The debut album by The Velvet Underground was released on 12 March 1967 and was almost universally ignored by critics and the record-buying public at the time.
Financed by Andy Warhol (who is listed as the album’s producer, although he had little involvement in the actual recording of the album), the 4-day recording sessions cost between and estimated $1500-$3000 ($10,000 - $20,000 in today’s dollars). While many involved insist that John Cale actually produced the album, Cale credited Tom Wilson.
Due to the controversial (for the time) subject matter of the songs, the label didn’t promote the album, radio station’s wouldn’t play it, and magazines refused to carry ads for it. To add more problems, Eric Emerson, another Warhol Factory member, sued over the unauthorized use of his (upside down) image on the back cover and demanded payment. Instead of settling the suit, all albums were recalled from stores and a black sticker affixed over Emerson’s image until a new cover without Emerson could be printed.
The band ended their relationship with Andy Warhol shortly after the album’s release, fired Nico (although the band continued to write material for her, and play on her solo records), but continue to work with Tom Wilson.
I’ve been reading too many imagines on @theartofimagining13 … this is the first chapter of the story monster it created.
Chapter One - Mutual Nerdery
You sneak up behind your co-star where he is stretched out on your couch, a beat up copy of the play and your cat settled on his lap, and take a quick picture with your head on his shoulder, both of you making faces. You looked a little ragged after working for hours together in your cramped living room, going over the different versions of the text and other insights into your characters. You posted the picture on twitter for your modest fan base, “Hours discussing Shakespeare? I can think of worse ways to spend a Saturday night. #MutualNerdery.” When he’d suggested these little “dates” to help develop your character’s chemistry and to research together, you half thought it was just his way of flirting, being that smart and charming, but it wasn’t, it was just wonderful conversations, food and kinship with your co-star, you were getting use to it now, you were friends. Less than ten minutes after you posted the picture, you look at your cell phone and can’t help but laugh, you knew that your best friend would not let the selfie you just posted slide by without a comment.
Please tell me you did not just post a no-makeup selfie with your hair in pigtails. – Lou
She would focus on your hair. She seemed to miss the point of the tweet. You had been keeping your next job underwraps for weeks, not even telling your best friend, Lou, that you were headed to Broadway. You shoot off two texts in a row.
No comment on ANYTHING else in that picture?
You’ve been begging me for weeks to tell you about the next project, well…
“What are you giggling about?” You show him the texts and he laughs too. “I’m looking forward to meeting Lou, by the way.”
You wave him off playfully, “You’ll love her, everyone does, she’s me, but younger, prettier, and put together. We always say I got the brains and she got the looks.”
His head tipped back in laughter as my text alert went off again.
Yeah I saw, Tom Hiddleston, that’s no excuse for pigtails. – Lou
You start to reply when Lou’s ringtone, The Pet Shop Boys, Opportunities, starts playing and Tom just laughs harder as you pick up and put her on speaker. “Hey Lou. How’re the kids?”
She launches into a mini-rant, ignoring you entirely. “Why was Tom Hiddleston wearing your glasses, in your living room, looking like he slept there last night? (Y/N), I swear to God that if you were wearing those damn pajama pants when you took that picture, I will find a way to teleport to New York just to punch you in the tit.”
Another, frankly adorable, round of full bodied laughs shake Tom as you look down at my outfit, an oversized Steven Universe T-shirt and grey flannel pj pants that were easily a decade old, and shrug. Tom piped up, “Your guess is spot on. Tom Hiddleston here, I am guessing you are the notorious Lou.”
“(Y/N)! Am I on speaker?” You can hear her start to shift around. Only Lou would primp because she was on speakerphone with an attractive man. “Hello, Tom, Yes, I’m Lou. I am the woman who is going to punch your co-star in the tit for posting a selfie on twitter looking like she just rolled out of bed with you.“
Tom’s eyes went wide a moment before another boisterous round of laughter started up.
You choke a bit, “Jesus, Lou! So classy.”
“Hey, at least you can’t see her stripey socks in the picture. Small miracles.” He kept laughing.
Lou’s light and pretty laughter rings through the room as you bop Tom in the back of the head with a throw pillow before he follows suit and almost knocks you onto his lap with the pillow next to him. You shove his legs off the couch and park yourself next to him.
“(Y/N) I swear to God. Can take me off speaker, Darling?” You just shake your head, and put the phone back to your ear. “Are you trying to repel an attractive, single man? Wait, have you already slept with him and that’s why you are comfortable giving up on looking fuckable? But wait, Shakespeare? What show? Why are you two researching in your apartment? What is HE wearing?”
You answer in order once she’s wound down a bit. “No and God no, not yet anyway.” Tom raises his eyebrow and you give him an innocent look, ”Yes, Much Ado, Because I live in this city and he doesn’t, hoodie and trackpants, and to the answer the first question, we have the same prescription and didn’t notice for an hour that we had accidentally swapped glasses. Did that cover it all?”
You could hear Lou shaking her head, “You’re going to marry him, just watch.”
That made you laugh and Tom raised an eyebrow at you as you put up one finger and shook your head to get your breath back. He just pats you on the head, standing to answer the door buzzer and fetch the take-out you had ordered. “Never, Lou, I will always be yours. Now, we need to go, our food is here.”
“See, you’re already we and our, it’s curtains for you and me (Y/N). Just make sure my Matron of Honor gown is pretty, I want to look good in the pictures next to Benedict.”
“You’re cute, shut up and call me later, love to Max and the kids.”
You hang up and grab plates and utensils from the kitchen before settling in again with dinner, Shakespeare, and Tom.
The Velvet Underground’s 2nd album was released on 30 January 1968.
Following the poor sales of their first record, the band parted with both Andy Warhol and Nico, and recorded White Light/White Heat in 2 days (produced by Tom Wilson). It didn’t help the sales any, but once again, the music proved to be highly influential.
The commercial failure of the album heightened tensions between John Cale and Lou Reed. Cale wanted the music to continue in even more experimental ways, while Reed wanted to achieve popular success. In the fall of 1968, Reed held a band meeting without Cale and announced that either Cale had to go or the band would be dissolved. Cale was fired.
People still ask me why Gyllenhaal is one of my favorite actors (in which he is at the top since last year for me, with McConaughey in second). He dramatically gained so much muscle mass for his new role in Southpaw, compared to his loosing 30lbs for Nightcrawler (which you should all have seen by now) . If you have not seen this gentleman’s work, you are sorely missing out each and every second. He has easily joined the shape-shifting league that holds an impressive roster already: Bale (The Machinist, American Psycho, American Hustle), Hardy (Bronson, TDKR), McConaughey (DBC), Fassbender (Hunger).
Recommended films: End of Watch, Prisoners, Enemy, Donnie Darko (obviously), Jarhead, Source Code. Also watch The Shoes like, Time to dance music video for his main cameo role.