Sonntag, 21. Februar 2010

"The Professor Tapes"
Volume One to six

The Story behind
The Professor kept these tapes to himself, not out of musical greed but rather lack of a forum, until a programming event came up on his university radio station, WHRB-FM at Harvard U., that focused exclusively on the VU for a period of many consecutive hours. (I can't remember exactly when this "orgy" was, nor how long it lasted, but perhaps those details are documented elsewhere.) During this VU orgy, he broadcast all five of the tapes each in its entirety. Within a week all five of them were already circulating on bootlegs (perhaps only cassette, I don't recall) in Europe, and have been in general circulation ever since.
Paul (original name is changed) recently discovered amid his personal possessions is a set of reel tapes, which, with the Professor's cooperation, He had had professionally transferred from his original reels, shortly after their initial broadcast. They also made good-quality cassettes during the same session, and as it was those cassettes that he has used as listening copies ever since, he eventually forgot that he even had the reels. When those tapes reappeared after a recent house move, however, Paul had them professionally baked and digitized.

Paul doesn't want to miss the opportunity to salute the one person who, aside from the band itself, was most responsible for these recordings: the Professor, Robin Hood. Robin was a very sweet guy, and Paul can't imagine he'd be anything but delighted with the dissemination of his tapes to us-all. If he were around to hear it, Paul would be thanking him profusely right now.

We have here a professional 1st gen transfer of the master tape (and the master of "Praise Ye") which is a very nice thing.

So don't SELL anywhere and don't try to make a Bootleg

It's the first and only place where you can get this tapes for free.

So keep them free always!

Enjoy and keep sharing, always in flac without any munipulations.

Velvet Underground
"The Professor Tapes"
Volume One

Boston Tea Party, December 12, 1968


01. Heroin (9:11)
02. Move Right In (5:42)
03. Waiting For The Man (7:18)
04. I'm Set Free (5:02)
05. Foggy Notion (8:17)
06. Beginning To See The Light (6:17)
07. Candy Says (4:44)
08. White Light/White Heat (5:18)
09. Jesus (4:50)
10. Sister Ray (26:17)
11. Pale Blue Eyes (6:09)


  1. I can't get the flacs to decode

  2. I have tried to decode them in 3 different flac decoder programs and it won't decode them. If I drop one of the files in Audcity it will play them, but it too will not allow the files to be converted. I have Downloaded files from your site in the past and have not had any problems. I want to thank you for all of this stuff it is very generous to share all of this great stuff!

  3. I also have trouble decoding the flacs.
    Traders Little Helper says: "file is truncated or otherwise corrupt".

    Thanks very much for sharing these tapes, I hope the technical stuff can be worked out :)

  4. To decode the files I use the following program, with I never had any problems: Easy CD-DA Extractor 9.0 Here you c an download my own program inc. a short description. I hope it will work for you

    Otherwise please let me know and I will convert ist again. Till now 17 people had download these files, but I know that there were problems for some in the past you can read at the VU-Forum.

  5. Thanks for sharing these.

    If anyone is concerned about downloading these due to the comments regarding decoding errors - I can confirm that Easy CD-DA Extractor does successfully decode the FLACs. I encountered the 'file is truncated' error with Trader's Little Helper, then tried Easy CD-DA, which works.

    Of course many music applications will play the FLAC files directly so you may not even need to extract if you are not burning to CD.

  6. this one is absolutely outstanding!
    thank you very much!

  7. Thanks so much for these tapes volume 1-3! I downloaded them months ago, but finally got around to decoding them tonight. By any chance are you going to uploade volumes 4-6 as well? Thanks again.

  8. I actually lived in the same apartment as R. in the mid-1980s, briefly, while he was out East in a commune for a summer or something. I knew him slightly, but lived in his collection for a month or two, as it were, and it was (is) amazing. After he returned, I asked about a friend's story about the VU tapes, and R. told me the whole backstory. An original poster for one of the gigs (12/12?) hung in his room, and I saw it daily, even photographed it. The tape copies of 12-12 and 1-10 that I received from him were basically second generation: there were the reel-to-reel masters, then his cassette listening tape, which dubbed to my copy (in circa 1986). Someone he knew, apparently a member of the group Uzi from Boston, had bootlegged at least 1 show onto vinyl without R's knowledge, and in woefully incomplete form, but I had and have that full show from R's tape. After learning of the illicit bootlegging, I told R. about it. It's interesting seeing info on these tapes online--there's a lot of loopy misinformation about the taper, missing details as well. It looks like a few people online may have received copies from my 2nd generation copy (again, from the taper himself) and some people posting online could be former students at that university I knew. R. taped other shows of interest, too, non-VU stuff, but the story of recording these shows was pretty fascinating. I have no idea of the origination of your copies. Nice to see these here, though. From what I was told by others, UMG might not release the material anytime soon, if at all, but apparently it was donated to them or something by the taper.

  9. Fascinating stories. Which sometimes gets me confused! For example, a few years ago Scorpio released the 4 CD bootleg set Boston Tea Party, which contains four of the Professor shows. Are those from an inferior tape source?

  10. As far as what I recall R. telling me (in person, and it was a long discussion at his place) he taped only 12-12 and 1-10 of the VU. He had copies of other stuff, though, and I had never heard or heard of that summer Boston show before now. When I first heard the March 69 show, it was not from him, and I immediately noticed the very inferior audio on that and thought it wasn't his recording, as he was more careful (part of the process he told me about) with equipment, location, and concealment. Concealment wasn't needed as much at that time, as he pointed out, but he used a clever approach that allowed him easy access. I'm trying to recall which show was booted on vinyl (12-12 or 1-10) by the guy in Boston, but the LP was maybe 40 mins. and that was the main source for years, but my copy was perhaps 80(?) mins. One drawback of bootlegging: incorrect info or incomplete contents, and that's what haunted that particular recording for decades. I'm a bit stunned at the incorrect info on the professor online, some of it outright fantasy or lies. Your site looks a bit closer to the source than others, based upon your remarks, at least, as some of the others online are apparently using multi-gen copies that derived from mine, which I got from R. in the mid-1980s. He had a great collection, and allowed it to be heard, recorded, etc., so I taped a lot while I was living there. His blues 78s were amazing. Even the other prof who lived there, V., was in some psych-folk-pop band in VA in the 70s, but I forgot the band name (last time I saw it somewhere, years ago, their LP was listed at $200).The info about the tape donation was told to me by someone online, and I was told R. had passed away, but shortly after that, a specific personnel dept. head told me he was still on staff. She was mistaken, though, as it appears he passed in 2006, per the faculty newsletter. I'm not sure of the Scorpio source. If it wasn't from him directly (doubtful) or from his Boston "friend", then one would assume that it came either via a cassette trade I made in the '80s or an even more degraded copy deriving after that. So I'm sorry if others paid for that, it certainly wasn't related to me and it ties in with my negative attitude toward bootleg merchants, who are basically thieves. The UMG master are in their vaults and have a value to them that I doubt would lead UMG to allowing it all to be bootlegged, and who knows what condition the reels are in. One interesting tidbit is that R. delivered at least one seminar at another Univ. on the ordering and pacing of songs at live VU concerts, and he had some excellent examples to use. That was one of their live strengths: the drama and suspense in their live music. I'd be happy to stay in touch, just let me know, and please don't let these audio files lapse! People should hear this material.

  11. You can convert them also with dbPowerAmp - which I prefer for all audio-conversions because it is both easy to use and reliable