Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Oliver: Daniel Johnston and Yo La Tengo - Speeding Motorcycle [Live] (29 December 1991)

Speeding Motorcycle was originally recorded by Daniel Johnston in 1983 before being eventually released on the 1986 cassette only album, Yip/Jump Music.  Four years later, Yo La Tengo covered the song on their album, Fakebook (such prescience!).  On 4 February 1990, the two were brought together with Johnston on a phone and Yo La Tengo in a radio studio to perform the song.  It was released as a single and in playing it on 29/12/91, Peel set the scene via a press release:

"On the special evening of this recording, Yo La Tengo were guests of WFMU Music Radio personality, Mick Hill, on weekly live music, Force It, show.  Daniel, at home in West Virginia, called  the station at a predetermined time and sang Speeding Motorcycle over the telephone, while Yo La Tengo provided the musical accompaniment live in the studio.  The pairing of Yo La's subtle musical virtuosity with Daniel's long distance lo-fi vocals is, in a word, magical."

Compare the original and the cover!

In another piece of serendipitous timing, hot off the servers, The Quietus celebrate 30 years of Yo La Tengo.

Videos courtesy of deusexmachinaa (collaboration), Mega Lamka (Johnston) and Plath North Star (Yo La Tengo)

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