Yet Another View: A New Velvet Underground Song

Feb. 25, 2008
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It's the type of news that usually turns out to be a hoax. Late last week, an unreleased 1967 Velvet Underground bootleg with a never-before-heard song hit the Internet.

Even without the new cut, this would be a huge deal. While the Velvet Underground's post-John Cale line-up was bootlegged often enough, little live material from their early days has surfaced. The band mellowed considerably once Cale left, so Live at the Gymnasium is one of the few concert recordings that captures the rawer, shooting-up-in-an-alley sound the band is most infamous for.

Before he reinvented himself as an eccentric but unflappably cool rocker, Lou Reed was actually pretty damn excitable, and he brings (ironically) a youthful enthusiasm to the bootleg's new cut, "I'm Not a Young Man Anymore." The titular refrain is less a lament than a proud declaration. "I got five nickels in my pocket," Reed adds occasionally, "You know I'll get me some more." It's a great little song.

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