The Ludlow Apartment Where Lou Reed and John Cale Formed Velvet Underground
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56 Ludlow St, where Velvet Underground was born
The dearly departed Lou Reed shared a loft with violist John Cale at 56 Ludlow Street in the early sixties. It was in this Lower East Side tenement, on the fifth floor, that the Velvet Underground was born.
John Cale reminisced about these good ole days in a Wall Street Journal article published earlier this year. He was careful to note that Reed never actually lived there, but would instead commute in from Freeport, Long Island on the weekends. Yup, he moved home after graduation.
In the fifth-floor apartment in ’65, Lou [Reed], Sterling [Morrison] and I combined the music of Erik Satie, John Cage, Phil Spector, Hank Williams and Bob Dylan. The result was a new form of rock—more about art than commerce. We rehearsed, we experimented, and the six songs we taped in the apartment in July ’65 on our Wollensak recorder wound up being the basis for our first album in ’67—”The Velvet Underground & Nico.”
And here are some demos recorded in this 56 Ludlow Street loft…