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Angus MacLise (March 4, 1938 - June 21, 1979) was a percussionist, composer, mystic, shaman, poet, occultist and calligrapher. He is probably best known as the first drummer for the Velvet Underground, but had an intriguing career outside of that group.Read More...
MacLise was a member of La Monte Young's Theater of Eternal Music, with John Cale and Tony Conrad. He was also an early member of The Velvet Underground, having been brought into the group by flatmate John Cale. MacLise played bongos and hand drums during 1965 with the first incarnation of the band. Although the Velvets regularly extemporised soundtracks to underground films, MacLise never officially recorded with them, and is often considered something of a shadowy, legendary figure in their history. When the opportunity of the band's first paying gig at a New Jersey high school in November 1965 arose, Maclise promptly quit, suggesting the group had sold out.
Maclise was replaced by Maureen Tucker, resulting in the "classic" lineup of The Velvet Underground. In 1966 when Velvet Underground singer Lou Reed was in hospital with hepatitis, MacLise rejoined the group for a few performances. By this time the Velvet Underground had found some notoriety (if not great financial success) and MacLise was anxious to rejoin the group, but this was explicitly refused by Reed.
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