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The Velvet Underground Tear ‘Venus In Furs’ Apart in Rare Color Footage

The Velvet Underground

Soon after releasing the 45th anniversary reissue of their self-titled third studio album, the Velvet Underground have a new piece of mid-century nostalgia for you: the only known in-color clip of the band performing live. Shot by Andy Warhol in 1967, the 33-minute footage features the band playing classics like “I’m Waiting For The Man,” “Run Run Run,” “Venus In Furs,” and frequently zeroes in on shimmying baby boomer audience members — many of whom are probably mellowed out on grass or tripping on acid. Ah, to be young. 

An accompanying YouTube description delves further into Warhol’s camera techniques:

This newly unearthed film, which Warhol shot during a concert at the Boston Tea Party, features a variety of filmmaking techniques. Sudden in-and-out zooms, sweeping panning shots, in-camera edits that create single frame images and bursts of light like paparazzi flash bulbs going off mirror the kinesthetic experience of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, with its strobe lights, whip dancers, colorful slide shows, multi-screen projections, liberal use of amphetamines, and overpowering sound. It is a significant find indeed for fans of the Velvets, being one of only two known films with synchronous sound of the band performing live, and this the only one in color. It’s fitting that it was shot at the Boston Tea Party, as the Beantown club became one of the band’s favorite, most-played venues, and was where a 16-year-old Jonathan Richman faithfully attended every show and befriended the group. Richman, who would later have his debut recordings produced by John Cale, and later yet record a song about the group, is just possibly seen in the background of this film.

Watch via YouTube