The Velvet Underground


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For the 50th anniversary of the famous “Banana” album, the Philharmonie de Paris presents the ultimate exhibition: “The Velvet Underground – New York extravaganza” to see and hear until August 31st!

 Castle Los Angeles 1966 © Gerard Malanga

From the 1960s to the present day, the Velvet Underground’s career is one of the most fascinating in the history of the arts, music and pop culture: how did a band shunned by success during its short life (1965- 1970) gradually become a rock legend par excellence? Too innovative, too transgressive, too “in your face” and too rebellious for their time, they became an unsurpassable model for the following decades, from the punk explosion to today.

The band came about from the unlikely meeting of Lou Reed and John Cale in early sixties New York. The rocker poet and the avant-garde musician were then joined by a team of mavericks: Sterling Morrison, literature student and rock ‘n’ roll fan; Moe Tucker, an androgynous suburban girl who loved tribal rhythms and Nico, the ice blonde, who Andy Warhol championed as the singer of the Velvet Underground. From the street to the highest echelons of New York society, through to pop music, cinema, painting and literature, this exhibition traces the history of the Velvet Underground through an exhibition based on 6 themes and curated by Christian Fevret – founder of the magazine Les Inrockuptibles, and Carole Mirabelle – creator of the audio-visual company “Un Monde Meilleur.”

0 26Cafe Bizarre 1965 © Adam Ritchie

To understand the world of this iconic group, visitors are drawn into a space designed by Matali Crasset and dedicated to counter-culture. Visitors can watch the 6 films produced especially for the exhibition, experience live music in dedicated spaces and discover rare archival images, portraits of the band members, as well as a series of contemporary artworks inspired by the Velvet Underground.

5_Le Velvet Underground au Cafe Bizarre 1965 © Adam Ritchie (3)Cafe Bizarre 1965 © Adam Ritchie

The ultimate exhibition of the most mysterious group in the history of American rock, from their origin to their posthumous legacy. A must-see!

Article by Les Marseillaises