It’s a fact that the Velvet Underground’s first release only sold in the thousands. It’s widely rumored that nearly everyone who did buy that fateful 1967 full-length, The Velvet Underground and Nico, was so inspired by what they heard that they would eventually form a band.
Not only has scene stalwart Henning Ohlenbusch heard said rumor, but as he prepares to pull double duty at the Lou Reed tribute show slated for the Iron Horse this Thursday, Jan. 9 by performing with both his School for the Dead and The Fawns, he says he certainly gets it.
“I was barely a teen when my brother told me about everyone buying Velvet and starting bands,” he recalls. “Little did he know that I’d end up dedicating most of my life to being in bands. But I’ve been playing Lou’s songs since I’ve been playing guitar. I’m a big fan, and I’m not only excited to be performing but I also can’t wait to see what everyone else does.”
Ray Mason of fellow participants The Lonesome Brothers revealed that he’ll probably educate as much as entertain with his proposed setlist.
“We’re playing both sides of a single that Lou had in 1962 under the name Lewis Reed,” he explains. “The titles are ‘Your Love’ and ‘Merry Go Round’... kind of doo-wop, rock ’n’ roll, pre-Beatles.”
“I still say The Beatles and the Velvet Underground contain all I really need in my musical diet,” adds The Fawns/School for the Dead skinman Brian Marchese. “Like a lot of the most fascinating pop stars, Lou invited academic analysis because he was a master at the art of contradiction, like Dylan. And so the joke was always on the ones who took everything he said as gospel. That whole ‘more than two chords and you risk playing jazz’ quote is such a joke if you’re a musician who has ever tried figuring out, say, “Candy Says.’ Lot of chords there, Mr. ‘Keep It Simple.’”
Although The Winterpills’ Philip Price is the first to admit he came late to the Lou Reed party personally, he notes that once he got it, he’s been all in ever since.
“A punk and a romantic, rebellion and straight-up grit and harmonic joy, minimal but also deceptively complex, full of street and noise and wisdom and an open-hearted love of art,” Price says of Reed and his work.
Tix for Ride Into The Sun: A Tribute to Lou Reed are $10 in advance, $13 at the door, with proceeds benefitting Cancer Connection. For the full list of performers and more information, kindly point your browser to iheg.com.
In other news, congrats to Western Mass.’ Killswitch Engage for the second Grammy nomination in the local metalmeisters’ storied career. The band will compete against Volbeat, Anthrax, Black Sabbath and Dream Theater in the Best Metal Performance category for its tune “In Due Time.”
“It’s refreshing to see metal being noticed by the Grammys and we hope in the future it receives even more exposure and recognition,” the five-piece said of the honor in a jointly released statement.
Last but not least, Maxxtone frontman Aaron Fay checked in to crow about his recent Springfield Falcon experience.
“Definitely one for the musical bucketlist,” he says of performing the national anthem with six-stringer Pete Maserati prior to the Dec. 26 home game. “It started when I met the team’s vice president of business development during a Fat Cat gig over the summer. Turns out, he recognized me from Orange Crush when we had played his college 13 years ago. Business cards were exchanged, and the rest, as they say, was history!”
Fay, Maserati and Maxxtone will return to Springfield Thursday, Jan. 16 when they host their patented Rock Star Karaoke series at Theodores’ downtown.•
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