Hardly anyone bought the Velvet Underground’s albums when they were released, but most everyone who did formed a band. This was the kind of influence the Velvets exerted, and it persists to this day in the sounds of groups as diverse as Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Sex Pistols, R.E.M., My Bloody Valentine, and Sonic Youth — all of whom claim the Velvets as their most important influence. And then there are such soundalikes as Yo La Tengo, Luna, and the Strokes, to name a few. Published on the forty-fifth anniversary of the Velvet Underground’s founding, this is the first illustrated history of the band that rocked rock — one of the most inspired and influential rock ’n’ roll bands of all time.
The book follows this icon of Sixties rock from its heady first days with Lou Reed, John Cale, German chanteuse Nico, drummer Moe Tucker, and guitarist Sterling Morrison; through its management by pop artist Andy Warhol, who made the band the siren of his Factory and part of his traveling multimedia show, the Exploding Plastic Inevitable; to its later incarnations in the early Seventies. “They opened wounds worth opening with brutal imagery, without apology,” Patti Smith said, upon the band’s 1996 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And this book offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at how the Velvet Underground did it.