It occurs to me that “The Ostrich” must have sold a fair number of copies somewhere along the line, because when I looked for one a while back it was not hard to find. I think I paid $10 plus a few dollars shipping. In addition to the original 1964 release, there appear to have been several reissues around that same time, which means either that it was a minor hit somewhere, or that Terry Philips was stubbornly trying to make it one. Discogs also lists a 2012 reissue of dubious provenance on the (snicker) “Dickwick” label.
Anyone who bothered to flip over the record would have heard “Sneaky Pete,” which is pretty much more of the same. One gets the sense that after recording “The Ostrich,” they realized that they needed a B-side, and threw one together on the spot. The D-tuned guitar is more audible here, and for a few seconds at the beginning we get a driving drone that’s a sneak preview of the Velvet Underground sound. But the vocals are wince-inducing and the lyrics are largely incomprehensible, which is possibly just as well.
Frankly I am not inclined to spend more time analyzing “Sneaky Pete” than they did making it. Instead, I’ll punt for now and we’ll pick up next time with the first song Lou Reed and John Cale wrote together.
Now … this … is rock and roll.
another good one for Van’s contractual obligation record