White Light

On the WELL, Richie Unterberger is talking about his new book about the Velvet Underground, called White Light/White Heat after the VU album. An interesting note from the interview: Richie says he thinks the song “White Light/White Heat” was inspired by Alice Bailey’s occult book, A Treatise on White Magic. From the interview:

It advises control of the astral body by a “direct method of relaxation, concentration, stillness and flushing the entire personality with pure White Light, with instructions on how to ‘call down a stream of pure White Light.'” And it’s known for certain that Reed was familiar with the volume, as he calls it “an incredible book” in a November 1969 radio interview in Portland, Oregon. A Velvets fan I interviewed who
would talk to Reed at the Boston Tea Party confirmed that Lou “was very interested in a form of healing just using light, projecting light.”

Not the way we usually think of Lou Reed or the VU.

Author: Jon Lebkowsky

Co-wrangler of Plutopia News Network, cohost Radio Free Plutopia. Podcaster, writer, dharma observer, enzyme. Former editor/publisher, FringeWare Review; associate editor at bOING bOING and Factsheet Five; writer at Mondo 2000, 21C, Wired, Whole Earth Review, Austin Chronicle; sub-editor at Millennium Whole Earth Catalog; blogger at Worldchanging. Digital culture maven, podcaster, writer, dharma observer, enzyme. On The WELL, Cohost of VC (virtual communities), Media, and Civil War (.ind) conferences.