Velvet Underground was formed in New York 1965 by guitarist, composer and singer Lou Reed, violinist, celloist and keyboardplayer John Cale, guitarist and bassist Sterling Morrison and drummer Angus MacLise. They recorded a few demos in June 1965 and had their first public appearance in autumn 65. Shortly after MacLise was replaced by Maureen Tucker. They made contact with multi-artist Andy Warhol who introduced then to singer and model from Germany, Nico who soon after joined the group as music performers at Warhols multi-media shows. This constellation recorded the first album for Verve records in 1966 ( released spring 67 ) "The Velvet Underground & Nico", featuring Warhol´s banana cover.
Soon after Nico left the band to pursue a solo-career and
in 1968 they stopped working with Warhol, and later that year John Cale left the group. Before this they had recorded they second album "White Light/White Heat". Cale was replaced by Doug Yule
This line-up recorded the much acclaimed and softer 3rd album, which was their last release for Verve. They did record songs for a projected fourth Verve album, which were eventually released as "VU"in 1985.
Key Band Members:
A final album with Lou Reed was recorded in 1970 and released on Cotillion Records. During these recording Reed left the group as Yule continued as leader of the band. With Yule as the only long-time member one final album "Squeeze" was released on Polydor in 1972. By then the sound had changed radically, missing the highly personal vocals of Reed and Nico, and especially Reed´s prolific songwriting.
Lou Reed: Born 1942, guitar, vocals and songwriter. Reed was beyond question the key member of the Velvet Underground, and he has continued to perform and record influential rock music until today.
John Cale: Born 1942, keyboards and various string-instruments. Cale was classically trained and he was a very important contributer to the sound of the early V.U. Like Reed he has recorded numerous solo-albums.
Sterling Morrison: Born 1942, guitar . Original member, and in the band until "Squeeze". Rumor says that he and Tucker for a brief period helped promote Yule Velvet Underground".
Angus MacLise: Born 1938, drums. Original member, but left the band in 1966 before their first album recordings. It was MacLise who made contact to Warhol.
Maureen Tucker: Born 1944, drums. Replaced MacLise in 1965 and plays on all albums except "Squeeze"
Nico: Born 1938, singer. Nico is only featured on the first V.U. album, but half of her solo album "Chelsea Girl" is actually Velvet Underground.
Doug Yule: Born 1947, guitar and vocals. Replaced Cale in 1968 and continued the band after Reed had left, until around 1974
Billy Yule: Born 194?, drums Joined in 1970