In honor of Sterling Morrison’s b-day today, here are the Velvets at the Boston Tea Party on March 13, 1969. A total fucking classic, if I do say so myself! The band just blazes — the lightning fast “Waiting for the Man,” the luminous “I’m Set Free,” the unstoppable locomotive that is “What Goes On,” the insane “Sister Ray”! A band at the height of its considerable powers. Some of this show appeared on my Move Right In compilation, but what the heck, you want the whole thing, don’t you? It’s a perfect night — here’s Sterling himself discussing the ingredients for such a night:
"When I was onstage I’d be very aware of how the song was going — is it dying or am I imagining it? Strange feelings you get when you play anyway. The best nights are when you feel you can drop out without affecting the band, that what you do doesn’t really matter, the song is going by itself, it has its own momentum. Those are the best nights, you can relax and do what you feel like doing … it doesn’t really have anything to do with audience enthusiasm, that’s not what makes it good or bad. Sometimes just … go! And you just hang on for the ride. That’s great. Those are the nights you can really do something, turn it loose and see where it goes. And you do what you want. Amen."