She played standing up rather than seated (for easier access to the bass drum), 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.
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.
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.
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 rock–delta blues fusion group, The Kropotkins with Lorette Velvette and Dave Soldier in 1999–2003, recording "Five Points Crawl".
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 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 felt the band sold out when it took a paying gig. 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 quite unique and unconventional.