..Actually, I’m going to play this early Velvet Underground song and then I’m going to play a Phil Ochs song. For some reason, Phil Ochs and The Velvet Underground have this weird connection for me. I mean,they got me into poetry as much as Bob.. well more than Bob Dylan, and as much as Frank O’Hara
[Student/technical assistant plays The Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning” – JC: “Yeah go ahead..just turn it up here” – Student: The beginning’s real slow. JC: Yeah right.. can you hear this?..” – and, at the conclusion of the song – Student: Shall I let it roll or what? – JC: No, no, turn it off for a second, but leave it there…]
And the main point was you could do what.. I mean.. you could evoke through rock songs, and you didn’t have to, anymore, like, write songs that were, you know, like written for Dion and the Belmonts or The Four Seasons, which would tell little stories and which were Top 40 songs because they were.. you know.. Everything was contained within it, to, like, certain musical structure around it, and, I mean, in this way, I mean, no matter where you were when you heard this song, it evoked these incredible memories, and stuff…
main influences was Delmore Schwartz, you know. I mean… And he was incredibly
influenced by Delmore Schwartz, because he idolized him, and, I mean, I don’t know if.. I think Dylan was coming from a much stronger, like Rimbaud–ish, mystical, you know, breakthrough-at-any-cost type of notion, and I think, you know, his means of doing that was through this really frantic imagery, when he started to go electric, and just, you know, throwing everything into his songs to evoke.. And, like, that way,..I mean… So, in that sense, that’s why it was much more powerful at the time, because it simply, just, you know, like, knocked everybody over.
was kind of off the beam with his kind of.. all that surrealism ( – like Marianne Moore said about Surrealism, the trouble with is that, you know, you have to
sustain that sense of surprise constantly, or else it lapses into total lethargy so easily) And so, after a while, when I listen to Dylan’s songs, (which I idolize), songs from, like, (from) Highway 61 Revisited, they didn’t have that same intelligent quality , which, I think, which Lou’s early songs had, or which Dylan’s songs had, say, on Blonde on Blonde, (which were much more sublime, and much more noble, in a sense, you know). And that’s probably why The Velvet Underground, it’s, probably you know, continually influenced other bands, in a way, because (you can) come at them at so many different ways, because they evoke in a much more subtle way ((given that) British-type bands and American-type bands – like R.E.M, or stuff like that – or British bands – like U2, things like that, you know – command from a really…. their own direction – whereas… ). I mean Dylan’s thing was pretty.. you know, it kind of covered… I mean it was too easy to lapse into imitation to Dylan, you know, because he spelled it out so directly….