By Clinton Heylin
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Additional info for From the Velvets to the Voidoids: The Birth of American Punk Rock
According to Morrison, The Velvet Underground was not originally devised to sound the way that it came out. Sterling Morrison: All our effects boxes were locked in a munitions box that was stolen at the airport when we were leaving for the West Coast to record. We saw that all our tricks had vanished, and instead of trying to replace them, we just thought that we could do. without them. It is difficult to give credence to Morrison's explanation, that the 'closet sound' of the third album was simply down to circumstance.
Unremittingly inept, the Asheton brothers, who were largely responsible for the Stooges' pneumatic noise, were only just beginning to master their instruments when they signed to Elektra. What they did have was an ability to extemporize while Iggy did his stage acrobatics and indulged in his unique audience interplay. Ron Asheton: Usually we got up there and jammed one riff and built into an energy freak-out, until finally we'd broken a guitar or one of my hands would be twice as big as the other and my guitar would be covered in blood.
The Dream Weapon was a primitive mixed-media show. The basic idea was that Piero's films would be shown through a series of veils on to a screen 12 From the Velvets to the Voidoids while dancers danced around and 'behind the screen a strange music was being generated' (by Reed, Cale, MacLise and Morrison). The experience convinced the more mainstream Morrison of the validity of what the Velvets were trying to do. Sterling Morrison: For me the path suddenly became clear - I could work on music that was different from the ordinary rock & roll, since Piero had given me a context to perform it in.