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Moe Tucker

When the Velvet Underground was America's most admired avant-garde rock band, it was easy to imagine solo success for principal songwriter Lou Reed and enigmatic Welsh multi-instrumentalist John Cale, but no one could have predicted that some of the best solo recordings from a former member of this seminal band would come from drummer Maureen (Moe) Tucker. After the demise of the Velvets, Tucker lived in relative obscurity in Douglas, GA, raising her children and working for minimum wage at a Wal-Mart -- salient points that form the thematic basis of her solo career. No longer strictly a drummer, Tucker switched to guitar, and with the help of a new generation of avant-rock players (Half Japanese's Jad and David Fair, Daniel Johnston, Sonic Youth) and longtime pals (Lou Reed), began recording terse, guitar-driven songs about single motherhood, working hard for minimum wage, and hating the corporatization of rock & roll. These were proud, pissed-off songs that found a home on the wonderfully idiosyncratic indie label 50 Skidillion Watts, principally owned by Velvets fan Penn Jillette (of the comedy/magic duo Penn and Teller), who gave Tucker a regular outlet for her music. Occasionally, Tucker has had to return to the underpaying world of nine-to-five to supplement her rock & roll income, but as she released more records, her popularity in alternative rock circles has grown (especially in Europe) to the point where she can make a living as a full-time musician. Good news indeed. ~ John Dougan, Rovi
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