SIDE 1 TRACK 4 – “Venus In Furs”
One of our oldest songs. Lou brought this and “Waiting For The Man” into Pickwick when he was a jobbing songwriter. It was a poetry song, which he used to play on acoustic guitar. I couldn’t concentrate when it was a folk number because it felt like Joan Baez to me. Anyway, he kept on shoving the lyrics in my face – “read the fucking lyrics!” – so I did. The first time we played it at our Ludlow Street apartment in fall ’65, we just locked ourselves in and did the damn thing as a 15-minute jam. Again, we re-did this in Hollywood and the more I talk about that, the more I realise we really didn’t do anything great in New York. I don’t think this has been said before. The Velvets recorded their debut in LA? We really may have done.
SIDE 1 TRACK 5 – “Run Run Run”
A great stage song because it was so uptempo. You felt as if you were on the New York streets living the song out; like all of ’em, I guess, which was Lou’s genius. It had that chukka-chukka bluesy groove, and I’d keep the riff going and Lou would solo above it. It was weird stuff. I loved Champion Jack Dupree, but Lou knew a helluva lot more blues than I did. “Run…” was a song that worked live. We knew everything couldn’t be a “Black Angel’s Death Song” or a “Heroin”, which were designed to let off steam. This was less claustrophobic, a moment of release.
SIDE 1 TRACK 6 – “All Tomorrow’s Parties”
This wasn’t originally written for Nico at all. We did a 20-minute version of it in Ludlow Street in ’65 and then we recorded it at Scepter, and probably TTG, with Nico’s vocal double-tracked. The single version [the first Velvets single was released to NYC radio stations before the album’s release] is slightly different. Nico sang very well on most of it, although a lot of it was out of tune. The song was about a girl called Darryl, a beautiful petite blonde with three kids, two of whom were taken away from her. Me and Lou were both trying to win her affections. We both had our day in the sun. We were at Darryl’s apartment one day and she had this boyfriend who was a Polish hitter, a construction guy who, if you gave him 200 bucks, he’d beat the shit out of someone for you. So we’re over there and Darryl’s asleep and she’s got this baby-sitter called Pepe hanging around and the Polish guy turns up and I’m playing a recorder. He says to me, “If you don’t stop, I’ll shove it down your fucking throat.” Lou was beside himself with fear. I carried on playing and the Pole goes, “OK, tough guy, come outside and I’ll show you how to fight.” He taught me a few moves, some boxing feints. Lou said as were leaving, “Are you fucking nuts? That guy was gonna kill us both.”