The Velvet Underground. No band inspires wonder in the way they did. Their opus, The Velvet Underground & Nico, is probably one of the most influential albums in the late 20th Century. If Brian Eno is to be believed, while only 30,000 people bought the album, and “Everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.”
So when I heard that John Cale played the entirety of that album, live, along with other songs from White Light/White Heat, I was crushed I didn’t hear about it sooner. Of course, it was at Philharmonie de Paris, so I wouldn’t have been able to go anyway, but it’s the thought that counts right? Cale was joined on stage by some very special guests throughout the concert: Pete Doherty and Carl Barât from The Libertines, Mark Lanegan, Lou Doillon, Etienne Daho, and Nick Franglen of Lemon Jelly.
Another notable guest was Animal Collective, whom Cale appeared with on Hocus Pocus off their album Painting With. Cale and Collective also appeared in conversation together on The Thread.
You can watch the performances of I’ll Be Your Mirror, White Light/White Heat, and Femme Fatale below.
Image: The Velvet Underground