The Velvet Underground and Nico

All of my life I have heard of a band called The Velvet Underground. It never occurred to me that I have never actually listened to a single song by The Velvet Underground until today. I read in the Wall Street Journal about a book titled "Seeing The Light: Inside the Velvet Underground" by Rob Jovanovic. Just reading about the band makes me want this book. It's ironic that I'm just now learning of this right after learning about Edie Sedgwick, an Andy Warhol satellite, so to speak. It seems that the Velvet Underground was in various ways tied to Andy Warhol, too, and that their original lead singer, a German model named only Nico, was one of his 'girls'. She was even in the movie I reviewed about Edie, but if they identified her I didn't know who she was so I missed the significance. Now I need to rewatch the film so I can verify that it was supposed to be her.

Apparently the Velvet Underground had a huge influence, even though it did not sell a lot of albums. And it barely lasted 3 years. Nico left after their first album and went solo. Lou Reed kicked out his brother founding-member, John Cale, making original band member and guitarist Sterling Morrison angry enough that he quit, too. Lou Reed then quit, leaving only their drummer, Maureen Tucker, the last remaining original member. She didn't know what to do with herself, so she quit and got a regular job, more or less forgetting all about being a rockstar. Other replacement bandmembers continued on, but the magic was gone.

Sterling Morrison, the guitar player who quit out of anger that Lou Reed had expelled John Cale, also quit music, returning to college at the University of Texas to get a doctorate. Then he went and became a tug boat captain.

It's the weirdest damn story of a band I never heard but always heard of that anyone could imagine. I think I'm going to buy this book.

OK, this video ads a new twist to things. It's all Edie Sedgwick, set to the Velvet Underground with Nico singing "Femme Fatale". According to the person who posted this video, Andy Warhol asked Lou Reed to write a song about Edie. And this is the song he wrote.

The more I learn about Andy Warhol and everyone connected to him, the more I get the impression that it was a bunch of egomaniacs high on heroin and screwing with each other while at the same time resenting the hell out of each other. It's like it was a big soap opera made up of rich New York debutantes.
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