The Ludlow Apartment Where Lou Reed and John Cale Formed Velvet Underground

Posted on: October 30th, 2013 at 10:04 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

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…

Recent Stories

Is ‘Moishe’s Bake Shop’ on 2nd Avenue Cooked?

It might be time to sound the alarm for Moishe’s Bake Shop. The Real Deal reported yesterday that investor Jay Schwimmer recently signed a 21-year lease on the entire building at 115 Second Avenue. For all three floors, in fact, including Moishe’s Bake Shop. Occupancy could begin as soon as March, the lease start date. […]

Losers Lounge Celebrates 25th Anniversary

When it comes to music, we all have our guilty pleasures. Some satiate this within the safe confines of headphones, while others sing unabashedly with the windows down at a stoplight. There’s yet another component when you’re an actual musician and you have songs you like to belt out with reckless abandon. That being said, […]

WeWork Founder Brings ‘Selina’ Hotel Project to the Bowery

Finally complete after years of construction, 138 Bowery is ready for the big-time, and with an identity to boot. Backed by WeWork founder Adam Neumann, Selina is a multipurpose hospitality endeavor that marries co-working options with hotel rooms, retail, and food offerings. The lodge features 90 keys designed in collaboration with local artists and designers, […]

The Tower at MOSCOT’s Old Orchard Street HQ is Now Above Ground

Six years after MOSCOT moved across the street, the multimillion-dollar cause of its ousting is slowly ascending. We’re talking, of course, about the twelve-story tower currently under construction at the northeast corner of Orchard and Delancey Streets. Foundation and underpinning work recently wrapped, and the superstructure skeleton is now poking above the plywood. Sitting at […]

Community Board Application Process Now Underway

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Manhattan Community Board membership applications are now open for submission! The oft-polarizing (volunteer) political machine for the proverbial people of New York is looking for “passionate and engaged New Yorkers who are dedicated to making a difference in their neighborhoods.” Go get ’em. To be considered […]