Weezer as the Velvet Underground?
First off...I did purchase the Velvet Underground DVD Velvet Redux: Live MCMXCIII when it was released late last month. It was worth the wait. It contains performances from the band's 1993 reunion tour in Europe. The original four members are here (Lou Reed, John Cale, Maureen Tucker, and the late Sterling Morrison), and their warts-and-all performances of 15 songs are something to see and hear. This definitely shows that tour in a better light than the 2-CD set Live MCMXCIII, where Reed's vocals made it sound as though he was trying to destroy the great songs he created. When watching Velvet Redux, we can see that Reed put energy into the performances, which may be what makes the difference. It's interesting to watch a lengthy instrumental duel between Reed and Cale during "Hey Mr. Rain", and also to see Cale taking part in several songs that he was not originally involved with. This is most likely the only Velvet Underground performance DVD we're going to get, so let's treasure it. (There is a VU DVD titled Under Review: An Independent Critical Analysis being released on April 25th, but I haven't heard any details about it).
Now...what is this I've been hearing about members of Weezer playing members of the VU in an upcoming movie? In Factory Girl, currently in post-production, Weezer guitarist Brian Bell will portray Lou Reed, and Weezer drummer Patrick Wilson will portray John Cale. What's more, the two of them have recorded a new version of the VU song "Heroin" for the film. More details are here:
Don't get me wrong. I like Weezer for what they are. But those two guys playing Reed and Cale? I will hold off on judgment until I see/hear the results. I have to say it, though: Bell is asking for trouble with this quote about their version of "Heroin":
"(Moe) Tucker did have an amazing feel, but she was no Pat (Wilson), and Pat pulled out an ‘Only In Dreams' type crescendo that I think makes that aspect of the song better."
Ooh, this could get ugly.
By the way, the movie is a biopic about Edie Sedgwick, starring Sienna Miller as Edie and Guy Pearce as Andy Warhol. Want to hear even more strange casting info? Other cast members include Hayden Christensen (Anakin!), Jimmy Fallon (no, I'm not kidding), and Mary-Kate Olsen (where's Ashley?).
What does Lou Reed think of this? I haven't heard him comment on the Weezer thing, but this is what he said about the movie, with his usual take-no-prisoners candor:
"I read that script. It's one of the most disgusting, foul things I've seen - by any illiterate retard - in a long time. There's no limit to how low some people will go to write something to make money."
Ouch! This movie better deliver.