New Velvet Underground Book Due, ‘Loaded: The Life (and Afterlife)’

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The cover of the U.S. edition

The groundbreaking American rock band, the Velvet Underground, will be the subject of a new book, Loaded: The Life (and Afterlife) of the Velvet Underground, from celebrated author Dylan Jones. The title arrives August 31, 2023, in the U.K. via White Rabbit and Dec. 5 in the U.S. via Grand Central Publishing.

Drawing on contributions from remaining members, contemporaneous musicians, critics, filmmakers, and the generation of artists who emerged in their wake, this definitive oral history celebrates not only the impact of The Velvet Underground but also their legacy.

Rebellion always starts somewhere, and in the music world of the transgressive teen—whether it be the 1960s or the 2020s—The Velvet Underground represents ground zero. Crystallizing the idea of the bohemian, urban, narcissistic art school gang around a psychedelic rock and roll band—a stylistic idea that evolved in the rarefied environs of Andy Warhol’s Factory—The Velvets were the first major American rock group with a mixed gender line-up. They never smiled in photographs, wore sunglasses indoors, and invented the archetype that would be copied by everyone from Sid Vicious to Bobby Gillespie. They were avant-garde nihilists, writing about drug abuse, prostitution, paranoia, and sado-masochistic sex at a time when the rest of the world was singing about peace and love. In that sense they invented punk and then some.

The cover of the U.K. edition

Drawing on interviews and material relating to all major players, from Lou Reed, John Cale, Mo Tucker, Andy Warhol, Jon Savage, Nico, David Bowie, Mary Harron, and many more, award-winning journalist Jones breaks down the band’s whirlwind of subversion and, in a narrative rich in drama and detail, proves why The Velvets remain the original kings and queens of edge.

The New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author has written or edited over twenty-five books, including David Bowie: A Life and Jim Morrison: Dark Star. In the Eighties, he was one of the first editors of i-D. He spent a decade working in newspapers – principally the Observer and the Sunday Times – before embarking on a multi-award-winning tenure at GQ. Jones is also a former columnist for the Guardian and the Independent. In 2012 he was awarded an OBE for services to publishing. He is currently editor-in-chief of the Evening Standard.

Related: Our excerpt from Jones’ book, The Wichita Lineman

The Velvet Underground were the subject of a 2021 Apple+ documentary.

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