One in this weekly arts series. This program focuses on the rock group the Velvet Underground, which host Melvyn Bragg touts as "one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s." Highlights include the following: band members' comments on the formation, artistic goals, and eventual dissolution of the group; a contrast between the popular music of the era and the Underground's more dissonant musical style; a discussion of artist Andy Warhol's role in the group's formation; and a description of the New York City art scene in the late 1960s. Additionally, John Cale admits that the group wore dark glasses onstage because they couldn't stand the sight of the audience; music critic Robert Christgau assesses Lou Reed's songwriting ability; and Reed expresses his disinterest in reuniting the band. Included are clips of the Warhol film "Chelsea Girls" and footage of the band's first appearance under Warhol's tutelage as part of the artist's multimedia stage show. Music includes portions of the following songs: "Waiting for the Man," "I'll Be Your Mirror," "Heroin," "Sweet Jane," "Femme Fatale," "All Tomorrow's Parties," "Pale Blue Eyes," "White Light/White Heat" (performed separately by the Velvet Underground and David Bowie) and "Sister Ray."


  • NETWORK: London Weekend Television (United Kingdom)
  • DATE: 1986
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:53:45
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:12203
  • GENRE: Arts documentaries
  • SUBJECT HEADING: International Collection - United Kingdom
  • SERIES RUN: London Weekend TV (United Kingdom) - TV series, 1978-


    • Alan Benson … Executive Producer
    • Kim Evans … Producer, Director
    • Mary Harron … Researcher
    • Velvet Underground, The … Music Group
    • Lou Reed … Singer, Instrumentalist, Guitarist
    • John Cale … Singer, Instrumentalist, Guitarist, Violinist
    • Maureen Tucker … Instrumentalist, Drummer
    • Sterling Morrison … Instrumentalist, Guitarist
    • Nico … Singer
    • Bowie, David (David Jones) … Singer
    • Sex Pistols, The … Music Group
    • Melvyn Bragg … Host
    • Victor Bockris … Guest
    • Gerard Malanga … Guest
    • Brigid … Guest
    • Henry Geldzahler … Guest
    • Robert Christgau … Guest
    • Andy Warhol
    • Johnny Rotten