Photo: John Cale at The Castle, Los Angeles, 1966
In 1966, the third issue of multimedia magazine, Aspen, included a 2-sided Flexi disk. Side A – Peter Walker (billed as “Musical Director for Timothy Leary’s LSD “Religious Celebrations”) playing a love raga titled, “White Wind” and Side B – The Velvet Underground, “Loop”, attributed to John Cale, but is actually recorded by Cale alone. The disc reads, “final groove purposely left open” and is the earliest example of using a lock groove in pop music. Andy Warhol and David Dalton designed this issue of Aspen, which explains the Velvet’s inclusion. It retailed for $4 ($32 in 2019 dollars) and was packaged in a hinged box designed to look like Fab laundry detergent. Various leaflets and booklets were included, an EPI promotional newspaper, and a diatribe on rock n’ roll by another Velvet, Lou Reed. Loop has been called “a precursor to Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music” and predates most other “industrial” music.