Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Episode 1

Anthony DeCurtis' revealing account of the troubled Long Island teenager who became godfather of rock's underground. The Velvet Underground is formed.

Born in Brooklyn in 1942, Lou Reed moved with his middle-class Jewish family to Long Island when he was a young boy. A rebellious teenager, he discovered R&B and rock and roll and began playing in bands early on. He also began experimenting with drugs and sex, leading his parents to take a drastic decision that Lou never forgave them for. At Syracuse University, he came under the influence of the poet Delmore Schwartz, who encouraged him to take writing seriously and served as a role model for Lou's bohemian ambitions. When he moved to New York City, Lou took a song-writing job with the budget label Pickwick Records, and met avant-garde musician John Cale. With guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker they formed the Velvet Underground, whose first paid gig was a now legendary appearance at a high school dance where they played three songs and by all accounts caused half the audience to flee for the exit.

1/5 The Velvet Underground is formed.

Read by Read by Demetri Goritsas

Abridged and produced by Sara Davies.

15 minutes

Last on

Tue 28 Nov 2017 00:30

More episodes


You are at the first episode

See all episodes from Book of the Week


Role Contributor
Reader Demetri Goritsas
Author Anthony DeCurtis
Abridger Sara Davies
Producer Sara Davies


Audio Books

Audio Books

Exceptional books and readings.

Short stories to keep

Short stories to keep

The fiction podcast featuring the best stories from the UK's finest writers

Sample our books and authors Clip Collection

Sample our books and authors Clip Collection

Interviews, previews and reviews

Books website

Books website

Get closer to books with in-depth articles and radio & TV highlights.