Join us over drinks at Home Grown Private Members Club, Marylebone, and listen to the Evening Standard Editor-In-Chief Dylan Jones OBE, in conversation with Julian Marszalek about his new book on one of the most influential bands in the world, The Velvet Underground.Book Tickets
“Loaded: The Life (and Afterlife) of The Velvet Underground” by Dylan Jones is a captivating and comprehensive exploration of one of the most influential and enigmatic bands in the history of rock music. In this conversation, we’ll delve into the heart of the book, tracing the fascinating journey of The Velvet Underground from its inception to its enduring legacy.
Dylan takes readers on a mesmerizing journey through the tumultuous and groundbreaking career of The Velvet Underground, a band that defied convention and reshaped the landscape of rock and roll. The book begins by introducing us to the band’s core members: Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Maureen Tucker. It vividly portrays their early years in the vibrant art scene of 1960s New York City, where they came together to create a sound that would challenge the very foundations of popular music.
The narrative delves deep into the band’s first encounters with Andy Warhol, the iconic artist and producer who played a pivotal role in shaping their image and sound. Under Warhol’s guidance, The Velvet Underground released their self-titled debut album in 1967. Jones skillfully unpacks the album’s themes of taboo subjects, addiction, and alternative lifestyles, which shocked and intrigued audiences, setting the stage for their tumultuous rise to fame.
As the book unfolds, readers gain insight into the band’s struggles with commercial success, drug addiction, and internal conflicts. Jones paints a vivid picture of the tensions between Lou Reed and John Cale, whose creative differences eventually led to Cale’s departure from the band. Despite these challenges, The Velvet Underground continued to produce groundbreaking music, including the album “Loaded,” which remains one of their most celebrated works.
Jones also explores the band’s cultural impact and their influence on subsequent generations of musicians. Interviews with musicians who were inspired by The Velvet Underground, such as David Bowie, Patti Smith, and Sonic Youth, provide a glimpse into the band’s enduring legacy.
One of the book’s most captivating aspects is its exploration of the “afterlife” of The Velvet Underground. Jones takes readers through the band members’ solo careers and their continued collaborations with other artists. Lou Reed’s solo career, in particular, is examined in depth, shedding light on his evolution as an artist and his enduring impact on the music world.
Throughout “Loaded,” Jones weaves together a rich tapestry of interviews, anecdotes, and archival material, offering readers a multifaceted view of The Velvet Underground’s journey. The prose is evocative, capturing the essence of the band’s music and the era in which they thrived. It is a testament to Jones’s meticulous research and passion for his subject matter.
In conclusion, “Loaded: The Life (and Afterlife) of The Velvet Underground” is a must-read for music enthusiasts and anyone interested in the cultural and artistic revolutions of the 1960s. Dylan Jones skillfully navigates the complex world of one of rock music’s most iconic and enigmatic bands, providing a comprehensive and engrossing account of their life, music, and enduring influence.
The book serves as a tribute to The Velvet Underground’s enduring legacy, proving that their revolutionary sound and fearless exploration of taboo subjects continue to resonate with audiences today.