February 17, 2016

Kickstarter campaign for animated film "The Velvet Underground Played at My High School"

December 11, 1965. The Velvet Underground play their first ever concert at a high school in Summit, New Jersey. Most of the kids hated them and walked out, but those who stayed were changed forever. Tony Jannelli was there. Aged 15 he fell in love with the sound of the band and became a lifelong fan. He teamed up with Robert Pietri to create an animated short about the event, since there are no photos or audio from the actual concert. They hope to raise $30,000 via Kickstarter:

...as a 10th grader sitting in the 3rd row, this was one of the first concerts I had ever been to. It was also my first concert where I witnessed booing, shock, horror, and bewilderment. I’ve always enjoyed telling my story about seeing the Velvet Underground at their, in some minds,

While on stage for merely 20 minutes, The Velvet Underground performed three songs, There She Goes, Venus in Furs, and Heroin. The Summit High School audience responded with, as one of the band recalled in 1983, a “murmur of surprise that greeted our appearance” that “increased to a roar of disbelief as we started to play" which"swelled to a mighty howl of outrage and bewilderment…” Half the audience walked out.

Using eyewitness accounts, we will put you there... in the middle of the first Velvet Underground concert. This short animated documentary film will combine hand-drawn and 2D computer animation techniques in a simple, graphic, and graffiti-like style (or zine-style) that reflects the texture of the period -- mid 1960's.

» The Velvet Underground Played at My High School on Facebook


  1. This is Robert Pietri, the co-director and lead animator of this film. It was TONY that was there that night and I loved talking to him about it. We pored over all the details so we could capture the essence of the event. We can't wait to share it with you!

  2. Hi Hans! This is Robert’s partner Tony. YES! I was at the very first public performance of The Velvet Underground at my school in 1965. Thanks for sharing our Kickstarter on your blog! We are working hard to make our goal, and with Kickstarter, if we don’t make the goal, we get nothing. So thanks for bringing our story to The Netherlands. Let me know if you have any questions about the show or the music in New Jersey in 1965.
    Thanks again, Tony