By 1976 I still had not heard The Velvet Underground. I knew of them of course. Their records, however, were hard to come by in the suburbs where I lived. They could not even be found in the piles of delete records the music industry had given up on selling where I was introduced to bands like the Stooges.
I only knew and loved Reed's first six or seven solo records until I found myself going to school in England and I was at last presented with the Velvets. That is how far Sliverville in the '70s was from civilization - about 8000 miles.
The boys in my school could not believe it. "That is fucking perverse, mate. Who has all Reed's solo records but none of the Velvets'?"
Only me apparently.
The English kids were all motherfucking hipsters of course. Turned me on to loads of other bands I may never have got to. The Pink Fairies, Dave Edmunds, Alex Harvey, Steve Hillage, the Groundhogs, Stray, Curved Air and Judas Priest among them.
Pretty soon I knew all the words to "Sister Ray." Maybe not the education my parents had in mind when they sent me off to England with but one warning - "Any of those boys tries anything on you punch them out good."