Read Velvet Underground by Michael Leigh Online


The Velvet Underground is an astonishing assembly of rare objects and artworks and the first book of its scale to document the formative years of the band Time Out magazine named the greatest New York musicians of all time. From never-before-seen photographs of the band’s first live show in New York to Andy Warhol’s cover and poster designs, Lou Reed’s handwritten music anThe Velvet Underground is an astonishing assembly of rare objects and artworks and the first book of its scale to document the formative years of the band Time Out magazine named the greatest New York musicians of all time. From never-before-seen photographs of the band’s first live show in New York to Andy Warhol’s cover and poster designs, Lou Reed’s handwritten music and lyrics, underground press clippings and controversial reviews, flyers, handbills, and posters, the materials here comprise a uniquely comprehensive survey of the first rock group ever to transcend the genre and embrace underground popular culture. Including a conversation recorded especially for the book between founding members Lou Reed and Maureen Tucker, this beautifully illustrated book is the first to present a definitive picture of the band’s genesis and development in the extraordinary New York scene of the mid- to late-1960s....

Title : Velvet Underground
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781871592283
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Velvet Underground Reviews

  • M.L. Rio
    2019-03-30 23:35

    This book is not 'good' by any definition, but as a cultural artifact it's equal parts disturbing and gut-bustingly hilarious. Leigh is a misogynist, a homophobe, and a blind pearl-clutching traditionalist of the worst order. He openly admits that he "[lays] no claim to being an expert on the subject of sexology" and insists that his purpose is "not to draw conclusions," but then comes out with such wonderful one-liners as "these sexual anarchists conspire against us all, against our society and good and well-being." What's truly ironic though is that instead of convincing the reader that America is full of sexual perverts, Leigh only succeeds in convincing the reader that he himself is a bit of a pervert: all he does throughout the book is catalog other people's sexcapades, not without a certain degree of voyeuristic glee (it's worth noting that he feels a need to pass judgement on the physical attractiveness of every female 'subject' he encounters in the process). And despite all his moralizing, his own moral code is patently appalling. In a late chapter detailing the 'indecent' (to use the author's favorite word) sexual indulgences of collegiate beach-going spring-breakers, he favorably quotes a police officer as saying, "It's an ironic commentary on morals that we've yet to log our first rape complaint." So, in Leigh's world, he'd rather have college girls getting raped left, right, and center than engaging in consensual sex. How's that for morality? But the best (and by best I mean worst) part of this whole 'study' is the complete lack of legitimate supporting evidence or research methodology, which leaves you wondering whether, perhaps, Leigh just made the whole thing up.

  • Jon
    2019-04-20 20:27

    Not a good book. I suspect that the only reason this book remains in print is because of its connection to the band, The Velvet Underground. According to the band, they didn't pick this book's title because they liked the book or for its subject matter -- that was coincidence. They liked the sound of it and its potential association to underground movies. What's funny then is that the only reason anyone still goes to this book is because of a band that addressed similar issues sometimes, but not because they agreed with Leigh. So his book remains a cult item because of the culture he despised.Leigh's argument is a poor one, and seems like a poor one even for its time. His examples are sensational, chosen for shock as much as anything. The Cold War lurks around the edges and the fear of your dangerous next door neighbors who "look just like you" yet are secret sex fiends smells a bit like Leigh swapped out the Communists for the LGBTQ community. Yet there is something to pointing out that whoever we think revels in depravity is not always some identifiably gross, seedy community Out There. That this developing sex culture is happening in middle-class America is very interesting, but Leigh fails to engage with that properly -- he's asking the wrong questions, because those would be more complicated and less exciting. It is interesting how many of the people focused on in this group classify themselves as modern and open-minded, which often translates to people looking for an excuse not to really care about much and just live a life without boundaries. Is this the case with every swinger in the world? No, and Leigh fails to give a more diverse example of what he's talking about. He's reductive, sensational, often using titillating descriptions that he then condemns (confusing his whole argument), and moralizing yet claims the problem is more with the illegality of what the people are doing than with the morality, though he then tries to combine those two things and his whole argument becomes laughably bad. Basically, he has no stable thesis from which to build his argument and the whole thing becomes rather juvenile. The usefulness of this book is now primarily as a historical artifact, providing a window into a time and place, from Leigh's specific perspective. It's relatively short and not hard to read, unless bad writing causes you physical, intellectual pain. As a journalist, Leigh does a pretty shallow job of things, doing little to fully represent his subject, or responsibly handle and critique it.

  • Paula Crash
    2019-04-14 01:37

    not even Groupies United would make this Book of the Month.

  • Mildred Torre
    2019-04-10 21:46

    I hated the author. Some information is interesting but I wouldn't recommend reading it.

  • Masto
    2019-03-31 21:36

    Interesting as a snapshot of early 60's conservative moral outlooks. By today's standards pretty backwards thinking. Especially the views on homosexuality.

  • Meg
    2019-04-01 01:44

    I'll begin by saying that this author is a pathological pearl-clutcher when he's at his best and a conflicted bigot when he's at his worst, despite his efforts to report objectively on the "underground" sexual culture(s) he researched. He is probably a product of his times, and his times were characterized by a lot of cultural changes and fearful, often hateful reactions to those changes, I guess. That said, the people he writes about sort of "get away" from him in a way that I can only compare to John Milton's Satan, and that was what made this book a delight to read. Aside from a few isolated cases of bestiality (not ok), all of the behaviors the book documents occur between consenting, competent adults. Their rich, fascinating stories shine through his dry and often judgemental prose. The "deviates" are quoted and described throughout the book, and one can't help but feel empathy and admiration for most of them as they do their best to balance responsibility to others and personal freedom, to navigate in a rapidly changing society where their desires push the limits of social acceptibility, and in some cases just to love and be loved. I know the people that Leigh describes aren't perfect, that sexism and exploitation are/were likely present in the subcultures he writes about, but I think that being honest and brave enough to go against the grain while still making an effort to respect the people around you is laudable. I have a lot more to say about the interesting history and occasional unintentional hilarity in The Velvet Underground, but I'll leave it at this instead: a good read, would recommend.

    2019-04-04 23:22

    Tittilation thinly disquised as scientific-study/exposé. The intro is particularly hilarious. This, of course, is the bk that the band of the same name took their name from. Full of sexual variety - mostly chosen for its sensationalism. If you want delicate descriptions of sensitive lovingness this probably ain't for you. If you want spouse-swapping & other more hard-core activities, this is the place.

  • Honora Dabrowska
    2019-04-27 03:44

    Not for everyone, but definitely a unique perspective on the beginnings of the sexual revolution/ culture whose effects are still felt today.

  • Ta
    2019-04-10 19:44


  • Andrea
    2019-04-19 02:32

    Interesting read. Being a fan of the Velvet Underground, and being that this is the book that inspired the name of the band, I naturally thought I should read it.

  • Marcel
    2019-04-19 00:19

    The writing sucks, but it is historically interesting.