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The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground and Nico (33 1/3 Series) by Joe Harvard
The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground and Nico (33 1/3 Series)

Vfan, June 26, 2006

Dynamite.I liked this as much as any book on rock I've ever read. Only disappointment is it was a bit short, I wanted way more when I finished. but all the books in this series are that way, guess it's how they were designed.

This is a really well written book. I read it in two sittings, and would have done it in one if I didn't have to go to work. It's the third book in the 33 and 1/3 series I've read. I liked them all, but this is the best so far. After the first sitting I went out and bought the first VU record, the one the book is about, and it's become one of my favorites now (I never owned a VU or Lou Reed record before, maybe because I'm 27 it was before my time). Even when he was covering some of the detailed stuff about how long it took to record the record and what is cost, which was the dryest part of the book, it held my attention. But when he wrote about the songs, and the band, and his own background that led to writing the book, Joe Harvard was funny as hell. When he used parts of his life to make a point I think he was at his best - he still got in all the information I wanted to know about the Velvet U., including some stuff I haven't seen in other books on them I've read, but doing it the way he did made it seem fresh.

I gave my copy to a friend who has played guitar, and recorded bands, for many years. He was impressed, and he said that the writer really knows his stuff.

I wanted to read another book by Joe Harvard, a longer one. right away. I went looking but didn't find one, but I did come across a few articles, and found his web site which has lots of stories about music and bands, mostly in Boston. HArvard was a musician there and worked with many bands - I've heard of some that got big later on, but even the stories on bands I never heard of are good enough that I read a bunch. The ones about the writers band the Bones are too funny - someone should make a movie on them. There ws about a nundred articles, and lots of pictures - all free which is great. I spent so much time on it at work I almost got fired but the stories are really cool and funny.

The idea of using musicians to write about records is a good one, and there 2 surprises - one is noone has done a series like this before, and two is that the musicians Continuum picked are pretty good writers! So far I think Joe Harvard is the best among them, and I really hope he writes another book, maybe about boston - there's enough on his website to do at least one book, maybe more! If he makes a book out of it soon, I'll buy that one too. I give this book a five out of five! Just wish it was five times as long.
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