The Velvet Underground

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  • Inducted by:
    Patti Smith
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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.



Hall of Fame Essay


David Fricke

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.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 1996
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Velvet Underground - Quote Image
They were a band of opposites shooting freely from pole to pole
Patti Smith



Photography: Kevin Mazur, WireImage