Audio: Happy birthday Sterling Morrison

A few months ago I had a post ready for what would have been Sterling Morrison’s 70th birthday… then I accidentally made it live months early, panicked and deleted it – and then promptly forgot to get it together again. This is therefore being hastily thrown together in my lunch break.

Half of Luna + half of VU photo courtesy of Stan Demeski

Dean Wareham wrote about Sterling’s appearance on Bewitched in the sleeve notes for Best of Luna…

In 1993 I received a phone call asking if we wanted to open for the Velvet Underground on their upcoming European tour. Yeah, right. A couple of months later, and there we were at the Playhouse in Edinburgh, sitting in the dressing room, eating cheese sandwiches and Scotch eggs, and listening to “Venus In Furs” through the little speakers. We had already recorded a demo of “Friendly Advice” with producer Victor Van Vugt, which we played every night on that tour, and Sterling Morrison told us that was his favorite track. We asked if he’d like to play guitar on our next album, and we were all surprised when he said yes. So far as we knew, Sterling hadn’t played on anyone’s record since about 1971. He was a lovely and unassuming guy, and when he passed away just two years later, I put on my headphones and listened to his transcendent guitar solo in “friendly Advice,” and I cried.

I’ve shared this a few times before but today is as good a reason as any to share it again…

It’s from a promo CD for radio station FMQB. It features an “exclusive live recording” (for “Modern Rock Live”) of Luna and the late Sterling Morrison (of The Velvet Underground) performing Great Jones Street.
MP3: Luna (feat. Sterling Morrision) – Great Jones St.

Today I’ll be playing that and maybe also this.

Happy birthday Sterling.

3 thoughts on “Audio: Happy birthday Sterling Morrison”

  1. What memories … I was lucky enough to see the Velvet Underground almost a dozen times, though the place I enjoyed them most was at the Second Fret [a reconditioned row house, that would never be allowed to operate as a venue today] on Sansom Street in Philadelphia, PA, back in the 60’s … seems the band was forever bouncing between New York and Philadelphia.

    I was more than willing to climb up the spiral staircase and talk to the band. I remember sitting there telling them I was gonna run away to NYC, hoping they’d take me with them … John Cale said, “Don’t!” I often wonder where my life would have gone had I not taken his advise.

    1. Thanks Jenell for the memories. I was lucky enough to see Sterling play twice – once with the VU on the 1993 reunion and once playing with Moe Tucker – he and Moe sat on the stage chatting and signing and selling stuff I suspect until they were asked to move on by the staff. I, sadly, didn’t take the opportunity…

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