“Rock and Roll” by the Velvet Underground. A remarkable film for a remarkable song.
I was too young to appreciate the Velvet Underground when they originally released their albums during the 1960s. Besides, I seriously doubt that they were given air time on Australian radio at the time.
Later, during my first year at university I met a chap named Paul who was a fan of Reed, the Velvet Underground, Iggy & The Stooges, Radio Birdman and similar artists. Paul had an amazing collection of live recordings of these performers on cassette tape as well as an impressive collection of albums. He allowed me to borrow a copy of one of his Velvet Underground LPs and I heard “Rock and Roll” in it’s originally released form. It blew me away. You can hear it as the soundtrack to the short film in the YouTube video above.
The song was originally released on the Loaded album in 1970. I have since collected other performances of the same track by the Velvet Underground, both live and in the studio.
“Rock and Roll” is one of those songs that makes me stop. It takes precedence at that point in time. It defines the moment. It defines me.