I dare say that there are a lot of fans of The Velvet Underground band here at The Canery. Their proto-punk and early grunge influenced whole generations of musicians from David Bowie onwards. Their first album featuring not only Lou Reed and John Cale but Nico as well, is regarded as a classic. We’ve all been thrilled by the song “Venus In Furs” with lines “Taste the whip, In love not given lightly” and its evocations of shiny black leather boots. Well, I have at least!
Ah, but how many of you know where the band’s name came from? No, it wasn’t an Andy Warhol inspiration. The name was from a discarded book found in the street in New York. The book was the sensationalist exposé of fetish and sexual perversion, “The Velvet Underground” by Mike Leigh. For many years copies were hard to find and commanded a premium, just because of the association with the perennially hip band. No longer! If you fancy a giggle, this tacky sexploitation book has been re-issued and is available from your local bookshop or online retailer at a very reasonable price. However, the joke soon wears thin, so don’t expect a re-issue of the sequel “The Velvet Underground Revisited” anytime soon!