Live bootleg versions of "Sister Ray" by The Velvet Underground from 1968/1969.

1 SISTER RAY 13:23

The Velvet Underground shared the bill with Taj Mahal at this show in a basketball gymnasium at Washington University in St. Louis on May 11, 1969. In the audience with a Sony cassette recorder and hand-held microphone was Washington University law student and future Lou Reed guitarist Robert Quine. Lou Reed tries explaining the cast of characters in the song at the beginning, and after a little over thirteen minutes the band seguewayed into a slowed down version of "Foggy Notion."


A long, slow, bluesy version of "Sister Ray" during which Lou Reed seems to be making up lyrics as he goes along. Recorded at La Cave in Cleveland on April 27, 1968 with John Cale in the lineup. The Cleveland fan who recorded the show left the cassette tape in his car, and his sister found it and rerecorded over most of it while goofing around with her friends.

3 SISTER RAY 24:30

Known among VU collectors as the guitar amp tape, this was recorded at the Boston Tea Party on March 15, 1969 by a fan who plugged his recorder directly into Lou Reed's guitar amplifier. The vocals and other instruments are buried in the background, but given the VU's reputation as one of the loudest bands around at the time, it gives you a good idea of how all that fuzz and feedback might have sounded live.