"Though The Velvet Underground existed for no more than three years with its original lineup, it is considered to be not just the "ultimate New York band" but one of the most influential rock groups ever. Among its devotees are David Bowie, The Sex Pistols, Patti Smith, Joy Division, and Nirvana, along with hot new groups such as the White Stripes and the Strokes." "Witts places the band and its genesis in the cultural context of Manhattan's beatnik bohemianism, its radical artistic environment, and the city's reaction to California's "Hippie" counterculture. Lou Reed's Brill Building background is also considered, while his Primitives (1964-65) and Velvet Underground (1965-70) songs are examined within the stylistic context of rock music. The band's sound world is likewise considered in this light. John Cale's experimental contribution is assessed, especially his work for LaMonte Young (The Theatre of Eternal Music), and what he carried from that experience into the Velvet's sound." "Witts studies the musical influences of The Velvet Underground on punk, post-punk, and subsequent rock movements, culminating in the group's 1993 reunion. He also indexes the variety of media constructions that the group endured through the years and how these affected the attempts of Cale, Nico, and Reed to establish solo careers."--BOOK JACKET.