
In ironic fashion I was also going to put up LCD Soundsystem’s ‘Drunk Girls’ . But you know what that sounds like anyway, probably got it too. If so, you’ll be well aware of the debt it owes not to the VU track featured above, but to the Velvet’s White Light, White Heat. I love the track, I really do, but come on man! Blatant rip off. Or just plain theft. Ach! What goes around comes around ‘n all that jazz. And we won’t even mention Jason Pierce or Spiritualised. No. We won’t. But we will direct you to this unbelievable slab of faux-stoned vinyl copyism…
Whisper it – I love this track too. And John Cale got a writing credit anyway. What’s the big deal?