John Cale
Fear Is A Man's Best Friend - John Cale

Tour 1965

Myddle Class

Summit 1965-12-11

On December 11th The Velvet Underground are booked by journalist Al Aronowitz to play their first official gig - they are paid $ 75.00 - at the Summit High school, Summit, New Jersey. They are the opening act for the Myddle Class. Also on the bill were The Forty Fingers as co-support.

Angus MacLise can't cope with the idea that this is a scheduled set:

"You mean we start when they tell us to start and we have to end when they tell us to? I can't work that way."

He quits. Enter Maureen Tucker on percussion.

The Velvets opened their short set with There She Goes Again. Also included Venus In Furs and Heroin. The audience was far from ready.

"On our first gig, we were so loud and horrifying to the highchool audience that the majority of them, teachers, students and parents, fled screaming out of the room. The Myddle Class were really pissed off when we came off stage. I tried to apologize to the lead singer, but secretly I was exhilirated. Once we had started I was sure nobody xould stop us because we knew exacgtly what we were doing, and we were good at it. About that I had no doubt."

Sterling Morrison about this gig:

"At Summit we opened with "There She Goes Again", then played "Venus In Furs", and ended with "Heroin". The murmur of surprise that greeted our appearance as the curtain went up increased to a roar of disbelief once we started to play "Venus", and swelled to a mighty howl of outrage and bewilderment by the end of "Heroin". Al Aronowitz observed that we seemed to have an oddly stimulating and polarizing effect on audiences."

© 1999- Hans Werksman