Interview with: Mo Tucker (The Velvet Underground)
Location: Via Email
You were in the classic line up of the velvet underground and so had a major involvement on the 67 'Andy Warhol' album. Personally speaking, how did you feel once that album was completed? Can you remember the first time you listened to it?
I was thrilled to actually be ON AN ALBUM!!! I do remember buying one at a local department store and running home to listen-don't remember exactly when that was, of course, but it was soon after it was released.
I guess you weren't to know at the time how important an album it would be, so what was the general feeling in the band at the time? Were you aware how good the album was?
We were all very happy with the album, it's still my favourite. We all thought that it was damn good but then again I'm sure that's how everyone feels when they record (or at least, I hope so!).
The VU became a band whose popularity would continue to grow after the demise of the band. At the time, the records you made simply weren't selling. Why do you think the Velvet's went onto become so important when at the time they seemed almost irrelevant?
We didn't sell many albums because they weren't distributed. We heard "I love your band but cant find the records" COUNTLESS times. It was infuriating!! The records became much more available later and then people finally heard us.
You were involved with Andy Warhol and the factory scene, can you expand for us what it was really like at that time? It's been portrayed in films such as 'The Doors' and 'I shot Andy Warhol' but how realistic were these portrayals? Were they as over-glamorised as they were made to look?
My recollection of the Factory was just how much fun it was to be there. All the participants were talented, clever, funny, fun, great to hang around with. I haven't seen The Doors. I did see I shot Andy but that time period was much later then when we used to be hanging around.
Do you think the popularity of David Bowie in the early-mid seventies had an impact on the influence of VU? As at the time you were constantly being name-checked by him.
Well, anytime a popular artist mentions your name it helps!
Having quit the band in 71, the Velvets weren't, so to speak, the real Velvet Underground any more were they? Was this one of the reasons you left? What were you reasons?
The biggest reason I didn't quit sooner was that it was more fun then working. We hadn't been "the velvets" for a while and although we were a good band, I really didn't like being billed as the Velvet Underground.
You seemed to be the only member who after leaving the band didn't continue in music. How did you spend your time in artistic wilderness prior to getting involved in music again?
Raising five kids!
During this time, did you remain friends with the rest of the band?
Yes, I always have and always will.