Uptight : The Story of the "Velvet Undergound", Paperback

Uptight : The Story of the "Velvet Undergound" Paperback

Part of the Classic rock reads series

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


The best-selling account of The Velvet Underground phenomenon is now recognised as one of the greatest rock books ever written.

First published in 1983, it is based on interviews with all four members of the Velvets, as well as others who became part of Andy Warhol's circle of artistic collaborators.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 220 pages, b&w photographs
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Rock & Pop music
  • ISBN: 9780711991705



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I have to say it's been some years since I've read this book. I remember though liking it very much--but it should be kept in mind I'm a little biased on the subject. The Velvet Underground--the mid-60's to early 70's band was a precursor to much of the music that was to first rear its head towards the end of the 70's with the Punk and then the New Wave explosion. An astounding band originally showcasing two musical pioneers--Lou Reed and John Cale combined New York cool into a sometimes elegant and sometimes gritty sound that kept itself deliberately out of touch and distanced from the rock and roll music of their times. The first album The Velvet Underground and Nico could almost be looked at as a short story collection linked together around a couple major (drugs, sex) and several minor themes. Cale in particular (associated with many of America's avant-garde classical musicians) had unique perspectives on how to push rock music forward into new territory. The book written by two insiders Bockris and Malanga detail their association with Andy Warhol and allows the musicians to speak for themselves--telling their own anecdotes--the why's and the wherefore's. The book flows very naturally and is stuffed chock full of photos and is worth it just as a period piece about the music of that particular era. The Velvet Underground was a minor player in the rock music of its day but a major influence on many bands that follow in their footsteps later on.