The Velvet Underground is bigger than ever. The band defined New York subculture when West Coast hippie rock dominated the late 1960s. The act gave the world Lou Reed, Nico and punk rock. Now, in books, music and art shows, the Velvets are enjoying the acclaim, admiration and even sales that eluded them in their Andy Warhol heyday.
The group is the subject of a gathering today at New York Public Library featuring Reed, the drummer Maureen ‘Moe’ Tucker and the bassist Doug Yule. Four decades after the band’s debut LP, with its Warhol banana cover, the Velvet’s relationship with New York is the focus of a reunion moderated by Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke.