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Maureen Tucker
Birth name Maureen Ann Tucker
Also known as Moe Tucker
Born August 26, 1944 (1944-08-26) (age 65)
Levittown, New York, United States
Genres Experimental rock, protopunk, rock & roll, art rock, avant garde, folk-rock
Occupations Drummer, musician, singer-songwriter, singer
Instruments drums, percussion, guitar, vocals, Bass Guitar, Saxophone
Years active 1963–present
Associated acts The Velvet Underground
Website Official site

Maureen Ann "Moe" Tucker (born August 26, 1944, in Levittown, New York) is a musician best known for having been the drummer for the rock group The Velvet Underground.




The Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground and Nico in 1966, with Maureen Tucker pictured bottom-right

Tucker first began playing the drums at age 19. When she was asked to join the Velvet Underground, Tucker was working for IBM as a keypunch operator. The band's original percussionist, Angus Maclise, had left in November 1965 because he refused to play before a paying audience, and Tucker was drafted because Velvets guitarist Sterling Morrison remembered her as the younger sister of one of his college friends who played the drums.

Tucker's style of playing was unconventional. She played standing up rather than seated (for easier access to the bass drum[1]), using a simplified drum kit of tom toms, a snare drum and an upturned bass drum, playing with mallets rather than drumsticks. She rarely used cymbals; she claimed that since she felt the purpose of a drummer was simply to "keep time," cymbals were unnecessary for this purpose and drowned out the other instruments.[1]

Apart from drumming, Tucker sang co-lead vocals on three Velvet Underground songs: the acoustic guitar number "After Hours" and the strange poem set to music "The Murder Mystery", both from 1969's The Velvet Underground album, as well as "I'm Sticking with You", a song recorded in 1969 but left (officially) unreleased until it appeared on the 1985 outakes compilation VU. Lou Reed has said of "After Hours" that it was "so innocent and pure" that he could not possibly sing it himself. In the early days, Tucker also occasionally played the bass guitar during live gigs.

Tucker temporarily left the group when she became pregnant with her first child, Kerry "Trucker" Tucker, in early 1970. Because of her pregnancy, Tucker was only able to play a few songs on Loaded, which would become the band's fourth and final album with Lou Reed. Billy Yule, the younger and high-school age brother of bassist Doug Yule filled in the role of drummer for most of the songs on the album and live performances.

Tucker returned to the band in late 1970, by which time Reed had left the group and Doug Yule had assumed leadership. She toured North America (United States and Canada) and Europe (United Kingdom and the Netherlands) with the band during 1970 and 1971, then quit the band and the music business to raise her family.

Solo career and Velvets reunion

In the early 80s, while living in Phoenix, Arizona, Tucker played drums in the short-lived Paris 1942 with Alan Bishop of the Sun City Girls.[2]

Tucker moved to Douglas, Georgia in 1984 to raise her family and she worked for the Wal-Mart Corporation until 1989, when she quit to go on tour of Europe with her friends, Half Japanese.

Tucker started recording and touring again, releasing a number of albums on small, independent labels that feature her singing and playing guitar, fronting her own band. This band at times included former Velvets colleague Sterling Morrison. Tucker also participated in the 1992–1993 Velvet Underground reunion, touring Europe and releasing the double album Live MCMXCIII.

Apart from releasing her own records, Tucker has made guest performances on a number of others' records, including producing Fire in the Sky (1993) for Half Japanese, whose guitarist, John Sluggett, plays drums on her own recordings. In Jeff Feuerzeig's documentary about Half Japanese, The Band That Would Be King, Tucker performs and is interviewed extensively. Also, she has appeared with Magnet and former Velvet Underground band members Lou Reed (New York) and John Cale (Walking on Locusts).

Tucker also played drums on and produced the album The Lives of Charles Douglas by indie rocker and novelist Charles Douglas (also known as Alex McAulay) in 1999.

She played bass drum, wrote songs, and sang with the New York/Memphis punk rockdelta blues fusion group, The Kropotkins (named after the famous Russian prince and anarchist Peter Kropotkin), with Lorette Velvette and Dave Soldier in 1999–2003, recording "Five Points Crawl".


With The Velvet Underground

Studio albums

Live albums

  • 1969: The Velvet Underground Live (1974 [1969])
  • Live MCMXCIII (1993)
  • Final V.U. 1971–1973 (live box set, 2001 [1971–1973])
  • Bootleg Series Volume 1: The Quine Tapes (live, 2001 [1969])


Although Tucker did not appear on the original release of the band's 1970 album Loaded, a 1997 2CD re-issue by Rhino Records subtitled Fully Loaded Edition includes two late 1969/early 1970 demos, "I Found a Reason" and another take on "I'm Sticking with You", which feature her on drums and vocals, respectively.

With The Kropotkins

  • Five Points Crawl (2000)

Moe Tucker & Half Japanese





Band Members


External links

Simple English

Maureen ("Mo" or "Moe") Tucker (born August 26, 1944 in Levittown, New York) is an American musician, best known as the drummer for the Velvet Underground, a band from the 1960s and early 1970s.

Tucker worked in a factory during the day, but played drums as a hobby. Two of her brother Jim's friends were college classmates, Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison, who had started a band. (Jim gave the band its name, after he brought them a copy of a book titled The Velvet Underground.) When their drummer suddenly quit, she was asked to fill in for him. She did so, and ended up staying with the band full-time. She left her factory job.

Early on she was asked to "do something different" with her drums. Tucker turned her bass drum on its side, and began playing with mallets instead of drumsticks, standing up. This became her signature style. (She also played trash cans a few times, after her drums were stolen.) She played on all the band's recordings for Verve Records and MGM's record label, and their concerts through the 1960s. She also sang lead vocals on "After Hours" and "I'm Sticking With You".

Tucker had to take a break from drumming in 1970, when she became pregnant. Billy Yule, teenage brother of Doug Yule, filled in for her on drums until after her baby Kerry was born. Tucker returned to the band, staying on even when Reed and Morrison left. She quit later, when the band thought about changing names. Instead of a solo career, she went back to factory work, and family life.

Later Tucker began drumming with other bands, including her own projects. She joined the Velvet Underground's 1990s reunions, and was present when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


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