The Velvet Underground
Not everyone bought their album, but everyone who did started a band.
The Velvet Underground was literary but down to earth, schooled in both highbrow culture and the streets. They wrote about life as they saw it—drugs and all—but they saw the beauty in bleakness.
Patti Smith Inducts the Velvet UndergroundPatti Smith Inducts the Velvet Underground at the 1996 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Patti Smith Inducts the Velvet Underground00:03:06
The Velvet Underground Acceptance Speech00:02:21
"Last Night I Said Goodbye To My Friend"00:03:14
"Pale Blue Eyes"00:05:41
Hall of Fame Essay
The induction of the Velvet Underground into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the culmination of the band’s slow, strange, inexorable rise to its rightful place in posterity.
The Velvets’ extraordinary transformation from openly reviled pop antichrists and chart exiles to universally hailed- and widely loved- pioneers of catalytic guitar violence, art-house idealism and fearless lyric candor has taken three decades.
They were a band of opposites shooting freely from pole to pole
Photography: Kevin Mazur, WireImage
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