Sterling Morrison is a very much under-rated, undervalued and unsung legend, so often relegated to being merely viewed as secondary to Lou Reed and John Cale, when in fact so much of the beauty of the Velvet Underground's sound is because of Sterling's simple, mellifluous guitar parts.

Galaxie 500 wrote a song in tribute to Sterling's post-VU life as a restorer of tugboats, titled (oddly enough) "Tugboat", which appeared on their first 7".

As the Velvet Underground disintegrated, Morrison went to CCNY to finish his doctorate in English Lit. Years later he remininsced about finding a quiet corner at Max's Kansas City to read Jane Austen between sets. He later taught English at the University of Texas at Austin, before going into the tugboat business. Some of the sources I've seen state that he was the captain of a tugboat rather than a restorer of tugboats. Either one sounds equally plausible to me.

Morrison toured with Moe Tucker behind her Dogs Under Stress album in (IIRC; I've got the ticket stub at home) 1994. I saw them in Philadelphia at the Khyber Pass on Second Street. It was worth seeing. They'd brought ex-Violent Femme Victor DeLorenzo along as a drummer, and that was a mistake. DeLorenzo played like a robot and he seemed to think everybody was there to see him. Otherwise, it was a great show: They played good songs well, and they cared. Morrison played guitar on some songs, and maracas or a free-standing snare drum on others. He played well, but he he just looked awfully damn tired. He looked like he needed a hug. I'm glad he got a chance to tour again without the Lou Reed prima donna bullshit which apparently spoiled the Velvets reunion. It was cool: They just had a bunch of people up there having fun playing rock and roll. They weren't there to change the world or be geniuses or prove anything: It was just rock and roll in its natural habitat (the Khyber Pass is small, run-down, and ill-ventilated), and that's more than enough. I only wish Morrison had been feeling well enough to really enjoy it.

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