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LIVE from the NYPL: The Velvet Underground with Lou Reed, Maureen Moe Tucker, Doug Yule & David Fricke

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The Art and Soul of The Velvet Underground

In the historic ferment of Sixties rock, the Velvet Underground were the perfect band in the right city, New York, at a crucial time.

For five years 1965 to 1970 singer-songwriter and guitarist Lou Reed, bassist and viola player John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker, with the German vocalist Nico and bassist Doug Yule (who replaced Cale in 1968), broadcast the real life of their home town the sex, drugs and art; the furious street energies, hidden pleasures and desperate romance in an unprecedented pop music of vivid storytelling and transgressive excitement.

On stage and on their four influential studio albums, the Velvets invented the many futures of rock punk, drone, free improvisation, lyric candor in songs and performances that made the group notorious, with the pivotal help of their early manager and mentor, Andy Warhol. Legendary status came later, after the group broke up and Reed and Cale went on to bold prolific solo careers.

Today, the Velvet Underground are the stars they always deserved to be, with a rich and still mysterious story that continues to unfold: in the new visual collection, The Velvet Underground: New York Art, and tonight, in this unprecedented reunion of Reed, Tucker and Yule-the words,music and rhythm of The Velvet Underground.