Interesting Things You May Not Know About The Velvet Underground

Jackson Sawa | October 8, 2018 2:37 pm

Loud static, fuzz, white noise, and nihilistic attitude: this is the sound of the Velvet Underground. While thought to be overly avant-garde or “out there” during their time, the Velvet Underground is now considered one of the most influential bands ever in underground, rock, and experimental music. Rolling Stone has ranked them No. 19 on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, with countless artists referencing them as one of their biggest influences. While there’s no denying the band’s impact on music, there are some interesting facts about the Velvet Underground that are less discussed than their music. Take a look at some of the lesser-known facts and stories about the group that make them all the more fascinating.

The Band Is Based In Classic Music

Patrick McMullan/Getty Images
Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

Although the Velvet Underground is widely considered to be an experimental rock and roll group, the band came together with the help of classical music. In 1964, founding members John Cale and Lou Reed were both studying classical music. Cale was a violinist and a musical theorist with Reed being a pianist. The two came together through experiments in New York’s musical avant-garde scene, eventually forming a band along with guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Argus MacLise.

Originally, they would play at art galleries and poetry readings under the names The Warlocks, The Primitives, The Falling Spikes, and others before settling on The Velvet Underground