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1966 – 1967 Timeline Map Tour
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  • January 1966
  • February 1966
    • February 7:
      Andy Warhol introduces his latest project The Velvet Underground at the USA Artists TV Show. They play 'Heroin' and 'Venus in Furs'.
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      February 8-13:
      Andy Warhol's Up Tight featuring the Velvet Underground and Nico was presented by the Film-Makers' Cinematheque (120 W. 42nd St. NY, NY 10036).
  • March 1966
  • April 1966
    • View on map
      April 1-30:
      The Exploding Plastic Inevitable show opens for a month-long run at The Dom on St. Mark's Place(19-25 St. Mark's place, NY, NY 10003) in the East Village.
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      April 18-23:
      Norman Dolph, a Columbia Records producer, records nine songs with the band at the Scepter studio(254 W. 54th ST. NY, NY 10019). A handful of copies of an acetate of the session are made.
    • April 26:
      The EPI appear at the NOW Festival at the National Roller Skating Arena, Washington D.C. Leroy F. Aarons writes April 27, 1966, "The Plastic Inevitable, turned the roller rink into a giant discotheque."
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      April 27:
      Performance at the Filmmaker's Cinematheque (120 W. 42nd St. NY, NY 10036).
  • May 1966
    • May 3-5:
      The Exploding Plastic Inevitable appears at The Trip, Los Angeles, California. The VU are booked to play from May 3 to 18, but the Sheriff closes down the club after the third night due to a legal dispute relating to the wife of one of the operators of the venue.
    • May:
      While the Velvet Underground are out west, The Fugs are booked at The Dom. They play with underground movies screened behind them.
    • May:
      'Waiting for the Man,' 'Venus in Furs,' and 'Heroin' are re-recorded at T.T.G. Studios, Hollywood, California
    • May 27-29:
      Exploding Plastic Inevitable appears with The Mothers of Invention at the Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, California.
  • June 1966
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      June 21-July 3:
      Exploding Plastic Inevitable appears at Poor Richard's, Chicago. They play these shows without Lou Reed, who is at New York's Beth Israel Hospital (280 1st Ave. NY, NY 10003)with hepatitis; without Nico, who took off for Ibiza at the beginning of June; and without Andy. Angus MacLise sits in on drums, Mo switches to bass, and Sterling and John share lead vocals.
  • Summer-Fall 1966
    • July 11:
      Delmore Schwartz dies
    • July-August:
      The single 'All Tomorrow's Parties' b/w 'I'll Be Your Mirror' is the first Velvet Underground recording released. Promotional copies are sent to radio stations, followed by a small number of stock copies distributed to record shops.
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      August:
      The band leaves the Factory for a rehearsal space on Broome Street (424 Broome ST. NY, NY 10013).
    • August:
      The Velvet Underground contributes 'Noise' to the East Village Other LP, a musical companion to the underground weekly of the same name. The album is released by a avant-garde jazz label ESP Disk, who released the Fugs' second and third albums in 1966.
    • August 31-September 4:
      The Exploding Plastic Inevitable appears at the Chrysler Art Museum, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
    • Summer/Fall:
      Andy Warhol shoots The Velvet Underground and Nico - A Symphony of Sound, with the band jamming at the Factory. The footage, full of zooming effects, is intended for projection at the EPI shows. This film has widely been reported as having been shot in January, 1966, but the police officers in the film are wearing summer uniforms and the kids are in shorts.
  • October 1966
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      October 15-29:
      The Exploding Plastic Inevitable plays at the Ballroom Farm (formely The Dom)( 19-25 St. Mark's place, NY, NY 10003) in New York. The engagement may have begun in late September - in a letter to her friend Edward K. Walsh, received September 27, 1966, Susan Pile writes: "Velvets are at Dom in East Village (with Nico Mary Paffgen)."
    • October 29:
      The Exploding Plastic Inevitable appears at The Institute of Contemporary Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.
    • October 30:
      Andy Warhol presents a Halloween Mod Happening with the Exploding Plastic Inevitable at Leicester Airport, Leicester, Massachusetts.
  • November 1966
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      November:
      'Sunday Morning' is recorded at Mayfair Studios (701 7th Ave. Ny, NY 10036), New York, produced by Tom Wilson.
    • November 3:
      The Exploding Plastic Inevitable appears at the Music Hall's Ballroom, Cincinnati, Ohio, Cincinnati Sunday Pictorial Enquirer
    • November 4:
      The Exploding Plastic Inevitable appears at the Valleydale Ballroom, Columbus, Ohio.
    • November 5:
      The Exploding Plastic Inevitable appears at the University of West Virginia, Wheeling
    • November 6:
      The Exploding Plastic Inevitable plays the Masonic Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio
    • November 12:
      The Exploding Plastic Inevitable appears at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
    • November 17-20:
      At the Michigan State Fair Coliseum, Detroit, Michigan Dick Clark hosts the Caravan of Stars Tour. The Velvet Underground plays on the same bill as the Yardbirds, who commence to cover 'I'm Waiting For My Man' in their live set throughout 1967
    • November 20:
      At the Carnaby Street Fun Festival, Michigan State Fairgrounds, Detroit, the Exploding Plastic Inevitable participates in the World's First Mod Wedding Happening, presided over by Andy Warhol.
  • December 1966
    • December:
      'Sunday Morning' b/w 'Femme Fatale' single released.
    • December:
      The Loop flexi single, credited to The Velvet Underground but most likely performed by John Cale, is included in the multi-media magazine Aspen No. 3, designed by Andy Warhol.
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      December 4:
      At Action House,( 50 Austin Blvd. Island Park, New York 11558), Night Beat Magazine presents Freak Out '66 with the Exploding Plastic Inevitable.
    • December 10-11:
      The Exploding Plastic Inevitable plays at the YMHA Auditorium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as part of the Philadelphia Art Festival.
  • January 1967
    • View on map
      January 2-14:
      The Steve Paul & Andy Warhol underground amateur hour featuring the Exploding Plastic Inevitable at Steve Paul's Scene (301 W. 46th St. NY, NY 10036), New York.
    • January 8:
      The Velvet Underground head out to Cleveland, where they perform "Guess I'm Falling in Love" on the TV show Upbeat, Cleveland, Ohio.
    • January 16-23:
      The Velvet Underground plays at the Montreal World's Fair, Canada.
  • February 1967
    • February:
      An untitled seven inch cardboard disc featuring a conversation recorded at the factory with The Velvet Underground and Nico album playing in the background is included among the inserts in the Andy Warhol's Index book published by Random House.
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      February 2-4, 1967:
      The New Mod-Dom,(23 St. Mark's Place New York City, New York 10003)
    • February 4, 1967:
      Phi Epsilon Pi Fraternity, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts
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      February 7-11, 1967:
      The New Mod-Dom, New York City, New York (23 St. Mark's Place New York City, New York 10003)
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      February 14-18, 1967:
      The New Mod-Dom, New York City, New York(23 St. Mark's Place New York City, New York 10003)
    • February 17:
      The Velvet Underground performs at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts
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      February 18:
      The Velvet Underground plays at the film maker's cinematheque(120 W. 42nd St. NY, NY 10036). in New York for the New York Relief Fun Glitter Acidheadspeed Ball & Parade.
  • March 1967
    • March 12:
      The Velvet Underground and NIco is released on Verve Records. According to 'Up-Tight: The Velvet Underground Story,' among the factors delaying the records release was that "a special machine had to be made to make the original cover," which required an Andy Warhol multiple of an offset-printed banana peel sticker applied to the album cover. The many variations in placement of the Warhol signature, and the common displacements of the pink banana ink, reveal what a problematic printing job this was. Craig Braun, who printed the album covers, has corroborated that a special machine had to be acquired in order to affix the banana stickers to the album covers.
    • View on map
      March 15-22:
      The Exploding Plastic Inevitable is back at The Balloon Farm (formerly The Dom)( 19-25 St. Mark's place, NY, NY 10003) for a week.
    • View on map
      March 24-26, 1967:
      The Gymnasium, (434 E. 73rd ST. New York City, New York 10021)
    • March 31-April 1:
      The Exploding Plastic Inevitable appears at the Rhode Island School of Design. Providence, Rhode Island.
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      March 31 & April 2, 1967:
      The Gymnasium, (434 E. 73rd ST. New York City, New York 10021)
  • April 1967
  • May 1967
    • View on map
      May:
      Steve Paul's Scene, New York(301 W. 46th St. NY, NY 10036) hosts the final performance of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable
    • May 26-27:
      The Velvet Underground plays at The Boston Tea Party, Boston, Massachusetts
  • June 1967
    • June 3, 1967:
      Philip Johnson Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut
    • June 9-10:
      The Velvet Underground plays at the Boston Tea Party, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • July 1967
    • July 3-6:
      The A-Go-Go, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, hosts A Happening Starring Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground
    • July 16-18:
      At the Monterey Pop Festival, Monterey, California, Nico makes the scene with her date, Brian Jones.
    • July 19-22 & 26-29:
      The Velvet Underground appears for an extended run at The Trauma, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • July:
      Impresario Fred Hughes arranges for The Velvet Underground to play at Phillip Johnson's Glass House. New Canaan, Connecticut, at a benefit for the Merce Cunningham dance company
  • August 1967
    • August 11-12:
      The Velvet Underground plays the Boston Tea Party, Boston, Massachusetts.
    • August 24, 1967:
      The Boston Tea Party, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Fall 1967
    • Second week of September:
      The Velvet Underground record white light/white heat at Mayfair sound recording studios in New York, with Tom Wilson
    • September 22-24:
      The Velvet Underground plays at The Savory, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Fall:
      The Velvet Underground severs ties with Andy Warhol as manager and hires Steve Sesnick
    • October:
      Nico's solo debut album Chelsea Girl is released by MGM, produced by Tom Wilson. Cale, Reed, and Morrison appear on the album, and several songs (It Was a Pleasure Then, Little Sister, and Chelsea Girl) are Velvets-related compositions.
    • October 29, 1967:
      1967 International and Universal Exposition, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
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      November 13:
      The Velvet Underground perform at a fundraising benefit for WNET/Channel 13 at Lincoln Center, New York (10 Lincoln Center Plaza NY, NY 10023)
    • November:
      White Light/White Heat, b/w Here She Comes Now single is released in radio stations as a promo
  • December 1967
    • December 20, 1967:
      The Cinematheque Coffeehouse, San Francisco, California
    • December 28:
      The Velvet Underground plays The Cinematheque Coffeehouse Palace of Pleasure, San Francisco, California
  • More
    • Andy Warhol became the band's manager in 1965 and suggested they feature the German-born singer Nico on several songs. Warhol's reputation helped the band gain a higher profile. Warhol helped the band secure a coveted recording contract with MGM's Verve Records, with himself as nominal "producer", and gave the Velvets free rein over the sound they created.
    • During their stay with Andy Warhol, the band became part of his multimedia roadshow, Exploding Plastic Inevitable, for which they provided the music. They played shows for several months in New York City, then traveled throughout the United States and Canada until its last installment in May 1967. The show included 16 mm film projections and colors by Warhol. Early promo posters referred to the group as the "erupting plastic inevitable". This soon changed to "the exploding plastic inevitable".
    • In 1966 MacLise temporarily rejoined the Velvet Underground for a few EPI shows when Reed was suffering from hepatitis and unable to perform. For these appearances, Cale sang and played organ and Tucker switched to bass guitar. Also at these appearances, the band often played an extended jam they had dubbed "Booker T", after musician Booker T. Jones; the jam later became the music for "The Gift" on White Light/White Heat. Some of these performances have been released as a bootleg; they remain the only record of MacLise with the Velvet Underground.
    • In December 1966, Warhol and David Dalton designed Issue 3 of the multimedia Aspen.[14] Included in this issue of the "magazine", which retailed at $4 per copy and was packaged in a hinged box designed to look like Fab laundry detergent, were various leaflets and booklets, one of which was a commentary on rock and roll by Lou Reed, another an EPI promotional newspaper. Also enclosed was a 2-sided flexi disk, side one produced by Peter Walker, a musical associate of Timothy Leary, and side two titled "Loop", credited to the Velvet Underground but actually recorded by Cale alone. "Loop", a recording solely of pulsating audio feedback culminating in a locked groove, was "a precursor to [Reed's] Metal Machine Music", say Velvets archivists M.C. Kostek and Phil Milstein in the book The Velvet Underground Companion.[15] "Loop" also predates much industrial music as well. More significantly, from a retail standpoint, "Loop" was the group's first commercially available recording as the Velvet Underground.
    • View on mapAt Warhol's insistence, Nico sang with the band on three songs of their debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico. The album was recorded primarily in Scepter Studios (254 W. 54th ST. NY, NY 10019) in New York City during April 1966. (Some songs were re-recorded, along with the new song "Sunday Morning", later in the year with Tom Wilson producing). It was released by Verve Records in March 1967.
    • The album cover is famous for its Warhol design: a yellow banana sticker with "Peel slowly and see" printed near the tip. Those who did remove the banana skin found a pink, peeled banana beneath.
    • Eleven songs showcased their dynamic range, veering from the pounding attacks of "I'm Waiting for the Man" and "Run Run Run", the droning "Venus in Furs" and "Heroin", the chiming and celestial "Sunday Morning" to the quiet "Femme Fatale" and the tender "I'll Be Your Mirror", as well as Warhol's own favorite song of the group, "All Tomorrow's Parties".
    • The overall sound was propelled by Reed and Nico's deadpan vocals, Cale's droning viola, Morrison's often rhythm and blues- or country-influenced guitar, and Tucker's simple but steady beat. Another distinct feature on many songs was the "drone strum", an eighth-note rhythm guitar style used by Reed.
    • The album was released on March 12, 1967, peaking at #171 on Billboard magazine's Top 200 charts. The promising commercial debut of the album was dampened somewhat by legal complications: the album's back cover featured a photo of the group playing live with another image projected behind them; the projected image was a still of actor Eric Emerson from a Warhol motion picture, Chelsea Girls. Emerson had been arrested for drug possession and, desperate for money, claimed the still had been included on the album without his permission (in the image his face appears quite big, but upside down). MGM Records pulled all copies of the album until the legal problems were settled (by which time the record had lost its modest commercial momentum), and the still was airbrushed out.