The Velvet Underground: Letting it rip

The godfathers of alternative rock, the Velvet Underground exert an influence on Paul McLoone that refuses to wane. And if you needed a reminder of their enduring power and fierce originality, check out Todd Haynes’s deftly handled documentary arriving this Friday, and the tribute album I’ll Be Your Mirror

9th October, 2021
The Velvet Underground: Letting it rip
Nico pictured with Maureen Tucker, Sterling Morrison, Lou Reed and John Cale of the Velvet Underground: the band are the subject of a new two-hour documentary to be shown on Apple TV+ and a new tribute album. Picture: Getty

In the early summer of 1986, while wilfully neglecting my studies at Queen’s University, Belfast, I heard a record that changed me. Everything I thought I knew about rock and roll and how it should be done was forever altered, turned on its head and made suddenly, laughably naive by 48 minutes of music that to this day remains some of the most powerful ever created.

The Velvet Underground & Nico was a thing of...

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