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The Velvet Underground

ThE VELveT undERgroUnD

YEAR

1996

INDUCTED BY

Patti Smith

CATEGORY

Performers

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.

John Cale

John Cale

Lou Reed

Lou Reed

Moe Tucker

Moe Tucker

Sterling Morrison

Sterling Morrison

HALL OF FAME
ESSAY

By 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.

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Class of 1996
They were a band of opposites shooting freely from pole to pole
Patti Smith
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