Velvet Underground exhibit opens March 30 at the Philharmonie de Paris

“New York Extravaganza”

From March 30 to August 21, 2016, the Velvet Underground are the subject of a new exhibit the Philharmonie de Paris. Among the numerous related events, John Cale will perform the Velvet Underground’s classic debut album with Animal Collective and the Libertines on April 3.

The Velvet Underground in 1970

Embed from Getty Images
LtoR: Doug Yule, Lou Reed, Maureen ‘Moe’ Tucker and Sterling Morrison.

An undeniable influence

The band made five studio recordings: The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967), White Light/White Heat (1968), The Velvet Underground (1969), Loaded (1970) and Squeeze (1973). Band members included, at different times, Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Angus MacLise, Maureen Tucker, Doug Yule, Walter Powers, Willie Alexander and Nico.

“The Velvet Underground & Nico” only sold a few thousand, but everyone who bought it formed a band. Brian Eno

So true. WhoSampled lists 133 cover songs. Surely the tip of the iceberg.

My appreciation for their style of psychedelic rock lies in covers by the bands they influenced like Jane’s Addition (“Rock’n’Roll”) and Echo & the Bunnymen (“Run, Run, Run”). Jonathan Richman is right, the Velvet Underground was “rock’n’roll not like the rest”.

The Rock Hall induction performance

The Velvet Underground were inducted into Rock And Roll Hall of Fame by Patti Smith in 1996. Lou Reed, John Cale, and Maureen Tucker performed “Last Night I Said Goodbye to My Friend” in homage to their recently deceased bandmate, Sterling Morrison. Read the moving backstory on this performance.

Velvet Underground “New York Extravaganza” exhibit at the Philharmonie de Paris, 221 Avenue Jean-Jaurès, Paris 19. March 30–August 21, 2016.

Exhibit details

The Velvet Underground​, ​New York Extravaganza
​March 30 – August 21, 2016
Philharmonie de Paris
221 Avenue Jean-Jaurès, Paris 19
Official website

Exhibit overview

  1. Welcome to America
  2. Reed & Cale, The Childhood of Art
  3. New York Spirit
  4. The Factory Years
  5. Reinventions of the Velvet Underground
  6. Echos & Heritage

Vevlet Underground timeline

Les Inrocks music magazine special edition

The French music magazine, Les Inrocks, put together a special edition dedicated to the Velvet Underground. On newsstands now or order a copy online.

Les Inrocks music magazine special edition: The Velvet Underground.
Les Inrocks music magazine special edition: The Velvet Underground.

Feature photo: bepsy /

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