The Music Of “V” Is For Village People! Velvet Underground! Van Halen! The Eagles “Victim Of Love!”

Music In The Key Of “V” Is All Dressed Up For A Party!

Yes, I am going to talk about The Village People, but there is so much more to music with a “V”, beginning with one of the most inventive bands that barely lived!

The Velvet Underground – “Heroin”

This unique album cover heralded the arrival of one of music’s most unique “art” bands, managed for a time by Andy Warhol. They didn’t last long, but boy did they make an impression!

The song “Heroin” was written by Lou Reed in 1964, beatnik poetry one one hand, bleak independent rock on the other – and completely mesmerizing:


“I don’t know just where I’m going
But I’m gonna try for the kingdom, if I can
Cause it makes me feel like I’m a man
When I put a spike into my vein
And I tell you things aren’t quite the same
When I’m rushing on my run
And I feel just like Jesus’ son

And I guess that I just don’t know
And I guess that I just don’t know…”

As wikipedia explains:

“The Velvet Underground was an American rock band formed in 1964 in New York City by singer/guitarist Lou Reed, multi-instrumentalist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Angus MacLise (replaced by Moe Tucker in 1965). The band was initially active between 1965 and 1973, and was briefly managed by the pop artist Andy Warhol, serving as the house band at the Factory and Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable events from 1966 to 1967. Their debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico (with German born singer and model Nico), was released in 1967 to critical indifference and poor sales, but over time has been critically acclaimed; it was called the “most prophetic rock album ever made” by Rolling Stone in 2003.”

Here is “Heroin”:

That terrific video was posted on YouTube by “CIAOsydni”, described as
The Velvet Underground & Nico, footage from andy warhol’s “symphony of sound”…the entire album is fascinating, and worth a listen, especially in the newly remastered versions…

Next up, a band that was much less mysterious, and much more IN YOUR FACE!

Van Halen – “Jump”

The picture says it all! So does this one!

I could have chosen an number of great rock songs by Van Halen – with David Lee Roth of course, but this may be one of the most infectious intros in rock history – the classic “Jump”, with a “very self-aware” DLR:

Van Halen and David Lee Roth were certainly “of their time”, but what a fun time it was! Speaking of which:

The Village People – “YMCA”

As wikipedia says:

“Village People is an American disco group well known for their on-stage costumes depicting American masculine cultural stereotypes as well as their catchy tunes and suggestive lyrics. Originally created by Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo to target disco’s gay audience by featuring popular gay fantasy personae,[1] the band quickly became popular and moved into the mainstream. The group scored several disco and dance hits internationally, including three hits in the US, “Macho Man”, “In the Navy”, and their biggest hit, “Y.M.C.A.”.

My wife and I got to see them live at The Hollywood Bowl – an iconic showcase for a group that just keeps on dancing – here is the very-much-a-sing-a-long performance at The Bowl of “YMCA”:

It was a raucous night of celebration at the bowl, thanks to these guys – you can see more music from the night here:


https://johnrieber.com/2017/07/23/ymca-live-the-village-people-the-hollywood-bowl-17000-dance-along/

Finally, The Eagles also created iconic music, and just celebrated the 40th anniversary of “Hotel California”:

“Victim Of Love” by The Eagles

This huge sign in Burbank, California is an ad for a newly remastered edition of the album, which is one of the most acclaimed of all time – and on that album is the great song “Victim Of Love”:

“Victim of love, I see a broken heart.
I could be wrong but I’m not, no, I’m not.
Victim of love, we’re not so far apart.
Show me what kind of love have you got…”

Here is a great live version from 1995, with a blistering intro by Don Felder:

The music is as timeless as ever, here’s a look at this iconic album:


https://johnrieber.com/2016/11/15/welcome-to-the-eagles-hotel-california-joe-walsh-checks-in-brilliant-henleyfrey-music-steely-dan-shout-out/

Let me know what songs in the key of “V” you like!



Categories: 70's Cinema, 70's Music, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Classic Rock, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Music, New York, Obscure Music, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized

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2 replies

  1. Good choices for ‘V’, John. Village People were a fun act, though I could only take them in small doses.
    On my blog A-Z, the ‘V’ top choice was something different, even for me. Bjork, with ‘Venus As A Boy’.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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